National Newspaper Forum 26 November 2008

I was interested in attending this because I am currently looking at the Methodist Archives newspaper collection and hoped to find out more about collaborative opportunities and get an idea of where the National Library was heading.

The day was excellent in clarifying for me the question why bother to microfilm anything?  There was a very persuasive case made by Clark Stiles of the Alexander Turnbull Library for the preservation issues associated with using the tried technology of microfilming, where digitising has yet to prove itself on an international level.

Part of the day was the National Library seeking input into their future direction – for example, in the ‘new’ National Library, there is no in-house microfilming unit, and all microfilming (and digitising?) will be outsourced.  So there was much discussion about this.

The StarWe also heard about the Papers Past project, with the forum attendees giving very positive feedback on this project, and wanting more!

The question was asked as to how the National Library could better co-ordinate microfilming and digitising and Papers Past because at the moment they are separate projects.

Brief presentation by Dr Markus Brantl of the Bavarian State Library on their digitisation programme, and much interest was expressed in their partnership with Google.

The day ended with a request for volunteers to participate in a group to input into future National Library newspaper initiatives and direction and I put my hand up.

I am very keen to represent the sort of repository I work for, which has very limited resources and no budget for either microfilming or digitising.  I know there are many similar repositories throughout New Zealand.

Jo Smith


Methodist Church of New Zealand Archives


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