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Thread: Archives New Zealand Archway - to publish 160,000 WW 1 Service Record Files Online

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    Default Archives New Zealand Archway - to publish 160,000 WW 1 Service Record Files Online

    I was once shown two systems by NZ Archives staff, one being Archway. However, I have just been searching for NZ archived web pages and found this:-

    01/04/2014
    "You may notice that WWI service records found by your search are provided in different formats. All records are available as single image files, but some also have multi-page PDFs available.

    Archives New Zealand is digitising all the WWI records held by the New Zealand Defence Force, and is publishing them to our website. Around 160,000 files some of them with more than 600 pages are being digitised and published. The Defence Force has also recently located a number of additional files, which we will include in our online publication programme.

    More than half of the records supplied so far have been digitised and published both as single-page image files and also in PDF, which is a convenient and widely-accessible format.

    Mindful that August 2014 is the anniversary of the outbreak of WWI though, we have recently stopped uploading PDF files, because it is a much longer process than publishing single page image files. This will enable us to more efficiently upload the remainder of the files to our website.

    Although we recognise that the single-page image format is less convenient for some users (particularly if you are accessing a large number of pages or files), it means we can more quickly publish the bulk of the WWI files, and make them all available before the end of 2014."


    What was of interest to me, is that some NZ files hold more than 600 pages! Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 19th June 2014 at 21:19.

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    "What was of interest to me, is that some NZ files hold more than 600 pages!"

    I've examined many dozens of these files under both the old and new formats and can't recall ever coming across one of much more than 100 pages (most are far less that this). I suspect the '600' example has been introduced as a bit of spin to counteract the ongoing criticism of the single-image format used for the majority of the files that were/are outstanding. It seems that management failed to notice that the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the war was this year! If you do come across a 600+ page file then be prepared to spend a couple of days to read through it, such is the bizarre nature of the viewing system used on the site for these.

    Errol

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    Hello Errol
    Thanks for replying, can you tell me please if there is a charge for viewing these files online and I can't seem to find any external internet link to them?
    Mark

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    Mark,

    Go to http://archives.govt.nz/

    Then click on 'Archway' at far right. On Archway enter name or key word(s) into the 'Simple Search' window to bring up a file or files. There is no charge for viewing or downloading.

    If on clicking on 'Preservation Master' brings up 'Derivative Master" then the file can be downloaded as a complete pdf file. Unfortunately this applies only to the minority of files which were digitised this way before the new, bizarre, system was introduced. Those digitised by the latter means have to be viewed page by page. They can be downloaded, apparently, though I've not had any success in doing so.

    The new system is quite different and vastly inferior to that on the likes of TNA. It may take you a bit of trial and error to get the hang of it (personally I'd like to hang the people who put it together!)

    Errol
    Last edited by Errol Martyn; 21st June 2014 at 00:08.

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    Hi Errol,

    Could I pick your local archive knowledge with a quick question.

    Are the paper and/or digital copies of the service records stored at the National Library of New Zealand or at the Archives New Zealand?

    The online search is actioned through Archway and Archives New Zealand but the images are displayed by the NatLib site.

    I have had success using DigitalNZ to find various records and images such as those of Keith Rodney Park but would like to try again to see if the WWI service record displayed by NatLib can be located and displayed via DigitalNZ for an alternative search engine.

    Regards
    Ross
    Last edited by Ross_McNeill; 21st June 2014 at 13:37.
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    Hello Errol, thanks for that.

    Hello Ross
    "Archives New Zealand is digitising all the WWI records held by the New Zealand Defence Force, and is publishing them to our website." So it would seem originals are with the New Zealand Defence Force. Perhaps Errol might have more info?

    Regards Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hood View Post

    Hello Ross
    "Archives New Zealand is digitising all the WWI records held by the New Zealand Defence Force, and is publishing them to our website." So it would seem originals are with the New Zealand Defence Force. Perhaps Errol might have more info?

    Regards Mark
    In think the above is a case of poor wording. From elsewhere in the Archives website: "In 2005 the Chief of Defence Force and the Chief Archivist of Archives New Zealand signed an agreement to transfer all files of personnel who served in the New Zealand forces overseas up to and including 31 December 1920 into the permanent care of Archives New Zealand. To date we hold records for the South Africa (Boer) War, and World War 1. You should apply directly to the New Zealand Defence Force for any other later records including those from World War 2. Where an individual served in both world wars, their records will be held in the World War 2 files."

    Ross, actually I'd not noticed before that switch from locating files on the Archives site to the downloading being via National Library. Their buildings are located within a city block of one another and both organisations come under the Internal Affairs portfolio. It may simply be a case of economics, with the National Library IT set up having more capacity to handle the material than Archives?

    Here is better explantion (from the Archives site) of what I was trying to say earlier about accessing those records that were digitised as pdfs and available as such. Note that they eventually are to make all available as pdfs (probably as a result of complaints they have received about the presently used system):

    "Where a PDF version of a file has been created, you can still access it through the new viewer by following these steps;

    1) Click the heading 'Preservation Master' on the top left hand side of the viewer.
    2) Click the 'Derivative Copy' option and select 'Table of Contents'. An icon will appear on the right hand side,
    3) Click the caption 'image 1' to display the PDF
    Once we have finished scanning and uploading all the files to the website where they are available to the public, we plan to retrospectively convert the image files to PDFs. We will keep you posted about this, and apologise for any inconvenience that the mix of file formats might cause you in the meantime."

    Errol
    Last edited by Errol Martyn; 22nd June 2014 at 01:27.

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    Hi Errol,

    It seems that although Archives New Zealand is a content partner of DigitalNZ the index and location URL of the digital service records has not been opened up to wider web access.

    Given the extensive index available from all DigitalNZ content partners it seems odd not to transfer digital images and index created for web viewing but it looks like there are other drivers for this decision.

    For information the reply to my query is given in full below

    Regards
    Ross

    <
    ....

    Thank you for your enquiry regarding the availability of digitised records made available online by Archives New Zealand.

    At the moment service records are not made available via a Digital NZ search. My understanding is also that this will not be implemented in the near future - at the moment we are looking into making the digitised service records available via a website that is being developed in part with the anniversaries of the war and Gallipoli landings, though arrangements are not final.

    I regret that I have been unable to be of assistance.

    .....
    >
    Last edited by Ross_McNeill; 25th June 2014 at 06:43.
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