Listening to the silences? The New Zealand Web Archive at the Alexander Turnbull Library

A session at NDF2013

Wednesday 27th November, 2013

12:00pm to 12:30pm (NZMT)

Collections have voices. The act of collecting is a form of remembering, but at the same time our decisions on what not to collect is a sanctioned forgetting. So our collections also have silences. Most collecting institutions in New Zealand are publicly funded, meaning that much of the memory activity is sanctioned by the state (in its central or local government forms). This power narrative is not new to the discourse of the memory sector. The notions of collections and the actors involved in collecting being somehow neutral, has long been challenged by postmodern theorists and archival practitioners throughout the ’80s and ’90s.

The Alexander Turnbull Library has been collecting New Zealand’s web history since 1999 as part of the broader programme of digital collecting at the Library. This presentation provides an update on the New Zealand Web Archive. It highlights aspects of the collection through the lens of this changing power narrative and the role of the internet as the great democratiser for how information is created and disseminated by contemporary society. Mark will also outline some of the challenges, limitations and future plans for the collection that will play a pivotal role in which voices will be heard by future researchers.

About the speaker

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Mark Crookston

Mark Crookston works at the Alexander Turnbull Library, part of the National Library of New Zealand, as the Digital Collection Strategy Leader.

Next session in Soundings Theatre

2pm Making the case for ‘open’: reimagining Museum Victoria’s approach to collections information access by Ely Wallis

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New Zealand New Zealand, Wellington

26th27th November 2013

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Time 12:00pm12:30pm NZMT

Date Wed 27th November 2013


Soundings Theatre, Te Papa Tongarewa

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