The Early New Zealand Books Project has been developed by staff at The University of Auckland Library. It aims to provide an online keyword-searchable corpus of books published about New Zealand in the first two-thirds of the nineteenth century, and ePub versions of them for easy reading of individual books.
Illustrations and maps in the books have also been digitised, with a higher resolution version available by clicking on the image in the text.
Some early New Zealand books have been republished over the years but many are only available in restricted collections.
The accounts of early travellers have been a prime source of information about traditional Maori society and culture. There is also great interest in accounts of the earliest British settlements. The ability to search this body of literature for words and names will be of benefit to both scholars and genealogists.
Future plans include extending the collection and enhancing it with hypertext links between chapters and books and to related information such as entries in the New Zealand National Bibliography. Further intellectual mark-up of chapters and pages for controlled vocabulary searching is another possibility.
In the meantime an index has been constructed to link different spellings of names and words. This is particularly important for references to personal and place names in Maori, but also for other attempts to transcribe Maori words. Variant spellings of English names are also encountered. As ENZB is very much a work in progress any feedback and suggestions are appreciated
Original texts have been sourced from Special Collections/Kohikohinga Motuhake in the University of Auckland Library
A partnership agreement recently signed with Auckland Libraries will see the addition of around 60 items from Auckland Libraries holdings over the next two years. Twenty-seven books from Auckland Libraries are already available.
The project uses b-engine software to convert TEI-compatible xml files to html for web display.
TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) is the standard for marking up literary texts for teaching and research and is platform independent.
Raw MARC records are available for 271 books to February 2014
Section 22 of the New Zealand Copyright Act 1994 prescribes that copyright in a work expires 50 years after the death of the author. Section 25 of the Act prescribes that "copyright in a typographical arrangement of a published edition expires at the end of the period of 25 years from the end of the calendar year in which the edition is first published." A number of edited journals and collections of letters have been made available by agreement with the copyright holders. Copyright in Early New Zealand Books electronic editions is vested in the University of Auckland Library.