The Early New Zealand Books Collection has been developed by staff at The University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services.
The collection aims to provide a complete online full-text and keyword-searchable corpus of books about New Zealand which were published in the first two-thirds of the nineteenth century. Many of them have been available only in print, and in restricted library collections. Memoirs and collections of letters and journals from the period which were published later are also included. Accounts by early travellers are a prime source of information about traditional Maori society and culture as well as early European settlement.
Items of fewer than 15 pages have been digitised only if they are of particular interest. In some cases selected chapters have been digitised where the remainder of the content is not relevant to New Zealand. Histories covering this period which were published later are not included. Illustrations and maps in books have also been digitised, with higher resolution versions available by clicking on the images in the text.
A file of all variant spellings of proper names and other key words is maintained as a searchable part of the collection. This is particularly important for references to personal and place names in Maori, and also to show early attempts to transcribe Maori words. Variant spellings of English names are also encountered.
Original texts have been sourced from Special Collections/Kohikohinga Motuhake in the University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services. Further items are being added as a result of a partnership agreement with Auckland Libraries.
The project uses b-engine software to convert TEI-compatible XML files to HTML for web display. PDF files have been created for each chapter or section, and can be downloaded from the website. EPUB files enable downloading of complete books to workstations and mobile devices. Original TIFF image files of all pages, scanned at 400dpi, are retained as preservation masters.
Cataloguing records are created in the University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services catalogue, and uploaded from there to Te Puna (the New Zealand National Union Catalogue) and WorldCat. Metadata at the chapter level is harvested by DigitalNZ (the National Library of New Zealand New Zealand digital content aggregator), and a search engine sitemap facilitates full-text indexing by search engines. MARC records records are also available from the site as a file.
Most of the material in the ENZB is out of copyright; all other material has been made available with the permission of the copyright holders.
The searchable website, PDF chapters, and EPUB books downloaded from the website are freely available to all users. However the University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services and Auckland Libraries retain copyright in ENZB electronic editions of their books, and prohibit commercial use and republication without permission. Educators are permitted to print copies and make them available to students.
At the start of 2014, the Collection comprised some 300 volumes, nearly 4000 chapters, and around 250,000 individual files.