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More of NZ's digital content to become freely available

28 Nov 16

More of New Zealand’s digital content will become freely available to Kiwis, thanks to a collaboration between Wellington digital agency, Boost, the National Library of New Zealand and the Department of Internal Affairs.

The trio have developed the award-winning Supplejack, which powers its DigitalNZ services and makes more of New Zealand's massive collection of digital content freely available to the public to find, share and use.

The National Library last month won the New Zealand Open Source Awards for Open Source Use in Government for this initiative.

It was presented at the National Digital Forum in Wellington last week.

Andy Neale, head of DigitalNZ, says Supplejack is one of the only open source tools of its kind in the world - the code freely available for other entities to adopt and adapt.

“And, it’s attracting interest from significant institutions globally as the ‘GLAM’ sector - galleries, libraries, archives and museums - become increasingly digital,” Neale says.

“New Zealand was the first country in the world to bring together hidden content from across galleries, libraries, archives, and museums into a comprehensive national service and Supplejack is the software that drives it,” he explains.

“Boost has been an innovative and expert partner in making this vision a reality, overcoming what is a complex and challenging technical feat.”

Supplejack is currently being evaluated by the University of California as a replacement search tool, with installations also seen in Canada and Hong Kong.

Boost founder and CEO Nathan Donaldson says Supplejack and wider use of open source in government are close to the company’s heart.

“Our mission at Boost is to help improve New Zealander’s lives which is certainly what Supplejack is all about,” says Donaldson.

“We’re thrilled to have worked with the National Library in achieving their goals,” he says.

Last year, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, New Zealand’s moving image and sound archive, adopted Supplejack to successfully make available all Radio NZ and TVNZ archives through one platform.

“We are strong advocates of the open source advantage in New Zealand government and this is about enabling reuse of code so that different agencies and departments aren't reinventing the wheel, and paying large sums for projects that others are already working on,” Donaldson adds.

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