Posted on June 3, 2011.
UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has awarded the National Archives of Australia (NAA) its 2011 UNESCO/Jikji Memory of the World Prize. The award recognizes NAA for its work in the preservation and accessibility of documentary heritage. In the 30 May 2011 press release announcing the award, UNESCO highlighted NAA efforts in several areas, including:
- Digital preservation
- Making available open source tools for digital preservation to the global preservation community
- Expertise in adapting the record-creating processes of government agencies to the needs of recordkeeping to ensure the lasting access to documents in the digital era
- Innovation in its collaborative work on the preservation of documents written in iron gall ink (an ink that includes iron salts, in use in Europe for many centuries)
Dr Stephen Ellis, NAA’s Acting Director-General explained, “the challenge of preserving records for the future is something we share with our counterparts all over the world. This prize recognises our ability to be innovative, our willingness to share the results of our research and our professional leadership.” (NAA press release, 31 May 2011)
Posted in Archives, Australia
Posted on February 7, 2011.
In the article Volunteers with an eagle eye on the news, the Australian newspaper The Age reports today on the successful use of crowdsourcing by the National Library of Australia (NLA).
NLA’s Trove, a large digital repository of collections about Australia and Australians, has been benefiting from the work of citizens who log in to help correct the text generated from an OCR scan of the historical Australian newspapers they have digitized. As The Age reports,
The work is done by letting visitors see a scanned picture of an article alongside a computer’s best guess about what the text says. Typically, only about 60 per cent of the words are right. Where the two versions differ, humans can instantly correct the computer’s gaffes.
Since the electronic scans of newspapers were made public in August 2008 and the library took the controversial decision to let anyone – even anonymous users – help, volunteers have tweaked 26 million lines of newspaper text.
The Age quotes one of the top volunteers as saying, “It’s very addictive.” NLA recognized their top text correctors with special Australia Day awards on 28 January 2010.
A March 2009 report by the project’s director provides detail on how the text correction program works; see Many Hands Make Light Work: Public Collaborative Text Correction in Australian Historic Newspapers, by Rose Holley [PDF, 28 pages].
For more, see:
Posted in Australia, Social media, Websites
Posted on May 4, 2010.
The Australian national government’s Gov 2.0 Taskforce made its final report, Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0, at the end of 2009. On 3 May 2010, the government issued its response to the taskforce recommendations in a new document, Government Response to the Report of the Government 2.0 Taskforce.The central recommendation of the taskforce was for a formal declaration of open government by the Australian government. The government’s response:
AGREED. The Australian Government is committed to
the principles of openness and transparency in Government, and
a Declaration of Open Government is an important affirmation of
leadership in these principles. A Declaration, in conjunction
with the Australian Government’s proposed reforms to the Freedom of
Information Act 1982, will also assist in driving a
pro-disclosure culture across government. Accordingly, the Australian
Government will draft a Declaration of Open Government for presentation
to the Parliament, and through it, to the Australian people.
Other recommendations agreed to by the government include the creation of a data.gov.au website and improving the accessibility of its services and facilities to best support all Australians.
Posted in Australia, Social media