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Creative reuse and digital collections

Posted on 12 February 2015 by thomasin sleigh

Here at DigitalNZ we’ve been circling the problem of creative reuse of digital collections for a number of years now. Needless to say, it’s a tricky one.

We’ve run competitions to encourage and celebrate the reuse of openly licensed content: Mix & Mash, and most recently, GIF IT UP, a GIF-making competition we ran with the Digital Public Library of America. Whilst these have been successful and people have made... Read more

Metadata battles

Posted on 17 December 2014 by thomasin sleigh

Here at DigitalNZ we enjoy an end-of-year Christmas list as much as the next person. This year we thought we could turn our data-obsessed eyes towards the metadata of our excellent content partners and compare and contrast their collections.

Who has the most “cats” in their collection? And who has the most "Christmas"?

These are serious questions that call for answers!

If you are a bit confused by the word ‘metadata’, this simply means the... Read more

GIF IT UP winners

Posted on 10 December 2014 by thomasin sleigh

Gif It Up Banner 3

What an excellent way to finish a busy year at DigitalNZ—with a showcase of awesome GIFs made from copyright-free images! The past couple of months we’ve had a lot of fun running the GIF IT UP competition with our good friends at the Digital Public Library of America. We’ve been amazed by all the creative and ingenious entries and want to thank everyone who entered their work.

You can browse all the GIFs at the GIF IT UP Tumblr gallery.

... Read more


Posted on 06 October 2014 by thomasin sleigh

Gif It Up Logo 1ab Print

It’s a public domain celebration! The Digital Public Library of America and DigitalNZ are holding GIF IT UP, an international competition over the next six weeks (13 October–1 December, Eastern) to find the best GIFs reusing public domain and openly licensed digital video, images, text, and other material available via our search portals. Winners will have their work featured and celebrated online at the Public Domain Review and also on ... Read more

Emerging Pixels and DigitalNZ

Posted on 29 July 2014 by thomasin sleigh

We’re excited to be collaborating with Digital Art Live on their Emerging Pixels programme this year. Emerging Pixels is a chance for students to develop and deliver an interactive work for the large screen in the Aotea Centre (see the image below). You can check out previous Emerging Pixels works here.

Digital Art Live

We’re encouraging creative technologies students to use openly licensed content from DigitalNZ in their work, and/or build... Read more

2000 sets

Posted on 14 July 2014 by thomasin sleigh

Do you know who's making amazing sets on DigitalNZ? You guys are!


Image: Weraroa Cricket Club awards presentation, August 1971. Kete Horowhenua. CC-BY-NC-SA.

Oh yes, today we reached 2000 searchable sets on DigitalNZ, so we thought we'd list some of funniest, biggest, and most colourful sets that have been made over the two years that sets have been available on DigitalNZ—plus some other categories that we just made up for fun.

It's like a mini... Read more

Nips, tucks, and refreshes

Posted on 14 May 2014 by thomasin sleigh

If you are a regular www.digitalnz.org visitor, you’ll have noticed a few changes we’ve been rolling out on the site over the last six months or so. We thought it’d be helpful to let you know what we’ve been up to, and also ask for any feedback or thoughts you have about these changes.


Firstly, at the end of last year, we worked with our amazing developers Boost New Media and designers Clicksuite, and made www.digitalnz.org... Read more

NZ Music Month set competition

Posted on 01 May 2014 by thomasin sleigh

It's NZ Music Month and we're celebrating with a special set-making competition!

All you have to do is collect together a DigitalNZ set which represents a kiwi song and you are in to win a sweet prize pack. If you need some inspiration, check out the awesome entries from last year's competition.

To make your set, just login and click the 'Add to sets' button as you search. If you are a first-time set-maker, check out our handy... Read more

Q&A with Donna Robertson

Posted on 26 February 2014 by thomasin sleigh

Donna Robertson is a librarian and editor for the amazing Christchurch City Libraries, and a big DigitalNZ fan and set-maker extraordinaire! In fact, we recently ran a search on DigitalNZ for 'Donna Robertson' and it returned 100 sets. This officially makes Donna 'Queen of DigitalNZ sets'.

In the third of our sixth birthday blog series, we had a chat to Donna about what she loves about DigitalNZ, some tips for making sets, and her... Read more


Posted on 18 February 2014 by thomasin sleigh

This Q&A is the second in our collection of sixth birthday celebration interviews. We thought it was a good opportunity to check in with an organisation using the DigitalNZ's data, in particular our Application Programming Interface (API)*, so we had a chat with UC CEISMIC, a digital repository of information relating to the Christchurch earthquakes.

Uc Ceismic

How did UC CEISMIC come to work with the DigitalNZ API?

DigitalNZ were involved in... Read more

Q&A with V.C. Browne

Posted on 13 February 2014 by thomasin sleigh

DigitalNZ is turning six years old this February! As part of our birthday celebrations, we decided it was high time we had a chat with some of our amazing content partners, fans, and people using the DigitalNZ API.

We were keen to get their thoughts on DigitalNZ, how they came to work with us, and what they think will be most exciting about DigitalNZ in the future—also, it's a good excuse for warm fuzzies all round.

15118 Timaru

Image: Timaru,... Read more

DigitalNZ celebrates 6 years

Posted on 02 February 2014 by thomasin sleigh

Back in February 2008, the founding DigitalNZ project team was established, and they set about building up the services that we all know and love today. There was a moment early in our life when our identity was nearly all orange and pink—but this early disaster was luckily averted!Finallogo1

We've come a long way since then. We now work with nearly 150 amazing content partners, and bring together over 26 million pieces of digital... Read more

Colin McCahon | McCahon, Colin | McCahon, Colin John, 1919-1987

Posted on 17 December 2013 by lucy!

On November 26 I presented a talk on linked data and entity reconciliation at the National Digital Forum held at Te Papa in Wellington. These are my speaker's notes.

Th Ndf 2013 Mcdowall.034

Linked data is an amazing yet elusive idea. It extends the conventional Web by providing a means to identify and refer to specific entities or concepts and supplies a way to describe how those things are related. Together, the entities,... Read more

Christmas top tens and favourites

Posted on 11 December 2013 by thomasin sleigh

'Tis the season to summarise! There's nothing better than a good ol' Christmas top ten list, right? Podium

Winning athletes on podium during awards ceremony for the six mile event, 1950 British Empire Games, Eden Park, Auckland. Ref: 114/125/34-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23253451

Let's get right into the top ten, most viewed, sets of 2013:

1. 'Patched: A History of... Read more

Mix & Mash 2013: the New Storytelling

Posted on 04 December 2013 by thomasin sleigh

Mix & Mash 2013 draws to a close and we look back at a year of mashups, remixes and impressive re-use of open content.

Mihmihi Larger

Mix & Mash changed tack this year. Instead of big data mashups, we were looking for storytelling skills, and for clever use of openly licensed images, videos, music, and other content to tell compelling narratives about the past, present and future. The competition was structured in an... Read more

Facebook before Facebook: the Photo News

Posted on 24 September 2013 by thomasin sleigh

Recently, we have been lucky to work with the HB Williams Memorial Library in Gisborne to make the Gisborne Photo News available on DigitalNZ. We are now pointing to 14,190 images of life in Gisborne, taken between 1954 and 1975.Photo NewsImage: Gisborne Photo News, no. 123, September 10, 1964, title page and back page.

The Photo News was a series of monthly publications produced by the Logan Publishing Group in Gisborne,... Read more

Creative people build creative sets

Posted on 18 September 2013 by thomasin sleigh

I recently started working here at DigitalNZ, and quickly discovered my love of set-making. The process is often strange, intuitive and surprising.

ImageserverImage: Carver, Robert William Ind 1838-1907 :Bell's kitchen garden 1892. Ref: A-164-020. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22748258

DigitalNZ has over 25 million pieces of digital content, so you never quite know what you are... Read more

Visualising the DigitalNZ metadata ecosystem

Posted on 15 September 2013 by lucy!

This blog post details an interactive visualisation of DigitalNZ data,which you can experiment with as a Google Fusion Table. Note that by defaultthe visualisation will only show about 150 nodes. Increase the number of nodes to the maximum value to see everything.Read on to learn more.

All the things

At the time of writing, DigitalNZ works with 140 content providers to make New Zealand digital content easier to find, share... Read more

Reflections on the 2013 Linked Open Data in Libraries Archives and Museums Summit

Posted on 24 July 2013 by lucy!

Linked data is an amazing yet elusive idea—elusive for at least two reasons. It can be difficult for people who don't live and breathe linked data to grasp. It also remains difficult for institutions to know where to start in providing linked data views of their collections. At DigitalNZ we have been exploring these issues both internally and with some of our content partners.... Read more

Metadata now available for commercial use

Posted on 10 June 2013 by fiona

In our latest extension to the DigitalNZ API, we have updated the rights of thousands of metadata* records to allow for commercial use.A treasure trove of over 200,000 records can now be mixed, mashed and mined in anyway you like - be it for commercial, creative or educational purposes. DigitalNZ has millions of records available for reuse, but up until now this has been limited to non-commercial use only.Five... Read more

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