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Of maps and metadata – Explorations in online access at the National
Archives of Australia
Dr. Tim Sherratt, National Archives of Australia
Monday, April 6, 2009 – 12 PM-2 PM
South Court Auditorium, Stephen A. Schwartzman Building, The New York
Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, New York, NY
The National Archives of Australia provides online access to 1.6
million fully-digitized files, totaling more than 20 million digital
images. Another 6 million are described in its online database. This
represents only about ten per cent of of the Archives' total holdings,
but it's more than enough to challenge the skills of even the most
experienced researcher. As these numbers continue to grow, issues of
access, findability and visualization will become increasingly
pressing. How will we orient researchers within this mass of data? How
will we help them find what they want? How will we help them use what
In November 2008, the National Archives of Australia launched Mapping
our Anzacs <http://mappingouranzacs.naa.gov.au/>, a Google Maps based
interface to the 376,000 World War I service records in its care.
Through this site, users can browse places around the world where
service people were born or enlisted, following links to digitized
copies of their records. They can also contribute notes and photos
through an online scrapbook. Mapping our Anzacs provides a wholly new
way of accessing and interacting with the collection and has proved
very popular, but how can the ideas underpinning its development be
applied more broadly?
This talk will discuss the past and future of Mapping our Anzacs and
introduce some of the other online initiatives being explored by the
National Archives of Australia.
Dr. Tim Sherratt works as a web content developer at the National
Archives of Australia. He is a historian of Australian science and
culture who has been developing online resources relating to archives
and history since 1993. He has written on weather, progress and the
atomic age, and has developed resources including Bright Sparcs and
Mapping our Anzacs.
Mark A. Matienzo
Applications Developer, Digital Experience Group
The New York Public Library