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DigitalNZ is a service run by the National Library of New Zealand and funded by the New Zealand Government. It is aimed at making New Zealand digital content easier to find, share and use.[1] To date there are over 25 million digital items[2] available to view from over 120 partner organisations.[1] The partner organisations include from the cultural institutions, government departments, publicly funded organisations, educational and research organisations as well as the private sector and community groups. The digital content available to search in DigitalNZ includes photographs, artworks, newspapers, books, other archival material, journal articles, music, film and data sets. DigitalNZ also supports the creation and digitisation of new material, hosts content, advocates for Creative Commons NZ licences and the New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing framework,[3] and promotes and encourages the creative reuse of digital material.


DigitalNZ was officially launched on 3 December 2008.[4] Prior to its official launch, DigitalNZ worked on and launched the Coming Home search experience and the Coming Home Memory Maker campaign. Both of those experiences went live on 11 November 2008 as part of the celebrations of the 90th anniversary of the World War One Armistice.



DigitalNZ aims to make discoverable New Zealand digital content. Much of the content available via DigitalNZ's federated search function is part of the deep web. Deep web content is not indexed by standard search engines and so does not appear in standard search engine results. The project continues to recruit content-contributing partners and harvests content metadata via auto-updating XML sitemaps, RSS feeds, or OAI-PMH compliant feeds. Contributor's content must have a connection and relevance to New Zealand and also have metadata (machine readable content descriptions).


The project is making more digital content available as its partners build on their contributions. DigitalNZ also continues to recruit new partner organisations. It supports digitisation efforts via its Make it Digital site, where it provides guides to assist digitisation good practice and a platform to nominate, discuss and vote on possible digitisation projects. It aims to encourage organisations who are undertaking digitisation work, or who are funding digitisation, to test digitisation against community wishes. DigitalNZ has also provided seed funding to a number of ideas nominated on this platform.

DigitalNZ also provides API access to computer programmers so the programmers can use the metadata to create their own applications.


The project also encourages the reuse and remixing of both the metadata and content (rights permitting). It encourages contributors to open their content to reuse and remix by providing educational guides on rights management and supporting creative commons licenses. As an aggregator of metadata rather than hosting the content itself, DigitalNZ relies on the contributors to check the copyright status of contributions and commit to openness and reuse.

Digital NZ has run two Mix & Mash Competitions, in association with Creative Commons Aotearoa NZ, aimed at promoting and providing examples of community reuse and remixing of digital content. Supreme winners to date are:

Make it Digital[edit]

Make it Digital provides good practice guides for creating digital content and identifies elements of good practice based on an understanding of the digital content life cycle. [1] [5]


The DigitalNZ website is powered by Supplejack, an open-source data aggregation platform. Supplejack aggregates metadata for New Zealand digital content so that this content can be searched and shared through the website[6]. As well as giving other organisations access to this content through the Supplejack API[7], DigitalNZ also provides the Supplejack platform to other organisations under a GNU General Public License[8], so they can combine, share and search their own data collections.

Supplejack grew out of New Zealand Government's 2007 Digital Content Strategy.[9] It became an active production service in 2013.[10]

In 2016, Supplejack won DigitalNZ a New Zealand Open Source Award.[11][12]

Along with DigitalNZ and the National Library, Supplejack has been adopted by GLAM sector organisations including the National Library of Singapore[13], the Ngā Taonga audiovisual archive[14], a Canadian collaboration between Ontario’s OurDigitalWorld and the British Columbia Library Association’s Provincial Digital Library[15] and the CEISMIC Canterbury Earthquakes Digital Archive programme.[9]

Supplejack gets its name from the native New Zealand vine Ripogonum scandens, which creates networks of tendrils that can grow at up to 5 cm a day.[16]


  1. ^ a b "About DigitalNZ". DigitalNZ. National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  2. ^ McDowall, Chris (3 November 2011). "Visualising DigitalNZ content over time". DNZ Blog. DigitalNZ. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Media release: Digital New Zealand Launched". National Library of New Zealand website. National Library of New Zealand. 3 December 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  5. ^ "DigitalNZ ā-tihi o Aotearoa: Connecting the Digital Content of New Zealand: Advice, Open Standards and Interoperability". DCMI International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications = 2009.
  6. ^ CONZUL Working Group (1 July 2016). Universities New Zealand Te Pōkai Tara Research Data Management Feasibility Study Report (PDF) (Report). Universities New Zealand. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  7. ^ "DigitalNZ - Making it easy to find New Zealand's digital treasures". June 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Supplejack : Licence". Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  9. ^ a b Susan Bouterey; Lawrence E. Marceau (14 August 2018). "Chapter 10 The Challenges, the Project, and the Politics: Lessons from Six Years of the UC CEISMIC Canterbury Earthquakes Digital Archive". Crisis and Disaster in Japan and New Zealand: Actors, Victims and Ramifications. Springer. ISBN 9789811302442.
  10. ^ "Supplejack : About". Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  11. ^ "NZOSA Awards 2016". New Zealand Open Source Awards. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  12. ^ "DIGITALNZ Wins at the NZ Open Source Awards". Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Singapore adopts NZ search service". 27 March 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  14. ^ Ngā Taonga Annual Report 2015/16 (PDF) (Report). Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  15. ^ Barry, Matthew; Sifton, Daniel. Towards a Cross-Canadian Digital Library Platform (PDF) (Report). Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  16. ^ "International appetite for Supplejack metadata aggregator". Retrieved 31 May 2019.

External links[edit]