State-of-the-Art Digital Platform Brings History to Life: Launch of Living Histories @ UON

Living Histories @ UON Invite
Living Histories @ UON Invite

State-of-the-Art Digital Platform Brings History to Life

Launch of Living Histories @ UON

Friday 24 February 2017

10:30am in Videoconferencing Room, Level 3, Auchmuty Library

The University of Newcastle Library is the first Australian institution to roll out a new online platform bringing history to life: Living Histories @ UON.

Living Histories @ UON, powered by New Zealand Micrographic Services’ Recollect product is a state-of-the-art online platform providing access to tens of thousands of digital items including photographs, audio, video, exhibitions, oral histories and more. This remarkable software enables more opportunities for student and community engagement and collaboration than ever before. Andy Fenton, Managing Director, NZMS, said “We are so thrilled to have the University of Newcastle as our first Australian customer. They have rich and interesting heritage collections that are a credit to them and their community past and present. ”

Living Histories @ UON will, for the first time, bring together over 20 years of digital content that has been created by the University Library’s Cultural Collections, from its Archives, Rare Books & Special Collections. These represent digital information and content spanning the Hunter Region’s cultural heritage across 50,000 years of Aboriginal human habitation, encompassing 200 years of European migrant cultures.

“Using a variety of online platforms, we have reached a vast number of researchers across the region, nation and world. It’s been great to be able to finally bring our region’s human expression, in all its forms under the one roof” said Gionni Di Gravio, University Archivist & Chair, Hunter Living Histories Initiative.

The decision was made to bring all of the digitised output into one repository that would enable academic, local and international research communities to collaborate with the digital holdings by contributing information, identifications, articles, photos, geotags and comments.

After an exhaustive evaluation of the major offerings in digital asset management systems, Recollect by New Zealand Micrographic Services was the clear winner, and over the past year the Cultural Collections team has worked closely with NZMS to implement the system. “The Cultural Collections Flickr site of some 60,000 images was migrated across to Living Histories @ UON, followed by over 3,000 PDF publications, 1,000 plus audio and 57 video files.” said Lyn Keily, Special Collections Librarian. “Recollect has many strengths, including the ability to establish linkages between items to show relationships such as place, event and people“ she said.

The really exciting part is the many opportunities it will provide for community interaction and collaboration. The UON Library is setting up a GLAMx Living Histories Digitisation Lab, within the Auchmuty Library incorporating an Artefact Conservation and 3D Digitisation Atelier, and a Film Digitisation Lab. This facility will enable the University to provide Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and other training opportunities for students enabling them to work in collaborative teams with professionals across the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) sector. The digital products of these endeavours will all find a home in the Living Histories @ UON platform that will enable them to be shared with researchers, scholars and the general community.

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