One of the great things about the Internet is its power to democratise information, making educational and factual resources available to anyone with an Internet connection.
Such a resource is available in our very own back yard, it turns out. Victoria University’s New Zealand Electronic Text Centre (www.nzetc.org) is a veritable gold mine of New Zealand history and writing, and it’s all available absolutely free of charge, 24 hours a day.
Created in 2002, the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre is a digital library of New Zealand and Pacific Island material, and consists of both heritage material and born-digital resources. The collection is substantial, contains over 2600 texts (around 65,000 pages) and receives over 10,000 visits a day.
Archived texts are organised into subjects, including autobiography, contemporary Maori and Pacific islands, language, literary criticism and history, New Zealand history, and science and natural history.
The collection can be browsed according to author, subject, work or project. Searching via project allows users to browse a fascinating collection of Maori legal documents, collections of letters and diaries, novels and histories, including collected war writings and historical parliamentary reports.
Not just a resource for history buffs, the Electronic Text Centre offers a fascinating glimpse into well known events and lesser known writings, all available for anyone who cares to take a look.
For more information and to keep up to date with what’s happening at the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre, visit nzetc.blogspot.com