Archives NZ partners with Axiell to improve access
20 November 2019
Archives NZ partners with Axiell to improve access to New Zealand's archives heritage
Today Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga welcomed a new partnership with Axiell, the world’s leading supplier of software to the cultural sector, to manage their unique archives. Archives New Zealand will replace their collection management and search tool, Archway, with Axiell Collections so that Archives staff can work more efficiently, and New Zealanders can have better access to the nation’s taonga and public archives.
Archives New Zealand preserves and protects more than seven million official records, from 19th century treaties to 21st century documents and data. Their goal is for all New Zealanders to easily access and use this taonga while connecting to their history, stories, rights and entitlements – now and for the future.
Richard Foy, Chief Archivist welcomes the new partnership with Axiell saying, “Plans for a new Archives building to improve the protection of and access to some of New Zealand’s most significant and valuable documents is underway through the government programme Preserving the Nation’s Memory.
“Axiell’s software will not only give people better access to our nation's history but will also enable staff to easily relocate records between physical locations in real time making the transition between the old and new buildings far more efficient.
The new portal based on Axiell Arena will make discoverability and access to the archival collections easier for customers, which include: writers, academics, legal researchers, professional historians, journalists, genealogists, and film and documentary makers. In addition, Axiell will establish a hosting centre in the region, which meets the high security standards the institution and the New Zealand government holds.
Being in partnership with Axiell will provide Archives New Zealand with the flexibility to upgrade and improve their systems, and to create the best possible user experience. The Axiell Collections “off the shelf” software suite will allow better management of Archives born-digital records.
Joel Sommerfeldt, President & CEO of Axiell Group, says, “We’re extremely proud to be selected as a partner to Archives New Zealand. Our mission is to make a sustainable difference by helping to create communities that are conscious, informed and culturally rich. Our customers provide services that shape democracy, culture, literacy and education and we have made it our business to lead the digitization of these services, making them more accessible and attractive to their consumers.”
Archives NZ and Axiell will begin work on the new platform this week. The work is estimated to take just over 18 months, launching in the first half of 2021.
We will be looking to talk to user groups as we implement this system. If you are interested in being involved, please contact us.
Archives NZ and Preserving the Nation's Memory
Archives NZ is one of Aotearoa’s documentary heritage organisations. Ensuring New Zealand’s record of government is collected, preserved and made accessible is part of Archives NZ 2057 Strategy and the Preserving the Nation’s Memory programme is a vehicle for achieving this.
Archives NZ and the National Library hold statutory responsibility to collect, preserve, protect and make accessible this documentary heritage. They are the stewards of our nation’s irreplaceable taonga, valued at $1.7 billion and growing.
The programme Preserving the Nation’s Memory was established to seek a solution for the appropriate care and management of New Zealand’s taonga and documentary heritage material, which includes: government records, publications, books, manuscripts, artwork, scientific data, images, films, recordings and more.
Preserving the Nation’s Memory is a multi-year programme working towards the upgrade and expansion of the physical infrastructure, storage capacity and system support for digital memory of Archives NZ and the National Library of New Zealand with the possible inclusion of Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision.
Axiell serves libraries, schools, archives, museums and authorities with technically advanced and innovative solutions developed in close cooperation with its customers in 55 countries. More than 3000 library organisations with thousands of branches use an Axiell library management system and Axiell Arena, a tool for the virtual library. The systems for archives, libraries and museums are used by over 3400 cultural institutions over the world. In addition, more than 3000 schools use an Axiell system. The Axiell Group, headquartered in Lund, has more than 310 employees based out of 26 offices in Sweden, Australia, Abu Dhabi, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. Together, they form one of the world’s largest companies in these sectors.
Frequently asked questions
Why are you replacing Archives NZ collection management and search, Archway?
We are running this project because the old software is well past its due-by date and no longer fit for purpose.
The new system will give us a variety of new features we are unable to provide in the old.
The new system will tie all the index information together. It's web-based, so you'll be able to use it in-browser from your computer and from your phone. The new system can even be linked to external databases, so Archives New Zealand holdings will show up as results in other search engines if we choose to allow it. The new system will also allow Archives to track and move records to our new buildings more efficiently as part of the Preserving the Nation’s Memory programme of work. This project is a dependency for that work.
What are we replacing?
We are replacing the following systems:
Archives Location Finder
Preservation and Collection Valuation databases
Our new platform will have some of the same features that are in the existing applications and a few new options that will make the application ready for digital-born records.
Where is the datacentre based?
The datacentre is based in New Zealand – we will be hosting on our shores.
The company supplying datacentre services is currently an accredited supplier for DIA with multiple locations in Wellington, Hamilton, Auckland and Christchurch.
Why are we using an onshore hosting provider?
Archives is entrusted with many important government records about New Zealanders. In the future, more and more records will be digital-born – no paper copies.
To keep our digital records safe, the Archives Leadership Team have made an informed decision to use onshore hosting at a Tier 3 datacentre provider. Our hosting model will be similar to the model used by Passports so that we can ensure that Archives' data stays secure within New Zealand jurisdiction.
Will the new platform have the capability to store Māori metadata?
Yes, this was one of the high-level capabilities that we requested as part of the core requirements.
The product has an extensible data model with flexibility to configure the data model to accommodate field names in multiple languages.
Can the new platform handle changes to the data model?
Being in partnership with the world’s number one supplier in archives and repository management systems will provide Archives New Zealand with the flexibility to upgrade and improve their systems, and to create the best possible user experience.
The Axiell Collections “off the shelf” software suite will allow better management of Archives digital born records.
When will the new collection management and search platform launch?
The target go-live for the new system is in the first half of 2021.
Will all our documentary heritage be digitised?
Archives NZ is listing and digitising more records, which is part of our 2057 Strategy programme. This project is focussing on migrating existing descriptive data safely to our new system, so that it will more intuitive for all New Zealanders to find our records.
Developing our digital services is a priority for Archives NZ and we are working hard to improve how the public access our documentary heritage online.
Will you be asking users what they want in a new system?
Yes, we will be looking to talk to user groups as we implement this system. If you are interested in being involved, please contact us.
We will also be going out and asking users what they are looking for in a new system, and what they liked in Archway.
Last updated on 18 March 2022