Matapihi

I am going to be discussing The National Library of New Zealand for my final project, so I wanted to share one of their projects, Matapihi. Matapihi is collection of digital collections from many cultural organizations in New Zealand. It enables you to search across the different cultural organizations. Matapihi is powered by DigitalNZ (http://www.digitalnz.org/about). In order to contribute to Metapihi, institutions need to have 3 things: “digital resources that are freely available online and copyright cleared,existing sources of description metadata or the resources to create new metadata, at least one contact person who can oversee the project in that organisation.” According to The National Library of New Zealand, “The purpose of Matapihi is to promote New Zealand culture and heritage, and in particular to showcase together cultural organisations and their heritage collections online.”

Concerning metadata, it is stored on Matapihi and the digital resources remain with the organization who contributed them. The “metadata is harvested from the participating organization’s site by DigitalNZ and placed into a database hosted by the National Library”. Matapihi uses Dublin Core to centrally store its metadata. It’s also interesting to note that the site is (partially) bilingual (English and Maori).

Matapihi has a really nice interface and it is easily searchable. Each record includes a link to the object’s record in the contributing organization’s catalog. You can filter your search by location, creator, date, content provider, etc (the filters are located on the right side of the page…because New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere…?). It differs from picture Australia because it showcases more than just images.

Obviously, Matapihi provides access to a number of New Zealand’s cultural heritage objects and collections. One issue that I see, however, is that only the “main” part of the site can be viewed in Maori. Once you begin to search, the results are in English. Despite this, I think that along with access, Matapihi promotes a sense of collaboration and community.

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