Jason Darwin - He Pātaka Kupu Ture The Legal Māori Archive


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The New Zealand Electronic Text Centre has recently made available online around 14,000 pages of nineteenth century documents, largely written in Te Reo, as part of a collaboration with the Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Law. These documents illustrate the bi-lingual nature of New Zealand’s legal history, and are testament to the strong engagement between nineteenth-century Māori and the colonial governments of that time. This presentation looks at the process involved in making this collection of texts available, and considers some of the technical and cultural issues associated with the project.

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Jason Darwin - He Pātaka Kupu Ture The Legal Māori Archive

  1. 1. He Pātaka Kupu Ture The Legal Māori Archive New Zealand Electronic Text Centre www.nzetc.org
  2. 2. What is it? <ul><li>Around 14,000 pages of previously-printed material available online </li></ul><ul><li>An archive of predominantly Te Reo 19 th century documents </li></ul><ul><li>Documents have legal importance, though are not necessarily legal documents </li></ul><ul><li>Formal documents (land deeds, proclamations, petitions ) through to informal ( letters , and speeches ) </li></ul><ul><li>Many documents related to land purchase and land alienation </li></ul><ul><li>Includes important documents such as Turton and MacKay land deeds </li></ul>
  3. 3. How did it come about? <ul><li>Collection digitised as part of Legal Māori Dictionary project </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration between Victoria University of Wellington Library and the Victoria University of Wellington School of Law </li></ul><ul><li>Need a wide range of M āori language works for inclusion in corpus </li></ul><ul><li>Realisation that copyright not an issue for 19 th century documents </li></ul><ul><li>Serendipitous result of having full-text collection available online as part of building 19 th century corpus </li></ul>
  4. 4. M ā ori Legal Dictionary Project <ul><li>M ā ori Legal Dictionary due for completion in 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Funded by FORST ( $593,000 ) and Victoria University ($80,000) </li></ul><ul><li>Based on corpus of 6 million M ā ori words </li></ul><ul><li>2,500 entries expected in completed dictionary </li></ul><ul><li>Primary aims are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ to normalise the Māori language in the enactment, use and communication of Western legal ideas; or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to provide bilingual Māori speakers with a resource that assists in the provision of a language environment in which such speakers can effectively and feasibly  choose to use Māori rather than English in the civic sphere, including the courts.  Such choice is critically important for effective language revitalisation   (Grin and Vaillancourt, 1998 )” </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. M ā ori Legal Dictionary Project <ul><li>Criteria for inclusion: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>printed in Māori, between the years of 1830-2009; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>printed to be read or distributed to 3 or more Māori speakers; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>with the communicative function of explaining, clarifying and challenging and using Western legal concepts </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. How was it produced? <ul><li>Suitable texts identified by Mamari and her team </li></ul><ul><li>Books in M ā ori invaluable as a finding aid </li></ul><ul><li>Only considered previously-printed documents </li></ul><ul><li>Only considered documents prior 1900 (though some series extend into early 20 th century) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Process <ul><li>Identification of candidate texts </li></ul><ul><li>Scanning of pages </li></ul><ul><li>Encoding to TEI XML by double-keyboarding </li></ul><ul><li>Identification of M āori and non-Māori text passages </li></ul><ul><li>Generation of text for corpus analysis from XML </li></ul><ul><li>Generation of webpages from XML </li></ul>
  8. 8. What issues were encountered? <ul><li>Thankfully, copyright not an issue </li></ul><ul><li>Incomplete holdings </li></ul><ul><li>Some very large texts: Turton's Epitome is around 1 million words </li></ul><ul><li>Interesting typographical challenges: Williams wh ligature and turned-G </li></ul><ul><li>Cherry-picking of larger resources: AJHRs and Ko Te Kahiti o Nui Tireni </li></ul><ul><li>Restricted to printed-sources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No inclusion of oral sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No inclusion of hand-written sources </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Usage <ul><li>Live since June 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Around 5,000 visits / 13,000 page views per month </li></ul><ul><li>92% of visitors via search engines </li></ul><ul><li>Predominantly NZ visitors, but also significant Australian visitors </li></ul><ul><li>Average time on site: around 3 minutes (better than NZETC average) </li></ul><ul><li>Collection is getting higher usage than average for NZETC general collection </li></ul><ul><li>Most popular resources are Turton and MacKay’s Land Deeds, but a good spread of search terms used and texts viewed </li></ul>
  10. 10. What happens now? <ul><li>Further integration with NZETC collection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>use of National Library's Iwi-Hapū Names List </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cross-linking to external collections </li></ul><ul><li>Development of 20 th century corpus (but not available online) </li></ul><ul><li>Hopefully, future discussion of making available important resources identified by the project: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>M āori Land Court records </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ko Te Kahiti o Nui </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Achievements? <ul><li>Texts all licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike </li></ul><ul><li>Have made available a number of hard-to-locate texts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rare volumes ( Reports of meetings on Māori church matters ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide access to complete serials ( Ngā Kōrero Paremete 1881-1905 ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Collaboration with a number of New Zealand collections </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alexander Turnbull Library </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hocken Library </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parliamentary Library </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>John Kinder Theological collection </li></ul></ul>