Historic house gets digital library
A Long-term Vision for Hawke’s Bay
Historic Stoneycroft House is to become home to Hawke’s Bay’s precious memories after the building’s owners, Hastings District Council, gave the green light for a digital archive to be housed there.
The council voted in favour of a proposal by Community Foundation Hawke’s Bay to establish the digital archive at heritage-protected Stoneycroft, which was built in 1874.
The foundation says the library will have state-of-the art studios on the upper level which will scan documents, photographs, pictures and slides for posterity. Other equipment will salvage 8mm and 16mm ﬁlm, while there will be a fully-equipped soundproof story-booth for recording oral history. Foundation spokesman James Morgan says there is a real need for regional archives across New Zealand, and the archive would complement – rather than compete with – work done by other bodies such as Te Papa and the National Library in Wellington.
“We would have links with those national bodies, and the state of the art equipment would be consistent with their operating and training requirements and completely compatible,” James says.
“You can’t have a situation where you have two different gauges on the same railway track.”
James says it will be a major undertaking.
“We are aiming for $1 million – about $700,000 would be for the the equipment itself, and the remainder will be for the installation and some restoration work at Stoneycroft, like new wiring and insulation,” he says.
James says it’s an ambitious project but there’s plenty of support for the idea.
“I’ve had more than 60 emails in support of the project since the council vote. We’ve got the roof over our heads, now we just have to get people to honour their support.”
The foundation hopes for work to commence within six months. The Hawke’s Bay Woodturners’ Guild was also given permission by council to develop proposed clubrooms and ancillary tutoring classes, a small shop and a gallery.