Newspaper Article 2015 – Bay’s history goes digital

Bay’s history goes digital


Hastings’ historical homestead, Stoneycroft, is overflowing with family secrets.

A dedicated group of volunteers is helping create a Knowledge Bank at the location, the brainchild of former Hawke’s Bay Herald Tribune editor James Morgan.

The project began at the end of 2012. Friends of Hawke’s Bay Knowledge Bank volunteer Barbara Haywood says people donate their family histories, which are then processed and given back.

“It’s digitising Hawke’s Bay history to make it available to anyone, anywhere,” she says.

Barbara says material is being uploaded to the website all the time, but the work is limited by the number of volunteers helping with the project.

“We’re not short of material, but we always want more work. ”

Boxes of material on loan are sorted, scanned, evaluated and captioned by about 40 people, five days a week.

One box waiting in line is a handwritten history of Stortford Lodge.

Another chronicles the Scouts in Hawke’s Bay, with Crownthorpe’s 50th and 75th jubilees jostling for their turn.

“Someone gave us all their pictures of Hawke’s Bay on glass plates,” says Barbara.

The major project Knowledge Bank has been working on is recording all the issues of Hawke’s Bay Photo News from 1958 to 1972.

The first stage – to digitise all the magazines – began last year, with the second stage being to copy the text into a searchable format. That will enable browsers to search through the thousands of Hawke’s Bay names mentioned in photo captions, featuring weddings, jamborees, sporting and school events, Blossom Festivals, city celebrations and A&P shows.

The third stage of the project is to upload all the images to the Knowledge Bank website, making the magazines available in a digital format.

Barbara gives high praise to technical support person Rachel Johnson and programmer John Newson, who work at Stoneycroft during the week to make sure all systems are go.

“They are like gold – very, very good. Anything we do here meets the standards of the National Library.”

Stoneycroft, Omahu Rd, opens to the public daily, 10am-3pm.

Photo caption – GOOD AS GOLD: John Newson and Rachel Johnson provide technical support to a Knowledge Bank.

Original digital file


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Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand (CC BY-NC 3.0 NZ)

This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand (CC BY-NC 3.0 NZ).


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Hawke's Bay Knowledge Bank

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Newspaper article

Date published

3 June 2015

Creator / Author

  • Paul Taylor
  • Brenda Vowden


Napier Courier


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