Kōrero Kitea: Ngā hua o te whakamamatitanga
The impacts of digitised te reo archival collections
Kōrero Kitea is a research project that explores some of the ways digitised te reo collections are being used. It asks how that use affects the people and communities who use digitised collections.
The research was conducted by Victoria University of Wellington, with support and contribution from the Alexander Turnbull Library, and funding from the InterPARES Trust project.
This paper represents some initial steps in understanding these impacts. Institutions that invest in digitising archival material will find it useful when planning around future digitisation programmes, and reporting and assessing the impact of their investment.
The name ‘Kōrero Kitea’ is a reflection on the concept of ‘kanohi kitea’, which means to have a physical presence, or literally, that your ‘face is seen’.
In its original form, the phrase expresses the importance of meeting people face to face, and to be seen and known amongst Māori communities. In the title of this project, we are referring to the kōrero – or expressions of the ancestors which are present in our archival collections – being discovered by the communities that they relate most to, through the act of digitisation.
Te reo Māori is used as a case study as few things represent mātauranga Māori more than the language itself. New Zealand institutions have had key te reo archives (including 19th century newspapers and letters in Māori) available online for many years, and there continues to be a drive to digitise more.
These collections provide an excellent opportunity for research that reflects on the impact of what has been achieved so far, and using that research to inform future digitisation activities and engagement between the memory sector and the users of the collections.
The summary outlines three key findings; which are provided in the report, along with analysis of the whole survey.
- The whanaungatanga (relationships) supported by sharing and reusing digitised collections.
- Ways in which digitisation affects the wairua (spirit) of collections.
- An indication of how digitisation of te reo collections provides impact to New Zealand by delivering to key government outcome-based strategies.