Thursday, 26 October 2006

Williams' "A Dictionary of The Maori Language" now online

Kia ora koutou!

It's my pleasure to announce on behalf of the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre that A Dictionary of the Maori Language (1957 edition), by Herbert William Williams, has been digitised and is now freely available online.

The NZETC is a unit within the VUW Library, whose mission includes building a free online library of NZ and Pacific resources. As well as the Williams dictionary, the NZETC's online collection also includes the Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary by Edward Tregear, as well as a number of works relating to Maori history and culture, mostly by 19th century Pakeha historians and ethnographers.

At present the Williams dictionary can be browsed like any other text on the NZETC website, chapter by chapter, though in the future we intend to use this and our other dictionaries to offer online word-lookup services like that offered by Learning Media using the Ngata dictionary.

We would be grateful to receive feedback from readers: comments both positive and negative, suggestions, and errata.

The NZ Electronic Text Centre has recently added several other digitised books to our free online collection

This batch consists mainly of more texts on New Zealand colonial history, and the New Zealand Wars. The new texts since our last announcement are:
As usual, we have identified the names of many people (and places, etc) within these texts, in order that each mention of a person's name is hyperlinked to an index page containing a thumbnail gallery of images related to that person, links to other texts which they wrote, or in which they're mentioned, as well as links to relevant pages on other sites such as the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Te Ara, Wikipedia, and the National Library of New Zealand. An example is the page on Hone Heke

This update brings to 48,800 the number of pages on the NZETC website. Of these, about half are pages about authors, or about people, places, and organisations mentioned in the texts, and the other half are chapters and sub-sections of books, including over 8,500 figures.

We've just recently installed a rather flash new server for running our website software. This means we can now update the site more frequently, fixing errors more promptly, publishing new texts as soon as they're digitised, and introducing some new features. The first new feature to be added will be a high-level index of the site by subject and genre.