An alternative search system for Archives NZ, inspired by the beautiful simplicity of the beloved Archway system.
The search results displayed here are sourced directly the backend of Archives NZ's publically available Collections Search system, in almost exactly the same way that the official website works, but organised and displayed differently.
To start with, you can do a straight-forward search with a few keywords and an optional date range and whether to focus on digitised items. You then have the option to filter the results futher (such as by Series and Format - photos, documents, etc).
The Advanced Search allows you to search with criteria such as showing only Series or Agency results, records held in a specific location, plus sorting and grouping options.
You can also browse within a Series or Accession by clicking the Series name. Search for records within that Series by using the search box on that page.
Digitised records can be viewed by clicking on the thumbnail or the 'Show Scan' links. This embeds a simple viewer directly in the page. You can switch to the official Archives NZ viewer by clicking the 🌀 Archives NZ Source link under the viewer.
Public complaints about Collections Search have been made by Crown Law, Te Arawhiti, the Archives & Records Association of NZ (ARANZ), the Professional Historians' Association of NZ (PHANZA) and the Treaty Research Officials' Committee (TROC).
Reporting by RNZ's Phil Pennington produced an internal Archives NZ report on Collections Search, describing: "Several significant issues ... slowness, a lack of booking functionality and an external user design that makes accessing archival records dificult. The level of user experience in place now is well below what was in place before the roll out". The report goes on to detail a number of privacy breaches, "continued delays by the vendor" on software improvements, and outages of 29 days in total, out of the ten months since launch.
This alternative search system aims to address some of the shortcomings of Collections Search, such as:
Great question! In a nutshell, your searches are visible to me, but anonymous.
Your search queries on this system are recorded in logs for a period of time, without any user-identifiable information associated with them, for debugging purposes.
I have no way of identifying you as a person, or associating your search queries with you.
This website does not use Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, or any other analytics/tracking software.