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ABC to open access to digital archives

Thursday 15 Dec 2011
The ABC and Education Services Australia have garnered an A$20 million (US$19.8 million) project to digitalise the public broadcaster’s archives for a new education portal, iTnews reports.


The NBN Education Portal, announced jointly by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and School Education Minister Peter Garrett, will offer public access to ABC’s archive and interactive content.

It would be specifically targeted at primary schools and linked to the school curriculum, allowing teachers to use the portal as a resource.

It would offer tutorials on Australian historical social issues and “self-directed interactive learning activities” such as games, quizzes and collaborative projects.

The ABC has taken on digitalisation of its television, radio and other archives at various times to mixed reactions from communities. Its attempt to digitalise 70 years’ worth of radio archives in 2001 was opposed by librarians and other communities amid fears the new format would lose data.

The public broadcaster most recently opened some of its archives to the public under a creative commons by attribution license.

Regardless of the NBN, the website – due for release next year – will be publicly available and accessible from any computer.

It is set to cost A$19.94 million (US$19.77 million) over three years for set-up funds and ongoing content additions.

The portal project was formed out of the Department of Broadband’s digital economy strategy released earlier this year.

One of the eight outlined goals stipulates moves to expand online education and provide “the connectivity to develop and collaborate on innovative and flexible educational services and resources to extend online learning resources to the home and workplace”.