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The Journal of the Polynesian Society

The Polynesian Society was founded in 1892 and their primary aim “was the scholarly study of past and present New Zealand Maori and other Pacific Island peoples and cultures.” The Society continues to pursue this goal through this journal, and they have recently worked with The University of Auckland Library to progressively digitize the first 100 years of the journal. Started in 1892, the Journal of the Polynesian Society covers many topics, including archaeology, anthropology, sociology, and geography.

First-time visitors can read the brief introduction to the project on the homepage, and then click on the “Enter” tab to get started. Visitors can browse through each issue at their leisure, and they can also use the “Search” feature to look for specific topics or keywords. [KMG]
Scout Report

The 100 years  milestone
I am a little ashamed to note I missed the big milestone here – that after seven years slog the project is complete – i.e. Volumes 1-100 – the full 100 years of back issues has been digitised from 1892- 1992, and are freely available online, here

Given the uniqueness of the record, the scale of this project is impressive –  the 100 digitised volumes comprise over 3775 individual article-level sections, more than 40,000 individual pages and around 5000 photographs, drawings and maps.

About JPS
As the project owners point out, ‘The Journal of the Polynesian Society has been the world’s premier academic journal for scholarly articles on the archaeology, anthropology, history and linguistics of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Islands, including New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.  Other details on the project include:

Project History

The digitisation project began in 2002 with exploratory talks with the Polynesian Society. Judith Huntsman, the current editor of the JPS, supported the project from its inception. Rose Holley, the former Digital Services Librarian at the University of Auckland Library, designed specifications for outsourcing TEI mark-up. Brian Flaherty, Associate University Librarian, created the website. John Laurie, Digital Initiatives Librarian, assembled and edited the raw files and put them online


The project is powered by b-engine rendering software, a local New Zealand product, developed by Tony Murrow. This produces the fast keyword-in-context search and browse capabilities which distinguish this project.

DataNZ of Auckland were contracted to do the scanning and TEI mark-up.


The project’s completion was  assisted by funding received from the Pacific Rim Digital Library Alliance (PRDLA) … “

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