Further to the recent post under the heading "Ngai Tahu Cultural Mapping project" on 27-March-2018, there are some other really interesting scanning projects of historical survey records that are being progressed by the NZMS - New Zealand Micrographic Services.
LINZ have now digitised all North Island Surveyors Fieldbooks up to 1972. There is a RNZ story on this – it has Mike Morris (LINZ) talking about surveying and the people at NZMS talking about the digitisation process. See: RadioNZ 16-Aug-2018
The books themselves are available, free of charge, for anyone to browse the digital images. They should be viewable at fieldbooks.linz.govt.nz/
These include a collection of Napier books (pre-quake ones) which are a very rare resource – these have also been digitised and are available for anyone interested. The originals will eventually be transferred to Archives New Zealand .
[We do know that the South island does exist, and that there are also a bunch of South Island Field Books as well. These are next on the list - we hope....]
The LINZ November "Landwrap" publication reports on:
- the North Island survey field book scanning project (1860-1971); - how to access those field books; (Access NI Fieldbooks 1860-1971) - digitisation of the Auckland Provincial Registers (to be loaded into LandonLine); - digitisation of 300 Roll Plans for the South Island (ECan - Historic SI Maps)
15,000 survey field books digitised Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) has finished a huge project to digitise about 15,000 survey field books – some dating back to the 1860s!
The field books include all existing cadastral surveyors’ books for the North Island Land Districts (Auckland, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki and Wellington) up until 1971. This date was picked as that’s when metric measurements started to be used.
“These books were used by some of the first surveyors to record what they found on journeys that took some of them into uncharted areas,” says LINZ Principal Cadastral Surveyor, Mike Morris.
“They are a unique first written record of the New Zealand landscape and form the very basis of our property system.
As part of the digitisation project, up to 150 books were handed over by a local surveyor in Napier. Many of these date from before 1931 and provide an excellent record of Napier before the earthquake – some of the few to have survived.
“This is incredibly specialised work. Some of these books are very fragile so we’ve had to be very careful when scanning them,” adds Mike.
How to access the field books The field books are now available online and browsable via the Recollect system.
People can locate an individual book, browse through to select the pages they want and then download them. There is no charge for the searching or downloading – although physical books are still held by LINZ and completing an RMC will still be chargeable.
We are working towards all field books being available through Landonline.
Auckland provincial registers, imperial plans and certificates digitised
Alongside the field books a considerable number of other items have also been digitised. These were the items assessed as being both heavily used and fragile.
High-quality digitisation means we can preserve the original while still making it more accessible. The records include: • most North Auckland Provisional Registers • most South Auckland Provisional Registers • most Taranaki Provisional Registers • South Auckland original colour Certificates of Title (up to about 1945) • South Auckland colour Imperial Plans (SO, DP, and ML sequences)
How to access these documents The 70,000 South Auckland Plan images have been loaded directly into Landonline – you will notice the detail and vastly increased readability.
The Certificate of Title and Provisional Register images will be loaded into Landonline progressively, as the numbering and multiple pages make automated loading very difficult. If you want to request a new image, we will load the digital version up for you.
More than 300 roll plans digitised LINZ has finished copying more than 300 roll plans for the South Island, using very large imaging to capture all the detail in high definition. The digitisation is being led by Archives with support from LINZ, Environment Canterbury and Ngāi Tahu.
In the 19th and early 20th century, hundreds of long ‘roll plans’ were painstakingly drawn to map large areas.
Some of these documents are up to 17 metres long so a special machine had to be created by New Zealand Micrographic Services to scan them. It’s labour intensive but important for historic preservation. Surveyors have filled these rolls with details of creeks, streams and Māori pa.
How to access the roll plans Some of the images are available via the ECAN website with more information.
Due to time and cost pressures we haven’t copied as many plans as we would like to but we will continue to look at these in the future. For now we are happy to have 300 of them completed, including many of the Black Maps and some of the early Reconnaissance Surveys of Otago and Southland.
You can access the roll plans by using the Archives New Zealand ‘Archway’ site and searching for ‘roll plans’. Then follow the link for digitised items to the digital image.