Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2006 — The Honourable Edward Gough Whitlam AC QC, former Prime Minister of Australia and a "National Living Treasure" as selected by The National Trust of Australia, recognized the digital curation success of the University of Western Sydney's Whitlam Institute in a speech given yesterday at the State Library of Victoria. The online institute (http://library.uws.edu.au/whitlam/), which provides a comprehensive collection of the Prime Minister's papers, diaries, and photographs, is a digital archiving collaboration between the University of Western Sydney and Endeavor Information Systems (www.endinfosys.com), one of the leading worldwide providers of library management software.
Held in conjunction with the biennial conference of the Victorian Association for Library Automation (VALA), Mr. Whitlam's appearance highlighted an Endeavor-sponsored virtual treasure hunt featuring clues referencing a "national living treasure," as well as other questions regarding Endeavor customers and products.
During the past year, the University of Western Sydney has expanded its use of Endeavor technology by employing Curator as the main digital repository for the Whitlam e-collection. Based on open technology standards, Curator delivers a cost-effective solution for searching, creating, and managing all digital resources. Since 1999, the university has been using Endeavor's Voyager solution, which is an integrated library management system used by over 1,300 academic and research libraries globally.
"Honoured by the challenging and somewhat daunting task of digitally capturing the life and work of a national icon, one of Australia's most prolific writers, social commentators, and statesmen, the library staff at the University of Western Sydney has worked tirelessly to make this vision a reality," said Liz Curach, University Librarian at the University of Western Sydney. "This project has benefited infinitely from our relationship with Endeavor, as its Curator product provides a practical framework for managing a digital collection of this significance and scope, with an interface that makes the Prime Ministerial collection easily accessible."
The e-collection includes photographs of Mr. Whitlam throughout his life, including several taken during his time as a navigator in the Royal Australian Air Force during World War Two. It also includes Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF versions of numerous speeches spanning his extensive public career, as well as archival footage of campaign speeches and unprecedented landmark events in Australia's political and constitutional history from the 1970s.
"It's an honour for our organization to be affiliated with the Whitlam Institute, as it represents a treasure trove of political and social artifacts that will be of immeasurable value to future generations of students, scholars, and admirers," said Don Muccino, Chief Operating Officer at Endeavor, who attended Mr. Whitlam's speech. "In the future, we anticipate that similar digital curation efforts will become more commonplace, as various schools, governments, and corporations realize the long-term value of preserving historical and cultural heritage materials."
About The Whitlam Institute within The University of Western Sydney
The University of Western Sydney is a young and energetic university, established in 1989. The University of Western Sydney has a three-part focus: teaching, research, and working with the community. The Whitlam Institute is an entity within the University's Division of Development and International and, in particular, gives effect to the third pillar of UWS activity – community and regional engagement. The Whitlam Institute supports the development of the University of Western Sydney and its region by contributing to the intellectual life and enrichment of Greater Western Sydney. At the heart of the Institute is the Whitlam Prime Ministerial collection, providing access to a wealth of previously inaccessible glimpses into the life and extensive career of Australia's elder statesman.
About Endeavor Information Systems
Endeavor Information Systems produces advanced library management systems for research and public librarians seeking to integrate ever-increasing electronic resources within their collections. Since 1994, Endeavor has pioneered library management systems by offering enhanced functionality coupled with intuitive interfaces that increase usability and efficiency. Its heritage of technological innovation and service to libraries as well as its significant financial strength as a wholly owned subsidiary of Elsevier combine to make Endeavor Information Systems an industry leader. Visit Endeavor at www.endinfosys.com for more information.
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