Digitising Australasian Legal History

  • Video (starts at 34:50)

    AustLII has in 2012 embarked on a two year program of comprehensive digitisation of all the key sources of 200 years of Australasian legal history back to the inception of each colony and territory in Australia and New Zealand. This paper will explain how the project is being carried out, demonstrate its initial achievements, and discuss the challenges presented by particular categories of sources and how they are being addressed. These challenges include sourcing collections of data (including negotiation of destructive or non destructive digitisation, and post-digitisation negotiation of ‘data swaps’ with commercial legal publishers), meta-data extraction, affordable technology for mass digitisation, extraction of case reports from already digitised historical archives, incroporation of handwritten sources into a searchable collection, and data mining of all content for automated citator construction.