Saturday, June 2, 2012

Digitizing Australasian Legal History

A session at the 2012 “Law Via the Internet” Conference to be held at the Cornell Law School in October includes the session Digitising Australasian Legal History.  Speaking will be Andrew Mowbray, Professor of Law and Information Technology, University of Technology, Sydney, Graham Greenleaf, Professor of Law & Information Systems, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, Philip Chung, and Brent Salter.  The announcement explains:
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, incorporation of handwritten sources into a searchable collection, and data mining of all content for automated citator construction.