The Grey Online website is dedicated to the Grey Collection, some 14,000 items given to the Auckland Free Public Library in 1887 by Sir George Grey, Governor of New Zealand, politician, linguist, collector, soldier and explorer.
This remarkable gift and its subsequent additions make Auckland City Libraries the location of one of New Zealand’s three major heritage collections.
McGovern Online was asked to create a website to accompany and enhance the exhibition of the Grey Collection held in 2010 at Auckland Central Library. Its purpose was to raise awareness of the Grey Collection and to promote its accessibility.
The website uses a range of web imaging tools to showcase 80 prize pieces from the collection. These items include a rare copy of the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays and an edition of William Blake's poems on Europe and America, which is printed by Blake himself. There are also examples of very early New Zealand printings including some in Te Reo. These items are shown in detail on the site using slideshows, high resolution magnification tools and a small number of ebooks. Visitors can also copy code snippets from the site to embed image displays on their own websites. An example, The Rossdhu Book of Hours can be seen on the left of this page.
McGovern Online has a long relationship with Auckland City Libraries, having designed and developed the first Libraries website in 1999. It was a pleasure to be involved in this project and to work with the dedicated Libraries project team.
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