Migration experiences: Acknowledging the past, and sustaining the present and future
School of Arts and Humanities
Australia is recognised as one of the world’s most culturally and ethnically diverse nations. Immigration has historically played an important role in the nation’s economic, social and cultural development. There is a pressing need to find innovative technological and archival approaches to deal with the challenge to digitally preserve Australia’s migrant heritage, especially given the ageing of the European communities that were the first to come under the postwar mass migration scheme. This paper reports on plans for a national collaborative project to develop the foundational infrastructure for a dynamic, interoperable, migrant data resource for research and education. The Migration Experiences platform will connect and consolidate heterogeneous collections and resources and will provide an international exemplar underscoring the importance of digital preservation of cultural heritage and highlighting the opportunities new technologies can offer. The platform will widen the scope and range of the interpretative opportunities for researchers, and foster international academic relationships and networks involving partner organisations (universities, libraries, museums, archives and genealogical institutions). In doing so, it will contribute to better recognition and deeper understanding of the continuing role played by immigrants in Australia’s national story.