The future of the Dictionary of Sydney is in jeopardy, following a threat by the Council of the City of Sydney to withdraw promised funding for 2012-2013. The news was reported on the Dictionary's blog yesterday. Staff there are trying to raise awareness of the threat to win support for the project's continuance.
The Dictionary is a collaborative, ever-expanding resource. It provides locals, visitors and academics with detailed information about Sydney and its history in a digital format.
In May, 2011, the Council voted to fund this ground-breaking digital history project for five years, but is now considering withholding those funds. While the Dictionary has attracted some philanthropic funding, the amount raised would not save it from closure. If the promised Council funds are not made available, the Dictionary will have to close next month. Staff will lose their jobs and no new material will be published. Existing projects will be mothballed.
The Dictionary of Sydney has been live less than three years and staff believe it would be a great shame to see this outstanding digital history project fold. The matter may be debated at the next City Council meeting on Monday 30 July 2012, so support for the Dictionary is being sought now.
Anyone wishing to show support for the Dictionary's work can lobby the City of Sydney Council directly. Dictionary staff have created a template for letters. The link also contains the contact email addresses for councillors.