The National Library collects, and preserves for long-term access, snapshots of websites that document and reflect Australian society and culture. The selective collection of websites and web documents curated by the Library and its partner organisations is publicly accessible and is known as the PANDORA Archive. The Library also conducts bulk harvests of Commonwealth Government website for a second web archive service called the Australian Government Web Archive (AGWA).
In addition, the National Library also partners with the Internet Archive to collect and preserve for long-term access selected Asia/Pacific websites related to specific events or socio-political groups.
The PANDORA Archive
Since 1996, the Library in collaboration with state libraries and other heritage organisations has been selecting, collecting and archiving copies of Australian web sites and online publications through a program know as the PANDORA Archive. The objective of this program is to ensure long-term access to this important form of Australia's documentary heritage. In recognition of its significance the PANDORA Archive was placed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Australian Register in August 2004.
Content ranges from single files, such as a text document in PDF, to large web sites, consisting of thousands of files in a variety of formats, including text, sound, image or video
In addition to government and academic publications, the Archive also includes sites representing cultural activity, Australia’s diverse peoples, community concerns, political activity such as election campaigns, sport, and many other topics.
Many titles are re-gathered on a regular basis to capture updated content and changes to the website that happen over time.
To the extent that resources and the technical constraints associated with capturing the content allow, the ‘look and feel’ appearance and functionality of the original website are maintained in the archived copy. However, site searching, forms and other interactive functionality associated with the original 'live' site is not able to be retained in the 'static' archived version. Sometimes certain content cannot be collected in the harvesting (copying) process. This may leave evident gaps in the content, appearance and functionality of the archived version when compared with the original.
Most content in the Archive is freely accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world. A small amount of content may have access restrictions applied for commercial or legal reasons.
Content may be found by searching the 'Archived websites (1996 - now)' section of the Library's discover service Trove, searching the Library's online catalogue (adding 'PANDORA electronic collection' to your search query) or by browsing subject listings and titles on the PANDORA Website.
The Australian Government Web Archive (AGWA)
In March 2014 the National Library released a new web archive to make available bulk harvested collections of Commonwealth Government websites. The Library began regular (at least annual) harvests of Commonwealth Government websites in June 2011 under whole-of-government arrangements approved in May 2010. The AGWA is also the first publicly released service arising from the Library's objectives to work with the tools and infrastructure required for the large scale - as distinct from selective - collection of websites and to deliver a modern web archive discovery portal. The AGWA service is not yet integrated into the Library's single discovery service (Trove) and can be accessed through the AGWA website.
Since 2007 the Library, in partnership with the Internet Archive, has been selecting, collecting and archiving copies of Asia/Pacific websites through a service called Archive-It. The objective is to ensure long-term access to websites from the region related to significant events or socio-political groupings as an important resource for future researchers.
Content in the Archive is freely accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world, and is hosted by Archive-It.
Content may be found by searching the Library's online catalogue or via the listings on the Archived Websites pages for each county/region: