Skip to content

Skip to menu

Pandora : Australia's Web Archive National Library of Australia and Partners
Home > About PANDORA > An Overview

pandora overview

The purpose of the PANDORA Archive

PANDORA, Australia's Web Archive was established by the National Library in 1996 and is a collection of historic online publications relating to Australia and Australians. Online publications and web sites are selected for inclusion in the collection with the purpose of providing long-term and persistent access to them.

Collecting scope

The PANDORA Archive is a selective collection of web publications and websites relating to Australia and Australians. It includes materials that document the cultural, social, political life and activities of the Australian community and intellectual and expressive activities of Australians.

Collecting responsibility

The National Library of Australia has a responsiblity to develop collections of library materials, regardless of format, which document the history and culture of Australia and the Australian people. Since the mid-1990s unique Australian information began to be published on the World Wide Web, and the Library extended its collecting activity to preserve for future generations of Australia content published online. Because of the volume of material being published and the complexity of the task of identifying and curating content,the Library has sought to work in collaboration with state and territory libraries and other cultural heritage agencies to share collecting responsibilities.

Discovering the contents of PANDORA

The full text of archived content in indexed and selected titles are catalogued and included in the National Bibliographic Database. Both the full-text index and catalogue records are searchable through the Library's national single search discover service (Trove) .

The PANDORA collection can be browsed through subject and alphabetical listings on the PANDORA Home Page.

Search services, such as Yahoo! and Google, index the Archive down to the level of selected individual titles, but not the full contents of the collection.

Legal deposit

In building its print collections, the National Library relies on the legal deposit provisions of the Copyright Act 1968, which requires publishers to deposit one copy of each edition of a work with the Library. These provisions do not yet cover electronic publications. Most of the States also have legal deposit legislation, some of which include provisions for physical format electronic publications, such as CD-ROM and DVD. Of the deposit libraries contributing to PANDORA, only the Northern Territory Library has legislation which specifically includes online publications. In the absence of legal deposit provisions for online publications and web sites permission is sought of publishers before copying a title into the Archive.

PANDORA Digital Archiving System (PANDAS)

To support the acquisition and management of increasing volumes of data, as well as to support more efficient archive building for participants at remote work stations, the Library developed the PANDORA Digital Archiving System (PANDAS), the first release of which took place in June 2001, with version 2 being released in August 2002. A considerably enhanced and completely re-engineered version of the software, PANDAS 3, was released into production at the National Library in July 2007.

PANDORA Fact Sheet

A downloadable colour brochure (Word document) summarising the PANDORA Archive is available here.

PANDORA Statistics

For information about the size of the PANDORA Archive go to the statistics page.