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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 to ensure the collection and long-term preservation of online publications relating to Australia and Australians. This objective contributes to the Library's statutory function to comprehensively collect Australia's documentary heritage.

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 as well as collecting timely materials that document significant events relating to Australia and the Australian people.

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 web, and the Library extended its collecting activity to preserve for future generations of Australia content published online.

In order to ensure a broad coverage across Australia the PANDORA web archiving program was conceived and developed as a collaborative activity with partner agencies including state and territory libraries and other cultural heritage agencies being responsible for collecting in their jurisdictions or areas of expertise.

Discovering the contents of PANDORA

The archived content collected through the PANDORA program is included in the Trove Australian Web Archive along with other archived web content collected by the NLA through bulk and domain harvesting programs. All content is open and accessible to the public through the Trove discovery service. The web archive is indexed so as to provide for full text and URL searching.

Selected titles collected through PANDORA web archiving are also catalogued and included in the National Bibliographic Database (Libraries Australia) and are searchable through Trove.

Some curated collections can be browsed through the Trove discovery service and full alphabetical listings of archived titles are available from the PANDORA Home Page.

Content is not exposed to commercial search services, such as Google. This is to ensure the archived content does not conflict with the publishers' right to use and manage their content on the live web.

Legal deposit

In building its digital collections, the National Library relies on the legal deposit provisions in section 195CC of the Copyright Act 1968, which requires the deposit of material published online when requested by the Director-General.

PANDORA Digital Archiving System (PANDAS)

To support the collaborative selective web archiving program the Library developed a web-based workflow management tool - one of the first custom designed web archiving workflow systems to be developed anywhere - call the PANDORA Digital Archiving System (PANDAS). The first version of PANDAS was released 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. This version, with numerous enhancements is remains the system currently used by the NLA and PANDORA partners.

PANDORA Statistics

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