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Pandora : Australia's Web Archive National Library of Australia and Partners
Home > About PANDORA > Policy and practice statement

policy and practice statement

PANDORA, Australia’s Web Archive, is a collection of Australian online publications and web sites which is being built by the National Library of Australia and ten other partner agencies.  This initiative was commenced in 1996 by the National Library in recognition of the fact that an increasing volume of Australia's documentary heritage was being published online.  Given the statutory function in the National Library Act, 1960  to build a comprehensive collection of Australian published materials, collecting online resources was seen as a necessary extension of the Library's collecting responsibilities.

Cooperating with other Australian collecting and data creating agencies

The Library is committed to cooperation with other Australian agencies that collect or create online information. 

Because of the large volume of online resources to be archived and preserved and the considerable resource needed to achieve the objective of archiving Australia's online publications, the Library pursued a policy of cooperation with state and territory libraries and other cultural collecting agencies.  It set up technical infrastructure, policy and procedures for archiving online publications and web sites and invited other collecting agencies to join it in building the PANDORA Archive. The technical infrastructure and archived content remains centrally located at the National Library. 

The National Library and partners operate on the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding between the NLA and each partner agency. 

The Library has set up this infrastructure and continues to develop and maintain it without cost to other participating agencies.  It intends to continue this supporting role at no cost for as long as its own resources permit.

Collecting policy

Each PANDORA partner agency curates material for the Archive in accordance with their collection development policy and specific PANDORA collecting guidelines where this are established. These guidelines are made available on the PANDORA web site .

Because each contributing partner agency follows its own selection guidelines and priorities and contributes in accordance with available resources, there may not be consistency of collecting across all jurisdictions in regard to the type or extent of material selected.


Access to the PANDORA Archive is freely available online through the Trove Australian Web Archive.  Access to a small number of titles are restricted for legal or commercial reasons. 


Catalogue records are created for many titles archived in PANDORA and these records are contributed to the Australian National Bibliographic Database, available through the Libraries Australia service, or through the online catalogues of partner agencies and through Trove. 


Archiving workflows rely on the PANDAS system for which manuals are published on the PANDORA web site. 

Permission to archive

Archiving in PANDORA is carried out in accordance with applicable legislation, government directives and arrangements with publishers. 

Commonwealth legislation in the Copyright Act 1968 includes legal deposit provisions covering online materials.

A Whole-of-Government ICT Policy (AGIMO Circular 2010/001) provides additional warrant for the National Library to collect, preserve and make accessible Commonwealth Government online (digital) publications and websites.


The purpose of the Archive is to provide long-term access to Australia’s heritage  published on the Web.    The contents of the Archive will be preserved according to the Library’s Digital Preservation Policy.  As hardware and software changes and the need arises for preservation action to be taken on files in PANDORA, the Library will strive to maintain the ‘look and feel’, as well as the content, of titles.  For technical and resource reasons this may not always be possible but it will aim for the ideal on a ‘best efforts’ basis. The Library's ambitions in respect to preservation for the selective web archive content are set out in its preservation intent statement.