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cations for inclusion in PANDORA,
Australia's Web Archive (http://pandora.
nla.gov.au/). It does so in cooperation with
eight other PANDORA partners, all of
whom have responsibilities for collecting
and preserving Australian documentary
heritage.The mainland State libraries, the
Northern Territory Library, ScreenSound
Australia (the National Film and Sound
Archive) and the Australian War Memorial
are all participants.
E
ach of the partner agencies identifies,
selects, catalogues and archives publi-
cations for which they accept responsibility
as defined by their selection guidelines.
After seven years of archiving Australian
online publications, the National Library
reviewed its guidelines
31
in early 2003 and
set priorities to focus effort on six main
categories:
· Commonwealth and Australian Capital
Territory government publications
· Conference proceedings
A
nother basic decision is whether the
publications will be acquired, or
`ingested', by deposit from the publisher or
by Web harvesting using a harvesting robot
or `crawler'. Almost all archives established
to date rely on Web harvesting, but the
National Library of the Netherlands has
built a major archive based on the deposit
model.
Regardless of approach the archiving
library must:
· identify what is being published;
· decide what is worth saving;
· define roles and responsibilities of
different stakeholders;
· protect archived publications against loss;
· preserve the integrity and guarantee the
authenticity of publications; and
· ensure long-term access and usability.
PANDORA: AUSTRALIA'S WEB ARCHIVE
T
he National Library of Australia selec-
tively harvests Australian online publi-
no easy task. In the print world the princi-
ples and procedures are straightforward and
well established and usually supported by
legal deposit legislation, requiring publish-
ers to deposit one or more copies of every
publication with the national library.
Preservation is also a relatively simple task
with print material. As long as attention is
paid to the security of the collection and it
is kept under controlled conditions of tem-
perature and humidity, there is an excellent
chance that most of it will last hundreds of
years.
T
he situation to be addressed with
online publications is much more
complex (and therefore much more costly)
in every respect and national libraries have
responded to it in a variety of ways. One of
the first and fundamental decisions to be
made is whether to archive online publica-
tions comprehensively (whole domain har-
vesting) or selectively.There are advantages
and disadvantages with both approaches
28
and some national libraries such as Sweden,
Norway, Finland and Iceland have taken the
comprehensive approach, while Canada,
Australia and Japan are archiving selectively.
A
s Web archiving technologies and
practices mature, hybrid, more sophis-
ticated approaches will be possible. An
ideal situation would be a selective archive
complemented by periodic snapshots of
whole or part of a country's domain
and/or subject-based snapshots such as the
Election 2002 Web Archive
29
developed by
the Library of Congress and the Internet
Archive.The National Library of Australia
(http://www.nla.gov.au/) keeps a close
watch on developments in whole domain
archiving with this possibility in view. It is
also interested in the more focused
approach being explored by the Biblio-
thèque Nationale de France, which would
use automated methods to identify and
archive significant sites.
30
28 A summary of the advantages and disadvantages of both the comprehensive and selective approaches is given in sec-
tions 3-5 of Margaret E. Phillips, Collecting Australian Online Publications (2003).
http://pandora.nla.gov.au/BSC49.doc
29 Library of Congress. Election 2002 Web Archive. http://www.loc.gov/minerva/collect/elec2002/
30 Julien Masanès, `Towards Continuous Web Archiving: First Results and an Agenda for the Future' in D-Lib Magazine,
vol. 8, no. 12, December 2002. http://www.dlib.org/dlib/december02/masanes/12masanes.html
31 National Library of Australia, Online Australian Publications: Selection Guidelines for Archiving and Preservation by
the National Library of Australia. (2003). http://pandora.nla.gov.au/selectionguidelines.html
National Library of Australia
© Damian McDonald