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Many government publications are now often only published online. If digital documents are not archived correctly, they can be hard and sometimes impossible to trace once the contents or the url of a website is changed. Legal deposit legislation requires government departments to deposit print publications with the National Library and relevant State library. However, the legal deposit provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 do not yet cover electronic publications.
A good place to look for archived websites and online material is PANDORA, Australia's Web Archive. Material archived in PANDORA has now been integrated into the Library's online discovery service, Trove. See the Library's FAQ What is Trove and how can I use it?
The Library also conducts bulk harvests of Commonwealth Government websites for a second web archive service called the Australian Government Web Archive (AGWA). The Library began regular harvests of Commonwealth Government websites in June 2011. The AGWA service can be accessed through the AGWA website.
The Internet Archive : Wayback Machine is another avenue for finding archived online material. You will need to know the url of the website on which the online material was originally published. Often a search on Trove for the publication will help you find this information and the dates when the publication was available online.
You can also search Trove to check if a publication was published in print or not, or alternatively contact the relevant government department library directly.
Further resources can also be found in the FAQ How can I find Australian Government publications?
Author: General Reference Enquiry