4.1 Australian information is published in a variety of electronic formats:


4.2 Physical format electronic resources are those that are published on a physical carrier and include videos CD-ROMs, DVDs and VCDs.

4.3 Online electronic resources are available via the Internet. They include both "born digital" material that has been produced directly online (e.g. websites, e-journals and databases), and also digitised versions of print resources that have been scanned to create an electronic copy.

4.4 Other resources that are created in digital form, such as digital images, email collections, and sound recordings are collected if in scope according to the guidelines for the type of resource, outlined in this policy.


Physical Format Electronic Resources

4.5 Pending Commonwealth legal deposit legislation for electronic publications, the Library negotiates with publishers and creators to acquire these resources selectively through either voluntary deposit or purchase. Unlike the policy for online publications (see paras 4.7 - 4.16), these resources are collected comprehensively, with the exception of juvenile and classroom material. In these cases representative samples will be collected with emphasis on publications with a strong Australian theme and where the subject is covered in some depth.

4.6 Where both print and physical format electronic versions of a publication exist, the Library collects the print version.

Online Resources

4.7 The Library collects and preserves selected Australian online resources in PANDORA, Australia’s Web Archive. It does so in collaboration with the mainland state and territory libraries, the National Film and Sound Archive, the Australian War Memorial and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. Each participating agency selects and archives online publications that meet its own selection guidelines.

4.8 With the permission of publishers, the Library copies online resources and places the copy in the Archive. In selecting online resources for the Archive, the Library aims for a representative collection of online publishing, selected in accordance with Guidelines for the Selection of Online Australian Publications Intended for Preservation by the National Library of Australia.

4.9 Broadly, the guidelines state that the Library collects and preserves online resources which are of social, political, cultural, scientific or economic significance or relevance to Australia or are created by an Australian author. Factors such as authoritative content, research value, topicality or interest as an innovative or outstanding example of its type, are factors in the selection process. The Library usually does not collect online resources where there is an exact print equivalent, which is collected instead.

4.10 The Library gives priority to collecting online Commonwealth and ACT government publications for which it takes primary responsibility. Responsibility for collecting state and Northern Territory online government publications is accepted by the relevant state and Northern Territory libraries, which contribute them to the PANDORA Archive. (The State Library of Tasmania maintains its own web archives.)

4.11 Priority is also given to online conference proceedings and e-journals.

4.12 Sampling is used to collect many other types of online publications such as blogs, promotional sites, organisational websites and vanity publishing.

4.13 Since July 2005, the Library has supplemented the selective PANDORA Archive with an annual whole domain harvest of the Australian web. In the absence of legal deposit provisions for online publications and due to copyright limitations, access to these resources will be limited.

4.14 In addition to collecting online publications for the PANDORA Archive, the Library subscribes to a limited number of commercially produced online databases providing access to journal articles and other Australian content.

4.15 The Library has an active digitisation program which focuses on creating new and permanent digital copies of Australian pictures, maps, sheet music, oral history and folklore recordings, selected manuscript items and newspapers from its own collections. The content of the digitisation program is regularly reviewed and selection is guided by the Library’s Digitisation Policy.

4.16 The Library also provides access through its Catalogue to the output of other significant digitisation programs in Australia, such as the Scholarly Electronic Text and Image Service (SETIS) from the University of Sydney Library.