The PANDORA-project (Preserving and Accessing Networked Documentary Resources of Australia)13 was established in June 1996 by the national library of Australia. Having grown from 0,2 gigabyte in 1997, to 7,1 gigabyte in 1999, to 134 gigabyte in mid-2001, the archive holds around 1.300 titles, made up of approximately five million files [WP01].
Collecting publications located on the World Wide Web, at gopher and ftp sites or distributed via email, the initiative is pursuing a selective approach. This is deemed necessary due to the costs and complexities involved in archiving on-line publications. Despite the large volume of data available much of which has no long-term value, an archive of high quality is aspired.
Eligible documents must either be (1) about Australia, (2) on a subject of relevance and significance to Australia and written by an Australian author, or (3) be written by an Australian of recognised authority and constitute a contribution to international knowledge [Dan99]. Amongst this set of documents those are selected, which are of research value being a substantial compilation of information or are produced by a renowned author or institution. Additionally, samples from a wide range of on-line publications will be included to document Australian society as it is represented on the Internet.
After a title has been selected, its publisher is contacted in order to ask for permission to archive the publication and to obtain assistance in its acquisition. Each document is repeatedly archived with a specific frequency that is adjusted depending on the publication pattern. For the time being, the data is stored on the library's server, however, other forms of storage are considered to be employed.
To guarantee the longevity of the collection items a combination of preservation strategies are applied following the principle to retain the look and feel of the publication [CWW01]. The conversion of files is supported by the direct contact to the publisher of the document, negotiating the supply of stable file formats instead of streaming or dynamic formats. The use of emulators will be considered as research in this area proceeds. Even some technology preservation is realised, including maintenance of software and even some hardware.
Capturing only proceeds, when access agreements have been negotiated with the rights holders. Consequently, the usage of the archive can be restricted to on-site use only, for a specified time period, or can be limited such that designated researchers are the only to have access. Generally spoken, however, usage of the repository is free of charge from the library's web-site.
To date, legal deposit for electronic publications is not included in the Commonwealth Copyright Act. In order to leverage information sharing in the field of digital preservation, the national library of Australia created PADI - Preserving Access to Digital Information14. The international forum will be further extended improving on the service it offers [KR01].