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About the Australian Government Web Archive (AGWA)

What is the Australian Government Web Archive?

The AGWA is an archival collection of Australian Commonwealth Government websites collected and maintained by the National Library of Australia. The collection includes material that was freely available on Commonwealth Government websites.

Content for the AGWA was first collected in June 2011. New material is collected annually (or more frequently) for the Archive.

Collecting content for the AGWA is undertaken in accordance with the Whole-of-Government ICT policies endorsed and approved by the Secretaries’ ICT Governance Board (SIGB). Approval was granted in May 2010 and is containted in AGIMO Circular 2010/01. These arrangements permit the National Library to collect, preserve and make accessible web materials published by non-corporate Commonwealth entitites subject to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (formerly those entities subject to the Financial Management and Accountability (FMA) Act 1997).

In addition to content from non-corporate Commonwealth entities subject to the PGPA Act, limited content is also collected from websites of Commonwealth corporate entities (those formerly subject to the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (CAC) Act 1997), where permitted to do so through specific agreements.

Collecting (harvesting) of content for the AGWA is based on a list of around 800 to 900 seed URLs and is scoped to include embedded content such as images and stylesheets. Content is collected using Heritrix, a web crawler robot especially designed for archival collecting. However, due to the technical constraints of web harvesting processes some content may not be able to be captured for the archive.

This initial release of the AGWA is made available in the public interest to provide access to this archival material. The Library intends that this service will be more closely aligned with its other discovery services in the future as it continues the redevelopment of its digital library infrastructure.

What about other government material and pre-2011 content?

The AGWA does not include all government web material archived by the National Library of Australia. The Library has been collecting Commonwealth Government web materials since the establishment of the PANDORA Archive in 1996. Content is still selected for inclusion in PANDORA in order to ensure timely and thorough collecting.

In addition, state and local government web materials selected and curated by PANDORA partner agencies (including most State Libraries) may also be found in the PANDORA Archive.

To find other government content in the PANDORA Archive search Trove Archived Websites (1996-now) discovery portal using the ‘site type’ facet limiter .gov/.csiro.

To assist you with searching for government content not found in the AGWA you will see the 'Search Trove' button at the top of text search result pages (see image below). Clicking on this button will initiate a search of the PANDORA Archive using the search terms you have entered in the AGWA. This option does not work for URL searching because Trove does not currently support URL searches for the PANDORA Archive.
Search Trove button

Why can't I use some browsers to view the AGWA?

Some web browsers, such as the still commonly used Internet Explorer 8, will not permit the full functionality of the AGWA interface. The reason is that the AGWA application uses HTML5 to provide a seamless user experience in this service that integrates content from different web sources (the AGWA application and the Wayback delivery mechanism) in a single application. This approach has been adopted because the HTML5 'postMessage API' (for cross-origin communication) and the 'History API' (to allow the browser back button and bookmarking to work intuitively) provide the means for close coordination between the main application window and the embedded 'iframe' where the content of the archive is replayed by Wayback.

If you find some functionality appears to be missing, for example if the options to select a date from the calendar that is displayed when doing a URL search, then your browser is not HTML5 compliant. We recommend using current versions of Firefox, Chrome or Safari to view the AGWA.