According to Newswire, the National Library of Australia has set out to find a new system for archiving Australian Web sites, along with its existing collection of digitised artwork, audio, and manuscripts.

While the current archive is around 8 gig, they are expecting this to expand to 6 000 gig, and the non-so-automated system they're using now is proving to be inefficient.

Making 20 000 digital pictures, and their other material, available online is great, but their attempts to make Web sites accessible over the Web is interesting. Surely they could save some money and leave these sites where they are - currently accessible via the Web!? Of course not - the Australian government is already known for its upcoming attempt to censor the Internet, so why not waste some more cash making the parts of the Web that they do like, available twice...

While there are numerous journals and investigative reports to be found in the existing PANDORA system (such as information on federal election campaigns, health bulletins pertaining to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and gambling regulation challenges for the 21st century), a quick search revealed the following sites had been archived also:

While most of these links, and the others in PANDORA, can be considered part of Australian culture, many are still very much personal interest-type groups. The Wiggles, for example, are a children's entertainment group. It is debatable whether there is any selection process for inclusion into PANDORA, or if any site hosted in Australia is considered acceptable.

In addition, most of the external links within sites archived by PANDORA are referenced incorrectly. There is no obvious way in which PANDORA will be able to handle the increase in dynamic sites, either.

One wonders if perhaps this project could have been better implemented via government subsidised hosting arrangements for approved and culturally significant projects; something along the lines of an electronic version of the Federation Fund.

For those interested, the full Newswire article can be found here.