PANDORA was the national web archive for the preservation of Australia's online publications. It was established by the National Library of Australia in 1996, and is now built in collaboration with Australian state libraries and cultural collecting organisations, including the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, the Australian War Memorial, and the National Film and Sound Archive.
The name, PANDORA, is a bacronym that encapsulates its mission: Preserving and Accessing Networked Documentary Resources of Australia.
The PANDORA archive collects Australian web resources, preserves them, and makes them available for viewing. Access to the archive is made available to the public via the Pandora web site. Web sites are selected based on their cultural significance and research value. Each participating institution selects websites based on its own criteria relating to the overall mission of that institution.
The provision for legal deposit of digital format publications was added to the Australian Copyright Act 1968 in 2016 so the National Library of Australia may copy Australian web sites without acquiring permission. They do notify publishers before copying a web site to the PANDORA archive, and may request publisher assistance if required.
The archival management system called PANDAS (PANDORA Digital Archiving System) is used to add a title into PANDORA. This was developed and is maintained by the National Library of Australia. The latest version is PANDAS 3 which was deployed in mid-2007.
The first two titles were downloaded in October 1996. By June 1997 the archive contained 31 titles. By 2000, 600 titles had been archived, at which time the website was redesigned. The new site added subject-level access to titles and included documents relating to the PANDORA project. As of February 2008 there were around 17,900 websites/titles within the archive, comprising 2.01 TB of data.
In August 1998 the State Library of Victoria became a participant in adding content. By March 2004 all of the mainland State libraries, the Northern Territory Library, the National Film and Sound Archive, the Australian War Memorial and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies had become participants. The State Library of Tasmania is not participating in PANDORA, but is running its own project called Our Digital Island.
As of February 2014, there are 37,000 archived titles at 10.68 TB of data. Current information on the size of the archive can be accessed on the Statistics page.
In 2019 it became part of larger the Australian Web Archive, which aims to include all web site contents in the Australian domain.