Web Archiving at SLWA

Each year, the State Library of Western Australia contributes hundreds of Western Australian websites to PANDORA, Australia’s web archive. PANDORA is a world class web archive established by the National Library of Australia in 1996.  It is built collaboratively by 11 cultural institutions across the country, with SLWA contributing Western Australian content to this ever-growing national archive.  Websites are selected for their significance, their authority or research value, their representation of social or topical issues, and also to reflect the diversity of our state. These can include the websites of organisations, community groups, individuals, festivals, events, and sites about various topical and political issues, election campaigns, interests and activities.

Freycinet website code

HTML website code

Web archiving involves selecting, copying (but only with the permission of the website owner!), quality checking and preserving specific websites.  For copyright reasons, SLWA can only archive a website if the website owner has given permission, so we will always contact the website publisher to ask permission before we archive.  Once archived, the live website may continue to change or eventually disappear, but the archived instance will remain as it was at the time it was captured.  The average lifespan of web content is difficult to determine, but various estimates suggest that an individual webpage may last on average as little as 100 days. That means that an awful lot of Western Australia’s web presence may be at risk of disappearing at any one time.

Deckchair theatre 2012 website

Deckchair Theatre’s website, captured 8 March 2012

Many of the websites preserved by SLWA are no longer in existence.  For example, we archived the website of the Deckchair Theatre company from 2008, with the final snapshot captured just a few months before the theatre closed in 2012.  We archived websites related to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held in Perth in 2011, including the official website and the 2011 Commonwealth Festival, which showcased arts and culture in Western Australia at the same time.  These sites lasted until at least 2013, interestingly, but were eventually shut down as they had outlived their immediate usefulness to their creators.  Less attractive perhaps, but just as important historically (and legally), are the websites of the WA health practitioners registration boards – Psychologists, Dentists, Occupational Therapists, Medical Radiation Technologists etc. – which ceased to operate between 2010 and 2012 when national registration came into effect.

Web archiving also preserves changes in information and design over time. Below is how the websites of three state political parties looked at the time of the 2001 WA state election.

Compared to similar websites even during the 2008 state election and 2013 state election, they look very dated today, but that was the current state of the art in web design. With state and federal elections looming in the coming months, SLWA web archivists are already gearing themselves up to capture and preserve the next wave of election-related websites.

The web is an integral part of contemporary life, and increasingly contains information and content that cannot be found in any other medium. By capturing Western Australian websites we are helping to preserve our digital history, culture and experience.

AMEB Material available

Attention all music teachers, music students, parents, examiners. The bulk of the AMEB syllabus manual lists from Grade 4 upwards are now available on the State Library website. A click on a link will take you through to our own catalogue listing of the piece – you don’t even have to use the catalogue. All the searching has been done for you. All the music is available for generous loan periods. Check it out here http://www.slwa.wa.gov.au/find/music_performing_arts/ameb_music

New MyLanguage website

After six years of operation, MyLanguage, a web portal to multilingual information resources for new and emergent Australian communities, has been relaunched in Adelaide at the FECCA (Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia) conference on Friday November 18.

Mr Hieu Van Le, Lieutenant Governor of South Australia and Chairman of the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission, launched the new MyLanguage web portal saying: ‘What we have in MyLanguage is perhaps one of the most valuable tools for living that newly arrived Australians can get their hands on today. It provides a whole suite of important pieces of information – and in more than 65 languages. If you’ve just settled here, if your English is still developing, and if you’re looking to find your feet in a rather unfamiliar place, then this is the website for you’.

MyLanguage reflects Australia’s position as one of the most multicultural countries on earth and seeks to simplify access to important online information resources for a culturally and linguistically diverse population.

The new portal provides clear links to multilingual search engines, web directories, government websites, online dictionaries, and syndicated news headlines. It also contains translations of online government and community information relating to health, legal issues, settlement, education and public libraries along with information on multilingual library collections around Australia.

MyLanguage national manager, Brendan Fitzgerald, says the new MyLanguage website is all about making life easier and more inclusive for Australia’s non-English speaking population. ‘Through the delivery of quality language services MyLanguage ensures that individuals from non-English speaking communities have fair and equitable access to services such as health, education, housing and the justice system.’

MyLanguage is a joint partnership between the State Libraries of Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia; Public Libraries Services South Australia, the Northern Territory Library and Libraries ACT.

The new MyLanguage website is now live at:  http://www.mylanguage.gov.au

MyLanguage 2010 Conference Papers

The MyLanguage Conference which took place from August 9 – 11 2010 generated many interesting ideas and proposals about how digital technology can be used to promote social inclusion and to support language and cultural maintenance.

The theme of the conference explored how digital technologies could be used to assist culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities to achieve greater social inclusion and to maintain their linguistic and cultural identity.

The conference presentations, information about the speakers, and a list of useful links are now available here on the MyLanguage website.

The MyLanguage website provides access to search engines, web directories and news in over sixty languages.

More than just Google – free workshops at the State Library

SEaK – Search Engage and Know
Do you feel lost on the information highway?
Don’t know where to start looking for information?
Feel intimidated by the library or the internet?

The State Library has a range of free, practical hands-on workshops where you can improve your research skills and get internet search tips and tricks. All sessions are designed to give you a head start in uncovering the wealth of information available in the Library’s collections and online.

For full details visit the State Library website.

CIA The World Factbook

Do you need to know the population of Lesotho, the natural hazards in Afghanistan or the ethnic mix of Germany then the CIA Factbook is for you.   The World Factbook is a brilliant intelligence resource compiled by the the American Central Intelligence Agency for foreign policy makers.  It lists demographic, government, military, economic , communication and geographic information on 165 countries.  Nations are searchable by a drop-down menu.  It is ideal for school projects on different countries of the world.

The first unclassified version of the Factbook was printed in June 1971 but a public version was not available until 1975.  It was first published on the Internet in 1997 and is now not available in print form.

IPL to merge with LII

Since October 2008, iSchool at Drexel, College of Information Science and Technology, home of the Internet Public Library, in Philadelphia has hosted LII (Librarians’ Internet Index).  The next step is for LII and IPL (Internet Public Library) to merge.  The two websites rank as two of the best subject directories for the Internet.  Thousands of high quality Internet sites are organised and maintained by librarians.  You can search by browsing subject listings or using a search box.

A couple of interesting web sites…

As I’ve mentioned before, I get all sorts of newsletters that help keep me up to date with good web resources – this last week there’s been a quite a few good web sites includuing:

Happy hunting!



Great resources on the global food crisis

Our friends at ResourceShelf.com have put together a fabulous set of links to reputable information on the current global food crisis.  Entitled:

Keeping tabs on the global food crisis

it includes links to  the Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture (GIEWS), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), ReliefWeb, US Department of Agriculture briefings and more. 

What global food crisis?  Check out a Google news Australia  search to find out the latest in the internet headlines… Or search on Australia New Zealand Reference Centre (available from home for all Western Australian Public Library members) for more news stories…

WWI – Ninety Years On

2008 marks a significant year for World War I commemorations. It is 90 years since the cessation of hostilities which are acknowledged on Remembrance  Day (November 11th). In the past, this day was known as Armistice Day.

For Australians, one of the most significant commemorations will take place in the French village of Villers-Bretonneux on Anzac Day. In 1918, Australian troops fought a fierce action against the advancing Germans, who had initiated Kaiserschlacht, the Spring Offensive, which they hoped would win them the war. The Australian success in re-taking Villers-Bretonneux heralded the end of the German advance in the Somme.

The official website: anzac 2008 in the Somme contains practical and useful information, not only for those attending the 90th anniversary services, but also for anyone who has an interest in WWI.


          Clifford Sadlier VC

          51st Battalion, AIF

Battye Pictorial Collection 005038D