The National Library of Australia began the Pandora archive in the mid 1990s and over time has joined with other national institutes such as the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Australian War Memorial, National Film and Sound Archive, State libraries and the National Gallery of Australia to add to the archive.
Recently a JCU staff member Kate Galloway has had her law blog Curl added to Pandora. Gilbert Meyns our Cairns campus liaison librarian for the Schools of Law and Business pointed this addition out to me. He explained "Kate blogs on general legal issues of interest to her students and others in the outside community. This is comparable to academics trying to make their work, issues they care about, etc. better known by doing interviews in the media. Here, Kate engages with a broader community audience directly online via social media."
Most people realise things like blogs are the contemporary equivalent of journals, newspapers, editorials and other intellectual manuscripts produced pre-internet and those things are used extensively in research, documentaries and media representations of the past now. We are already seeing records of email, blogs and Facebook being used in legal cases, government investigations and news reporting. Basically Gilbert summed up the importance of archiving the internet as "Pandora is about capturing a snapshot of Australians in the internet before this information disappears forever. There is a broad range of material captured..." from celebrity tweets to intellectual blogs. Pandora website official statement is "In 1995 the National Library identified the issue of the growing
amount of Australian information published in online format
only as a matter needing attention. The Library accepted it
had responsibility to collect and preserve Australian publications,
regardless of format.".
Go and check it out, its the 21st century version of looking through your parents and grandparents collection of newspaper clippings, books, photos and keepsakes.