Transferring Australian Government agency websites to the National Archives

Australian Government public websites, intranet sites, extranet sites, and the content and objects they contain, are Commonwealth records and are managed in accordance with the Archives Act 1983.

If your agency’s website is being decommissioned, or undergoing major change, you must retain its online material in accordance with the relevant classes in the Administrative Functions Disposal Authority (AFDA) or AFDA Express.

The Archives requires an ‘exported representation’ (export) of these websites, which supersedes the ‘snapshots’ described in AFDA or AFDA Express. An export shows an example of your agency's online presence, rather than capturing the complete functionality of the website. It should include contextual metadata and supporting business rules, but does not need to include material that is covered separately in records authorities.

The National Library of Australia's Australian Government Web Archive (AGWA) captures Australian Government websites. The AGWA website capture meets the Archive's preservation and retention requirements for websites as 'retain as national archives' (RNA) material.

Check the AGWA to see if your agency's website has been captured and that all material is well presented. Email the website capture link to us via the Agency Service Centre.

The National Library does not provide copies of websites preserved in AGWA on request. If you need to make a copy of your agency's retired website for business purposes, or to fulfill retention requirements, you need to capture it separately.

If your agency’s website is not included in the AGWA, you can advise the National Library's web archive team and they may be able to include it in future harvests.

You can capture your website using open source HT Track, or similar software, ensuring all material is visible offline. You may need to contact your ICT area to ensure that local HTML files work properly. Zip the site and send it to us via the Agency Service Centre.

Content covered in records authorities

When decommissioning or making major changes to your agency’s website, content which is covered by Archives records authorities must be captured in an approved system for managing your agency's records, for example an EDRMS, so that it can be managed and sentenced separately. Such material includes:

  • Publications that are produced only in digital format on your agency’s public website
  • Databases or datasets accessible through your agency’s website

Talk to your records management area about using records authorities.

Further advice on managing web resources can be found in Archiving websites: Advice and Policy Statement (pdf, 58kb)

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017