The Word to be archived at the National Library of Australia

I’m sitting here a little bit stunned at the moment. Apparently I have cultural significance to my country. A few days ago I got an email from the Digital Archiving Section of the National Library of Australia. At the top of the email it said: Request for permission to archive The Word : the website of author Alan Baxter. I started smiling, wondering which of my friends was yanking my chain.

Then the email started talking about how:

The National Library of Australia aims to build a comprehensive collection of Australian publications to ensure that Australians have access to their documentary heritage now and in the future. The Library has traditionally collected items in print, but it is also committed to preserving electronic publications of lasting cultural value.

PANDORA, Australia’s Web Archive, was set up by the Library in 1996 to enable the archiving and provision of long-term access to online Australian publications. Since then we have been identifying online publications and archiving those that we consider have national significance.

At which point I’m thinking, “Wow, someone’s gone to considerable lengths here to wind me up!”

Turns out it wasn’t a joke. In the same week I get nominated for the Editor Unleashed 25 Best Writing Blogs (where I seem to be doing quite well in the voting, but could use a few more!) and I get a request from the National Library to archive my site. I’m not used to being taken so seriously, I feel a bit weird!

I mean “publications of lasting cultural value”? And “online publications … that we consider have national significance”? Seriously?

I was aware of the National Library’s digital archiving activities. I’ve had a piece of fiction published by Antipodean SF before (and another piece is being published by them next month) and that website is archived at Pandora. You can’t find my story on the Antipodean SF site any more, but you can find it at the National Library archives. I always thought that was pretty cool. Now you can find my entire website there!

According to the confirmation email I got today: “I am delighted to inform you that your publication is now publicly available in the PANDORA Archive at http://nla.gov.au/nla.arc-103969“. I’ve also added a little badge on the sidebar, below the Navigation buttons, displaying my archived status.

I’m making a bit of fun here, but that’s because I’m a little giddy about it all. What a complete headfuck, but what a total honour too. I’m a happy little writer right now.

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13 thoughts on “The Word to be archived at the National Library of Australia

  1. Well done mate. It’s a true credit to you and rightly deserved. Now go crack a coldie, another fine Aussie cultural inclusion.

    Cuffed for you, dude.

    Dan.

  2. Congratulations Alan!
    I’m so pleased for you. Now your words are a part of history. N I C E.

    I enjoyed the whole post…

    but this was my favorite part

    “What a complete headfuck”

    can you SAY that once you’re in the library?

    I think it’ll be ok if we just picture you saying it QUIETLY while wearing a tuxedo …..

  3. Thanks Karen.

    As for “headfuck”, if they didn’t like that kind of talk this site would never have been archived in the first place. I’m a firm believer in using language, and regularly do.

    You know those people that say swearing shows a lack of vocabulary and ability to express yourself? I say bollocks. There’s nothing so effective as a well placed swear!

  4. I thought at first that you had missed a golden opportunity there sir.

    After that wind up I was expecting the whole last line of your comment to be one long blue streak of expletives…..

    but really, I should have known better…your stories often have an unexpected twist at the end….
    :0)

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