Aboriginal Australian records and archives
Public records about Aboriginal Australians are often more difficult to find given the history of how they have been treated by the government, so we created a specific page to facilitate access to these records.
There are words and descriptions in resources highlighted in this session which may be culturally insensitive and which might not normally be used in certain public or community contexts. Terms and annotations which reflect the author's attitude or that of the period in which items were written may be considered inappropriate today in some circumstances.
The resources covered in this guide contain images, sounds and names of deceased Indigenous people.
“Galleries, libraries, archives and museums are considered sites of memory, spaces to engage with history and identity, but for me these places are sites of forgetting, erasure and distortion. They are built on stolen land. Their names validate the place names that colonisers used to confirm their occupation of stolen land and to nullify the history that took place before colonial invasion.
My ancestors are in these memory institutions, but their voices are missing from the words written, the art created and the cultural objects taken. All of their cultural knowledge and their history is recorded and interpreted through the colonisers’ lens.” - Nathan Sentance
Identifying keywords and events
Community publications and archive projects
Reason In Revolt: Source documents of Australian Radicalism
Museum Victoria Collections
National collections, resources, and consultation
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) collections, guides and exhibitions
Public Records Office of Victoria
- VPRS 10 Inward Registered Correspondence to the Superintendent of Port Phillip District, relating to Aboriginal Affairs, 1839-1851
Informit - Indigenous Collection
Scholarly search strategies
Phrase searching: This requires terms to be searched in the exact order specified within the “quotation marks”
- “1967 Referendum”
Truncation: A truncation symbol allows you to fine word variations or alternate spellings by adding a truncation symbol to the end of terms:
- Australi* = Australians, Australia, Australian, Australiana
Wildcard: Substitute a symbol for a single letter (character) of a word with (use for alternative spellings):
- Organi?ation = organisation or organization
Use AND to combine key words, places, events and/or concepts and narrow your search: “1967 Referendum” AND “Aboriginal activis*”
Use OR to find synonyms and other related words and broaden your search: aboriginal OR indigenous
Use NOT to exclude certain words: Aboriginal NOT Canadian