Explore interpretations of Aboriginal culture, history, language and art through the Library’s stunning collections of manuscripts, artworks, photographs and printed books.
Through Eora, discover Aboriginal Sydney in the early years of the Colony.
Read about George Augustus Robinson (1791-1866), the last Protector of Aborigines, whose travels throughout Tasmania and Victoria give us an unparalleled understanding of Aboriginal Australians and their experiences during the initial years of European settlement.
See artworks by Aboriginal artists, Mickey of Ulladulla and Tommy McRae, whose works vividly depict their lives and local communities.
The State Library has considerable resources in the area of Australian Indigenous research. Aselect list of 150 microfilmed Aboriginal collections is available online.
This is the site referred to immediately above
Aboriginal peoples of Australia – A-Z listing – Microforms for sale
A SELECTION OF MICROFILMED ABORIGINAL RECORDS
The State Library of New South Wales has considerable resources in the area of Australian Indigenous research.
The following select list of 150 items provides a readily accessible compilation — copyright permitting — of some significant microfilmed records concerning the Australian Aboriginal peoples.
The range of subjects include:
- Aboriginal languages: vocabularies, dictionaries, place names
- Anthropological studies and reports regarding their customs, manners and ceremonies
- Journals and papers relating to missionaries, for example, Gribble, Gunther, Matthews and Threlkeld, and Aboriginal mission stations and settlements, for example, Flinders Island, Tasmania, and Mapoon, Queensland
- Government reports into the condition of Australian Aboriginals
- Drawings depicting Aboriginal life
- Papers of Government appointed Protectors of Aboriginals, eg. G.A. Robinson and William Thomas.
- Papers re Aboriginal rock carvings.
- Newspaper cuttings and government proclamations regarding Aboriginal peoples
- Papers concerning Aboriginal contact with exploration parties
Please note that digital scans from microfilm (JPG/PDF files supplied on DVD) and paper copies from microfilm are also available for purchase.
For further information, please contact Microforms Librarian.
Click on the first letter of a personal name or subject:
The following is from the National Museum
MUSEUM EVENT:Indigenous Australians
- Audience Type:
- General, Tourists
- Event Type:
- Current exhibition
- Level G, Indigenous Australians Exhibition
Indigenous Australians is a fascinating look at the history, culture and political struggles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – the oldest living culture in the world.
Showcasing pieces from the Australian Museum’s 40,000 piece collection, and featuring contemporary audio-visual storytelling and personal narratives, this exhibition captures the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture from the Dreaming to the present day.
This popular exhibition places a strong emphasis on the strength of Indigenous cultures and their connection to the land. The experience is divided into six themes: spirituality, cultural heritage, archaeology, family, land and social justice. It demonstrates how Australia’s Indigenous cultures have survived for so long by adapting over time – despite the impact of more than two hundred years of European colonisation.
Things to do
- Pull up a stump in a reconstructed cave and listen to the Dreaming stories about ‘Hairy Man’ and ‘the Bunyip’, narrated by Indigenous Australians.
- Take a seat in a pew at the bush chapel and learn about the links between Aboriginal spirituality and Christianity.
- Listen and read first-hand accounts of what it means to be an Indigenous Australian.
- Enter the Stolen Generations maze, created by Indigenous Australian Kevin Butler, who was removed from his family at two weeks of age by the Aboriginal Protection Board and adopted by a non-Aboriginal family.
- Admire the impressive contemporary Indigenous art collection.
- Snuggle into a cushion with the kids and read an Indigenous story book.
- See a wide selection of Indigenous Australian cultural artefacts up closeincluding boomerangs, didgeridoos, baskets and ceremonial pieces. There are also sophisticated tools such as a kangaroo tooth drill used for making holes in shells for necklaces and holes in spear throwers.
- Grasp an understanding of the struggles faced by Aboriginal people today and in the past and the steps that have been taken to move forward.
- Browse through the Museum Shop on your way out and pick up an Indigenous Australian memento before you leave. You’ll also find gifts about the natural world including books, toys and games, and the Museum’s official souvenir guidebook. Great for local and international tourists, or as a treat for the family or yourself.
Touch Table Alert!
Look out for the special touch table in this exhibition, regularly run by Museum staff and volunteers. It features special pieces from our collection that both little and big kids are encouraged to touch, feel and examine at close range. Chat with trained staff and catch up on the Museum’s latest research work. See the ‘What’s on’ sign next to the information screen on the ground floor for daily times and locations.
More information about Indigenous Australians
Aboriginal People of Coastal Sydney
When the British arrived in January 1788, there were more than 1500 Aboriginal people living in the area from Botany Bay to Broken Bay and as far west as Parramatta. Discover the rich and complex customs of peoples in the past, and the importance of Sydney Harbour to contemporary Indigenous Australians today.
Stories of the Dreaming
Storytelling is an integral part of life for Indigenous Australians. It is used as the first part of a child’s education to help pass on important knowledge which is then carried on into adulthood. Listen, watch or read these 20 stories from the cultures of Indigenous Australians, collected from all over Australia.
To celebrate NAIDOC Week each July the Museum often hosts a range of activities and performances. NAIDOC Week stands for National Aboriginal Islander Day Observance Committee.
Last Updated: 21 March 2011
- Govt recognises indigenous war efforts (news.theage.com.au)
- Were Australian aboriginals cannibals (wiki.answers.com)
- Preserving Aboriginal Australian Heritage Online (readwriteweb.com)
- Indigenous smoking rates in slow decline (news.theage.com.au)
- Low level of trust between racial groups (news.theage.com.au)
- Mining away Aboriginal Culture (radioadelaidebreakfast.wordpress.com)
- For Australia’s Aborigines, a New Kind of Justice (time.com)
- Public pressure needed to close gap (news.theage.com.au)
- Educational gap closing, but more needed (news.theage.com.au)
- Australian Universities Take Steps to Increase Numbers of Indigenous Students and Academics (nytimes.com)