Rose Barrowcliffe to lead Indigenous research project

Rose Barrowcliffe

NSLA is very pleased to announce that, following an open EOI process, Rose Barrowcliffe has been appointed as lead researcher for stage two of the Contemporary Indigenous Collections Audit. Rose is a Butchulla researcher and doctoral candidate at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) in Queensland. Her research examines how the representation of Indigenous peoples in archives affects our historical narratives. She is also the First Nations Advisor to the Queensland State Archives and a contributor to the Indigenous Archives Collective.

Over the next five months, Rose will work with collections specialists at the four NSLA libraries participating in the project: National Library of Australia, State Library of New South Wales, State Library of Queensland and State Library of Western Australia. Her research will examine a sample of original collections relating to First Nations communities in each library, most collected in the decade since 2010, looking at aspects such as:

  • collecting decisions
  • community relationships
  • promotion and discoverability
  • authorship
  • connection with other collections
  • alignment with the ATSILIRN Protocols.

The resulting report will include examples of good practice, suggestions for improved practice, instances of practice that are inappropriate or no longer recommended, and a broad assessment of compliance with current institutional Indigenous collection policies.

This research is the second stage of NSLA’s contemporary Indigenous collections audit project, which looks at published Indigenous collections, web archives relating to Indigenous activism and original collections including ephemera, oral histories, photographs and manuscripts since 2000. The project is a first for NSLA libraries and seeks to answer questions like:

  • Whose voices are represented in our Indigenous collections?
  • How do we make collecting decisions for Indigenous collections?
  • What proportion of our collections are created by Indigenous people, versus about Indigenous people?
  • Which subject areas or groups are underrepresented?
  • How can we do better at putting our Indigenous collecting policies into practice?

A stage one report was delivered to NSLA CEOs and Directors in July 2021. The stage two report will be completed in March 2022.