Articles and presentations
Gather – State Library of New South Wales (2020)
Created with Mukurtu, Gather connects Aboriginal communities with collections and stories from the State Library of NSW.
Storylines – State Library of Western Australia
Storylines is a project to explore, identify and return Aboriginal heritage material from our collections.
Opening Archives: Respectful Repatriation – Kimberly Christen and Mary Pugh (The American Archivist, 2011)
While digital technologies allow for items to be repatriated quickly, circulated widely, and annotated endlessly, these same technologies pose challenges to some indigenous communities who wish to add their expert voices to public collections and also maintain some traditional cultural protocols for the viewing, circulation, and reproduction of some materials. This case study examines one collaborative archival project aimed at digitally repatriating and reciprocally curating cultural heritage materials of the Plateau tribes in the Pacific Northwest.
"Over the last century, many visitors to the Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara lands in Central Australia collected and permanently removed artefacts, photographs, film footage and sound recordings. While some of these materials were filed away in the archives of public institutions, others were ‘lost’ in family photo albums or packed away in old suitcases and boxes. Many of these materials are of great importance to Anangu (Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people). Ara Irititja (‘stories from a long time ago’) officially commenced in 1994 to repatriate ‘lost’ material for Anangu. By 2018, Ara Irititja has tracked down hundreds of thousands of historical and cultural items and makes them available to Anangu through interactive software."
Trust in Scholarly Communications and Infrastructure: Indigenous Data Sovereignty – Katharina Ruckstuhl (Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics, 2022)
This article examines data sovereignty from the perspective of Indigenous peoples, focusing on data held in government or state-funded research organisations, including Libraries, galleries and museums.
Self-determination and archival autonomy: advocating activism – E. Daniels, J. Evans, G. McCarthy, S. McKemmish (Archival Science, 2015)
"This paper explores the role of archival activism in supporting social movements linked to human rights and social justice agendas. Taking a records continuum perspective, it presents an Australian case study relating to the Stolen Generations, Former Child Migrants, Forgotten Australians and Forced Adoption communities to illustrate imperatives for advocacy and activism in support of the 'archival autonomy' of communities."
Deciphering Arrernte archives: The intermingling of textual and living knowledge – Jason Gibson, Shaun Angeles, Joel Liddle (University of Hawai'i Press, 2019)
Interviews exploring some of the issues Arrernte peoples confront as they work through archives, including the limitations of conventional cataloguing requirements and the importance of reading archival texts in a way that sees them placed and tested against the knowledge of Elders, and the role of digital technologies in the future dissemination of cultural materials.
Audio and video
Mukurtu: an online dilly bag for keeping Indigenous digital archives safe – The Conversation (podcast, 2019)
Mukurtu is an online system that aims to help Indigenous communities conserve stories, videos, photographs, songs, word lists and other digital archives. In this podcast, Kirsten Thorpe and Richard Neville explain why Mukurtu is needed, how it’s being used and what’s at stake if we don’t find better ways to empower Indigenous people with the skills and tech to conserve and manage digital archives.
See also: Reconnecting collections to communities – State Library of New South Wales
The race against the clock to save rare recordings of Indigenous languages – SBS News (video, 2019)
The magnetic tapes on which thousands of hours of recordings in Indigenous languages held by the National Archives of Australia are at risk of becoming unplayable if they are not digitally preserved by 2025.
Digitised and Digital Indigenous Collections Seminar 2018 – AIATSIS (video, 2018)
- Valuing Our Scans: Understanding the Impact of Digitized Ethnographic Archives - Ricky Punzalan, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland, College Park (starts at 00:00)
- Returning and connecting: designing Indigenous Digitisation & Digital Projects for Impact - Kirsten Thorpe, Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Education & Research, University of Technology Sydney (starts at 00:36)
- Monash Country Lines Archive: 3D animations and oral archives - Dr Shannon Faulkhead, Monash Country Lines (starts at 01:03)
True as nan: Recognising the authority of Aboriginal memory in our GLAM spaces – Damien Webb (audio, AIATSIS, 2017)
Damien Webb talks about the State Library of Western Australia’s Storylines Project, and the impacts of engaging directly with Indigenous communities to tell their stories.
Shaun Angeles on preservation of remote Indigenous collections – National Film and Sound Archive (video, 2015)
Shaun Angeles from the Strehlow Research Centre, discusses the importance of preserving Indigenous audiovisual collections created and stored in remote communities.
Preserve, Strengthen and Renew in community – AIATSIS (2016-2020)
“AIATSIS initiated the Preserve, Strengthen and Renew in Community (PSR) project in 2016 in order to address the significant under-recognition and under-protection of intangible expressions of Indigenous culture and heritage. PSR project activities were carried out between 2017 and 2019 (with significant planning beforehand) – as a means of exploring why access to cultural material can be so challenging and to identify practical options for changing current individual, community and institutional practices.”