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People are advised that records will contain names and photographs of Aboriginal people who have since died, which may cause distress to their relatives; discretion should be used when accessing them.

The collection contains both published and archival materials, all are searchable via the State Library's catalogue.

Need assistance?

Ask Us a research question.

State Library staff have developed an array of Aboriginal Australia library guides to assist with your research requirements.

The State Library's archival collection contains a substantial amount of unpublished South Australian material, including material that is relevant to Aboriginal people, including oral histories such as the following:

Mountford-Sheard Collection

The Mountford-Sheard Collection (PRG 1218) is a unique and significant collection of materials created by ethnologist Charles Pearcy Mountford during the 1930s to 1960s. This collection covers a selection of Aboriginal communities from South and Central Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

In 2008 the collection was inscribed on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World register

For information about the collection, its contents and access conditions view the Mountford-Sheard Collection Library Guide.

Partnerships and digital repatriation

Ara Irititja

We work cooperatively with Ara Irititja, the Social History Unit of the Pitjantjatjara Council, to describe and digitise images and other material relevant to the Pitjantjatjara communities of Central Australia. Access to this material is then provided through a mobile community database.

Community databases

The State Library has supplied content for a number of community-led publications, exhibitions and databases, enabling Aboriginal Communities to have access, on Country, to material of cultural significance held at the library. 

For more information view Indigenous protocols, policy and usage.


Image: Close up of a stone axe, fashioned by an Adnyamathanha man at the Nepabunna Mission Station, Northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia. Photographer, Charles Mountford, c1937. SLSA: PRG 1218/34/671B