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The State Library endorses the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Protocols for Libraries, Archives and Information Services.

We contributed to the Position statement: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collections and services in NSLA libraries and the associated Position statement: Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP).

The purpose of these documents is to guide the development of library services and collections for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Repatriation Policy

Repatriation Policy

The State Library is responsive to requests from Indigenous Knowledge Centres and other community-owned databases to digitally repatriate relevant material from its collection back to the community of origin on a cost-recovery basis. Requests must come from an established or developing centre or similar community-owned project.

This policy does not apply to copy requests made by individuals.

Conditions of Use


Although copyright law applies to works with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander content in the same way as it applies to other works, there may be additional legal and cultural issues, for instance, because the work includes secret or sacred information, or cultural information obtained and/or distributed without consent. Read more about copying and re-using works with Indigenous cultural content.

Publishing or ordering a copy

Customers wishing to publish archival material with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander content or order copies of material can do so online via the seek permission to publish or order a copy form.

Cultural Clearance

Once copyright status and any donor restrictions have been assessed, there is a procedure for deciding whether a customer will also have to seek a cultural clearance for the use of the material from the relevant Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community, family, individual or organisation.

Should cultural clearances be required, the State Library will assist the customer to understand the process involved in meeting this obligation.


Allow up to two weeks for the assessment of permission to publish request. Please note that if consultation with members of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community is required, then you should allow a longer period to obtain this. Upon receipt of payment, allow up to three weeks for the completion of a copy order, with permission to publish request.


If you have any queries please Ask Us.

Find out more about the State Library's Indigenous collection services.