We care for a growing collection of over 1 million items including language, sound, photos, video and books, all dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories. 

Our collection is highly significant both as a keeping place for culturally significant objects, and as a resource for anybody looking to improve their knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture.


Art and Object collection including over 3000 items.

Books and printed material amounting to over 175,680 titles, including some 1380 reference texts, 3740 serial titles, and nearly 16,000 books.

Film collection containing more than 4000 video titles and 830 film titles (over 6 million feet of motion picture film).

The Australian Indigenous Languages Collection contains over 4500 titles and has been placed on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register.

Manuscript collection of 11,700 titles with over 4800 rare books and pamphlets, and 1700 rare serial titles.

Pictorial collection of approximately 700,000 photographs relating to Indigenous Australia, dating from the late 1800s to the present day.

Approximately 40,000 hours of sound, almost all of which is unique and unpublished.

search the catalogue

Search the collection

We hold the world's largest collection dedicated to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories.

guides and resources

Collections online

Come on an interactive journey with us through these stunning online collections.

subject languages and place


The Thesauri contains place, language, people and subjects relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies.

using the collection

Using the collection

There are many ways to use the collection, and they don't all involve visiting us in Canberra.

dontate to the collection


We welcome donations of unpublished materials relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies.

biographical index

Search our names index

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Biographical Index, or ABI, is a personal name index that helps you locate mentions of people in the collection.

Last reviewed: 20 Aug 2019