Several functions of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) will be located in a new home from 1 October 2015 as the Institute’s digitisation work ramps up.
Space has been secured at 14 Childers Street, Canberra to provide accommodation for AIATSIS’ Research, Aboriginal Studies Press and Finance areas to allow for the expansion of Collections program area.
The Collections staff increases arise from the additional funding received in the last budget round for the urgent preservation of collection items.
The Minister for Education and Training, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, announced the $5 million injection into the Institute’s budget for the 2015-16 financial year in April, acknowledging the culturally, nationally and internationally significant collection held by AIATSIS.
AIATSIS Chairperson Professor Mick Dodson said the funding allows the Institute to focus on work to preserve and digitise the collections before it is too late and items are lost to the ravages of time.
“The collection is the most extensive and best contextualised collection of Indigenous Australia in the world. This is an unrivalled cultural resource described by a recent independent assessment as ‘a site of pilgrimage’,” Professor Dodson said.
“We must ensure it is available and discoverable for generations to come.”
The AIATSIS collection includes almost one million items – 650,000 photographic images, works of art, artefacts, print materials, 40,000 hours of audio files, six million feet of film and 3,000 rare books.
The AIATSIS Library holds more than 170,000 items and is the most comprehensive research collection of materials about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the world.
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