Engaging community language researchers with Indigenous languages collections

Thursday, 23 March 2017
Mr Desmond Crump

Collecting institutions have a diverse range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage materials in their collections. The dilemma for most institutions is how to make it accessible and discoverable for community members while at the same time building the capacity of community to research and manage their cultural heritage. The presentation will focus on how the State Library of Queensland (SLQ) has opened up their collections for community access as well as building capacity in communities to not only research these materials but also create new knowledge to enhance community language revival. 

SLQ has implemented a number of innovative practices to enhance the accessibility/discoverability of collections, such as ‘tagging’ over 2,500 items in SLQ collections with AIATSIS Language Codes, interactive language resources map, compilation of wordlists/resources and facilitating the networking and sharing of ideas and resources via the SLQ Indigenous Languages Blog.

In addition, capacity of community language research is enhanced by research workshops, community language workshops, the Indigenous Languages Residency and the languages and New Media Toolkit.

These elements have led to an increased level of community engagement where new knowledge is created and adds to the existing knowledge within SLQ collections; ReTold, the Margaret Lawrie Collection and the Archibald Meston Papers.