Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), Canberra

Identity area

Identifier

daa/6

Authorized form of name

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), Canberra

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name

  • Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, 1964-1989

Type

  • National

Contact area

 

Reference Staff 02 6246 1182

Type

Address

Street address

Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula
Postal address: GPO Box 553, Canberra 2601

Locality

Canberra

Region

Australian Capital Territory

Country name

Postal code

2601

Telephone

02 6246 1111

Fax

02 6261 4285

Email

Note

Description area

History

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) has been central to the development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies as a distinctive, unique and substantial field of study in Australia incorporating disciplines such as anthropology, archaeology, art, health, education, linguistics and ethnomusicology.

AIATSIS commenced in 1961 with an interim Council. An Act of Parliament in 1964 established the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies (AIAS), with a twenty-two member, primarily academic, Council and a foundation membership of 100.

The first Aboriginal member of the AIAS council joined in 1970. The early work of the AIAS greatly increased interaction between scholars in different fields and laid the foundations of future collections and an extensive list of publications.

The AIAS Act was replaced by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Act in 1989. The Act created a Research Advisory Committee and reduced the size of the Council to nine members. Members of the AIATSIS Council are now predominately Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, reflecting the diverse nature of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and issues. Scholars, both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous, continue to make an overwhelming contribution to AIATSIS' collections and knowledge.

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Act 1989 (Cth)

Administrative structure

For information about governance and structure, see http://aiatsis.gov.au/about-us/governance-and-structure

Records management and collecting policies

The Institute focuses on collecting materials about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Buildings

Holdings

In addition to Art, artefacts, books and printed material, holdings include:

  • A manuscript and rare books collection with over 11,000 manuscript titles, 2,700 rare books, 2,200 rare pamphlets and almost 1,700 rare serial titles with 14,650 issues.
  • Pictorial collection of over 650,000 photographs relating to Indigenous Australia, dating from the late 1800s to the present day.
  • Approximately 40,000 hours of Sound, most of which is unique and unpublished.
  • Film collection containing more than 5,000 video titles and 830 film titles (over 6.5 million feet of motion picture film).
  • The Australian Indigenous Languages Collection contains over 4,400 titles and has been placed on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register.

Finding aids, guides and publications

The Institute has material including:

  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Biographical Index
  • Databases
  • Native title resources and information services
  • Subject guides.

For further information, see http://aiatsis.gov.au/research/guides-and-resources

Access area

Opening times

Open Monday, Wednesday to Friday 9am-5pm.
Closed Tuesdays and public holidays.
There are many ways to use the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) collection, and they don't all involve visiting us in Canberra - see http://aiatsis.gov.au/collections/using-collection
Note that there are limitations on visits and access between March and June 2018 during building refurbishment - for details see http://aiatsis.gov.au/collections/using-collection/visiting-collection

Access conditions and requirements

All manuscripts are subject to access conditions and require an Indemnity form and in some cases a Permission form. Email for further advice on accessing manuscripts that interest you.

If your request is for native title research, please contact the Native Title Research and Access Service.

Accessibility

Services area

Research services

Client services and access staff can help you find information within the collections. This includes:

  • researching Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories
  • providing specialist advice and information about using the collection
  • helping you to locate other research avenues and sources of information.

Reproduction services

Public areas

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (Thematic area)
  • Indigenous (Thematic area)
  • Clipboard

Primary contact

Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula Postal address: GPO Box 553, Canberra 2601
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601