Re-integrating Central Australian community cultural collections

The ARC Linkage project 'Re-integrating Central Australian community cultural collections' (LP140100806) is a partnership between the Central Land Council (CLC), the peak Indigenous representative body covering the southern half of the Northern Territory; the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne. This project addresses 3 main questions:

  • How can Central Australian Indigenous people better access their cultural records held in dispersed collections?
  • How can systems be established that enable efficient and culturally appropriate mobilization of archival materials?
  • How can archival access be established in ways that do not violate cultural protocols surrounding rights of access to and dissemination of cultural information?

This project will apply current research on archiving and community access to find practical solutions to managing the large amounts of recorded cultural material of interest to the Central Land Council and its constituents. It will identify and integrate information in a common database, work with community members to create a prioritised list of at-risk materials, apply locally meaningful categories for managing the archival materials, and develop strategies to support ongoing sustainability of the collections. As well as safeguarding at-risk materials, it will support Central Land Council strategic activities in land management and intergenerational knowledge transfer, and provide a framework for repatriation policy development.

Those involved are: Linda Barwick, Myfany Turpin and Petronella Vaarzon-Morel (The University of Sydney); Rachel Nordlinger and Jennifer Green (The University of Melbourne); Brian Connelly (Central Land Council)

From left: Myfany, Jennifer, Brian, Linda, Rachel and Petronella, with the first box to be digitised
From left: Myfany, Jennifer, Brian, Linda, Rachel and Petronella, with the first box to be digitised