Library Research Guide – Useful Resources

Library Research Guide – Useful Resources

On this page:

Indigenous Art

Getting Started

Start with the School’s Library catalogue, continue with Trove and the resources listed below. Don’t forget to check the websites of Australia’s national and state art galleries and museums and either use the provided search boxes or navigate to links such as Collection, Education, Online Galleries, etc. There is a wealth of indigenous art on those websites.


Trove is an excellent resource for Australian indigenous art and includes the following resources:

  • AIATSIS: all of AIATSIS’s holdings are now discoverable through Trove
  • ABC (links take you to TV programs radio interviews that can be accessed online for free)
  • Biographies (under People and Organisations) – the biographies also summarise the resources available on a particular individual
  • Australian newspapers up to 1955
  • Images of artworks and artifacts held in Australian galleries and museums
AIATSIS resources

AIATSIS : The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies is the national research and collecting institution for information and research about the cultures and lifestyles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, past and present.

AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia: maps the language, tribal or nation groups of Australia’s indigenous peoples.

AIATSIS Thesauri: Pathways contains the terms used to describe the items in the AIATSIS Collections including a thesaurus for subjects relating to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies, language groups and people, and place names.

AUSTLANG: The Australian Indigenous Languages Database provides information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. The core of AUSTLANG is a database which assembles information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages from a number of sources.

Guides: AIATSIS has produced a number of guides on their collections and the use of the collections. Please ensure that you adhere to the conditions of use.

Mura®: AIATSIS’ catalogue. Video tutorials are available on the website.

Ozbib: bibliography of published works and theses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.

Other Free Web Resources

Aboriginal Studies WWW Virtual Library: Maintained by Dr Matthew Ciolek in conjunction with the Center For World Indigenous Studies.

Aboriginal Australia Art & Culture Centre: Owned and operated by the Pwerte Marnte Marnte Aboriginal Corporation, Alice Springs, it is a traditional “meeting place” for the trading of Aboriginal artifacts, knowledge, Aboriginal Art and Aboriginal Culture.

Aboriginal Art Directory: promotes Australian Indigenous art nationally and internationally; as well as providing consumer information about ethics and authenticity when buying Aboriginal art. It comprises 3 sections – Directory, News, and Online Gallery & artwork sales

Ananguku Arts: founded by the artists of the APY Lands in the far northwest of South Australia. Ananguku Arts assists Indigenous artists and Art Centres by facilitating professional development opportunities and skills development workshops and providing information, forums and shared services on a regional and statewide level.

Association of Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists (ANKAAA): peak advocacy and support agency for Aboriginal artists working individually and through 48 remote Art Centres spread across a vast area of approximately 1 million square kilometres

Desart: non-profit peak industry body for over forty Central Australian Aboriginal art centres.

Indigenous Art Code: establishes standards for dealings between Dealers and Artists to ensure: (a) fair and ethical trade in Artwork; (b) transparency in the process of promotion and sale of Artwork; and (c) that disputes arising under the Code are dealt with efficiently and fairly.

National Indigenous Television (NITV): channel made by, for and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Tandanya: Australia’s oldest Aboriginal-owned and managed multi-arts centre.

UMI Arts: the peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultural organisation for Far North Queensland.

Collections of Indigenous Art

Musee du Quai Branly: The Musee du Quai Branly is devoted to the art of the indigenous peoples of the world and has a substantial collection of Australian indigenous art.

The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia: the only museum in the United States dedicated to the exhibition and study of Australian Aboriginal art.

Australian art galleries also have substantial collections of Australian art – check their websites.


Key journals can be found in the Informit collections at the National Library of Australia (see below). However, to access Artand Australia, please speak to the librarian for the login and password.

Resources available through National Library of Australia e-Resources

Provided you have a membership card from the National Library of Australia, you will be able to access the following journal and newspaper databases via the e-resources portal:

  • Informit Indigenous Collection (Australian journals)
  • Informit Literature and Culture Collection (Australian journals)
  • Informit Humanities Collection (Australian journals)
  • Australia and New Zealand Reference Centre (contemporary Australian newspapers)
Indigenous Art Exhibitions and Fairs

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair: held annually since 2009.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA): held annually since 1984, sponsored by Telstra, and hosted by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.

National Indigenous Art Triennial: held every three years at the National Gallery of Australia. Check the NGA’s website.

Tarnanthi: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art. Commenced in 2016.

List of databases

Oxford Art Online

The School also subscribes to Oxford Art Online (ask librarian for login and password) which comprises Grove Art Online and Benezit Dictionary of Artists and also provides access to the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms.

Grove Art Online is the foremost scholarly art encyclopaedia, updated regularly and covering global art and architecture from prehistory to present day. It includes peer-reviewed articles contributed by over 7,000 scholars from around the world, accompanied by images, bibliographies, and links to additional resources.

Benezit Dictionary of Artists is a comprehensive and definitive resource for artists’ biographies, published since 1911. It includes 170,000 biographies as well as auction records, exhibition histories, and over 11,000 images of artists’ signatures and stamps of sale.

Tip: when you search Oxford Art Online and select an article, right-click and open it in a new tab. Then, if you need to do a new search, the new search will search all of Oxford Art Online. Otherwise it will only search Grove or Benezit.

Databases available via the National Library of Australia

To access the databases listed below, you will need to join the National Library of Australia. Click here to apply for a membership card (free). Bear in mind it takes two weeks to get your card and you will not be able to access the databases until you have your membership card.

Once you have your card, you can then access the databases by logging in with your card at this page. Once you have logged in, you can search for the database by name or browse by subject.


JSTOR is a multi-disciplinary archive of 1,000+ journals.


Ebsco has multiple databases: Academic Search Complete, Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre, and the Art Index.  Search for the individual databases and not Ebsco.


Informit is published by RMIT and contains predominantly Australian and New Zealand content.


Factiva is an international newspaper database (including Australian newspapers).

Project Muse

Published by John Hopkins University Press, Project Muse has many journal and articles covering the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

Online arts resources

Galleries and museums around the world are developing major online resources that are usually available free of charge. These resources extend from images of their collections to downloads of publications and other resources.

You will also find a link to a page on resources for Australian Indigenous Art, as well as a page for online resources for individual artists.

Online tools

The following pages will provide you with links to useful online tools.

Library Research Guide

This Guide will help you locate information for your assignments, provide some assistance in writing your assignments, and provide links to useful online resources and tools. There is also a section on practice-led research for third-year and Honours students.

We acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of country throughout Australia and acknowledge their continuing connection to land, water and community.

We pay our respects to the people, the cultures and the elders past, present and emerging.