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The Stanner Reading Room at AIATSIS will be closed on Monday 24 February, due to an event. Clients who wish to visit the Reading Room on this day can still make an appointment for between 1:00PM and 4:30PM.

The Reading Room is open to the general public from 10AM to 1PM weekdays. Please make an appointment in advance to access collection material between 9:30AM and 4:30PM weekdays.

Please complete this form if you would like to access AIATSIS collection material or make an appointment.

We care for a growing collection of over 1 million items including language, sound, photos, video and books, all dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories.

Search Collections to find:

  • books, serials and manuscripts
  • photographic and audio visual materials
  • artworks and objects
  • information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages
  • family history resources

Learn more about using the collection.

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Conditions of use - important sensitivity information

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that the AIATSIS catalogues may contain names, images and voices of deceased people.

It is a condition of use of the catalogue that you ensure that any disclosure of the information contained in it is consistent with the views and sensitivities of relevant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Considerations include:


Please be aware that there may be words, descriptions, names, sounds, images, videos and audio recordings which may be culturally sensitive and which might not normally be used in certain public or community contexts. Terms and annotations which reflect the author's attitude or that of the period in which the item was written may not be considered appropriate today. These views are not necessarily the views of AIATSIS. While the information may not reflect current understandings, it is provided in an historical context

Deceased persons

Seeing images of deceased persons in photographs, film and books or hearing them in recordings may cause sadness or distress and offend against strongly held cultural prohibitions in some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 

Access conditions

Collection items discovered through this catalogue may be subject to access conditions imposed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, families or communities. Some of the items in our collection are not owned by AIATSIS, but have been deposited with us for preservation and safe-keeping. In cases where AIATSIS does not own collection items, depositors may also impose terms and conditions which we are required to maintain. This may affect your access to certain collection materials.

Further reading

Last reviewed: 7 Jan 2020