Guides to our collection

If you're looking for a specific collection item or for more information on a subject, you can delve deeper into our collection by using our many guides, finding aids and databases.

Finding aids

Finding aids describe the contents of specific manuscript or audiovisual collections, and cover a range of collection items with new finding aids being added regularly.

Holding lists

The collection's CD-ROMs are available to the public in the Stanner Reading Room. They cover a wide range of subjects with many interactive and multimedia materials.

How to guides

Indexes and databases

  • The Aboriginal Biographical Index is a personal name index to published material held by our collections.
  • The Perfect Pictures database can only be accessed at AIATSIS, and contains over 140,000 images – representing about 20% of the total holdings of our Photographic Collection.
  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Indexes and Databases contain links to a wide range of indexes/databases and a selected few major websites freely searchable on the Internet. These databases all contain some valuable Indigenous studies content. They are arranged by Subject

Language and people bibliographies

If you’re looking for published information on a specific Indigenous Australian language or group of people, our Language and People bibliographies are a good summary of all the relevant printed items in our collection.

Pathways thesauri

AIATSIS Pathways includes three thesauri:

  • Subject – subjects that are a part of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies.
  • Language – language groups and people.
  • Place – locations and names.


  • How to search the ABI
  • How to use Mura®
  • Connecting to Country - aimed at cataloguers and indexers working with material with Indigenous content demonstrating best practice for establishing headings for Australian place names.
  • Talkin' Names - demonstrating best practice for establishing headings for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander personal names.
  • In Language - searching Mura® for materials relating to Indigenous Australian languages.

Native Title

A range of resources and information services relating to Native Title are available, including our very own Research and Access officer who provides expert advice and access assistance to native title clients on searching our collection.

Subject guides

Subject guides outline how to search Mura ® for collection items and the internet for information relating to:

Last reviewed: 12 Dec 2017