Skip to main content

Pathways thesauri

cover image
Publication date
Collection guides
AIATSIS Collections

The Pathways thesaurus is made up of three separate thesaurus headings:

  • Australian place names
  • Indigenous language groups and people
  • Subjects relating to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies.

Pathways thesaurus headings for Indigenous language group and people are changing.

Please search AustLang to find information about Indigenous languages, and use the Catalogue tab link to Mura for items in or about that language.

Headings for Indigenous people are still found using Pathways thesaurus; these headings are soon to be migrated to AustLang. Both sets of headings will be deleted from Pathways thesaurus when that migration is complete.

The AIATSIS Pathways thesauri provides many paths into the AIATSIS Collection via Mura, our Collection catalogue. The headings in Pathways are used in catalogue records to describe all items held in our Collection. Following the ATSILIRN protocols, the thesauri contain culturally appropriate terms to describe materials with Indigenous content.

The United States Library of Congress has approved the Language, Place and Subject thesaurus for use worldwide in bibliographic records. In addition to our records on Mura you will find these headings in records on National Library of Australia’s Trove and OCLC’s Worldcat databases. You are able to download the thesaurus in pdf or rtf format.


This thesaurus contains headings for languages and peoples within Australia. The headings include the language code eg. (N92) and a grid reference to the 1:250,000 map grid series eg. Alawa language (N92) (NT SD53-10).


This thesaurus contains headings for place names within Australia, using the Indigenous place name first, wherever possible. The headings include the grid reference to the 1:250,000 map grid series eg. Lake Hindmarsh (NW Vic SJ54-03).


This thesaurus contains the faceted subject headings. It reflects AIATSIS' exclusive interest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies. Where possible, the choice of heading tries to reflect Indigenous perspectives.