Koorie Victoria and State Library of Victoria collections

Guide to sources in the Library collection, with links to external collections and digitised collections.

Introduction

From books and magazines, ephemera files, art auction catalogues, sheet music and scores to extensive audiovisual holdings, the Library's Arts collection explores some of the creative output of Aboriginal people.

Starting points

Art and artists

Books - The collection covers Aboriginal art from across Australia as well as Victorian artists. Works on individual artists from around Australia such as Ricky Maynard, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri or from regions such as the Western Desert co-operative Papunya Tula, Cape York or the Kimberley. Art from other areas in Australia and in other mediums, such as photography, rock paintings and bark paintings are also well represented. Works on individual artists and art dictionaries can be checked for biographical information.  In addition, discussion of Aboriginal Australians in art is included throughout the collections.

Online databases - provide access to journal and magazine articles, dictionaries and encyclopedias. Many of these are available available offsite for Victorian registered users.

Australian Art and Artists files - search the catalogue by the name of the artist or gallery. These files are collated by the Library from donated material including invitations, exhibition catalogues, price lists, press releases and program listings for individual artists and galleries. Material from around Australia - and some from overseas galleries, is included.

Exhibition catalogues - you can also search the catalogue by the name of the artist or gallery.

Auction catalogues -  from the main auction houses involved in the Aboriginal art trade including Sothebys, Mossgreen and Christies. Results are available through Australian art auction records. This is also available offsite.

Art galleries

Public collections

The library holds some examples of art by Aboriginal people in the Pictures Collection, but larger collections reflecting the breadth of artistic and cultural traditions from Aboriginal communities are held by institutions such as the Koorie Heritage Trust, the National Gallery of Victoria and the National Gallery of Australia.

Public galleries

Commercial galleries

Music

Our music collection includes recordings both of individual performers and compilations charting some of the story of Aboriginal people and music in Australia. Music Australia is a source of information on recorded and sheet music and scores, held in collections around Australia, with links to some digitised material.

Online databases - provide access to journal and magazine articles, dictionaries and encyclopedias. Many of these are available available offsite for Victorian registered users.

Recordings - The following is just a selection of music and works by or about individual performers and compilations. You can request our sound recordings from the catalogue for listening and viewing inside in the Library.

Film and performing arts

Many aspects of the Library's collections come together around film and performing arts. 

Dance is represented through recordings and pictures of traditional dance from communities around Australia and contemporary works from companies such as Bangarra Dance Theatre and the Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre.

The collection includes scripts for plays and books on Aboriginal people and drama.  Productions such as Bran nue day, Jedda and works by playwright and poet Jack Davis are represented. Scripts published by Currency Press, either by or about Aboriginal people, are also held.

Books on Aboriginal Australians in motion pictures discuss the history of the indigenous film industry in Australia, including issues of representation.

Online databases - provide access to journal and magazine articles, dictionaries and encyclopedias. Many of these are available available offsite for Victorian registered users.

Theatre Programme Collection - includes material from some live performances held in Victoria, and elsewhere in Australia.

Recordings - you can request audio and visual recordings across a wide range of subject areas from the catalogue for listening and viewing in the Library.

Useful websites

Australia Council Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts - provides resources, publications and guidance for Indigenous arts.

National Film and Sound Archive - Indigenous Connections - links to fact sheets, protocols, selection of films available for viewing online and Black Screen, provider of access to Indigenous films.

Jimmy Little

Jimmy Little at the Continental Prahran. H2010.99/131

Poster advertising performance by Jimmy Little at The Continental Café, Prahran, Victoria, H2010.99/131

State Library Victoria