Guide to sources in the Library collection, with links to external collections and digitised collections.
The Pictures Collection includes significant historical and contemporary images depicting Aboriginal people - drawings, sketches, paintings and for the nineteeth century, the newly developing field of photography.
Works by travelers such as Henry Brinton and John Helder Wedge from the time of first contact place Aboriginal people in the landscape, in family groupings and as individuals, in conflict and often observing from the periphery, as well as with white settlers.
An important part of the collection are images of Aboriginal Australians on the missions and reserves they were ordered to live on in the nineteenth century. Individuals, family and larger groupings as well as the buildings and country are depicted. Work from nineteenth century Aboriginal artists Tommy McCrae and William Barak are also included in the collection.
Illustrated newspapers portrayed Aboriginal people and their lives, sometimes with dramatic interpretation.
Posters produced by printers such as Breakdown Press, Red Letter Press, Another Planet and Redplanet combined artistic skill with political and social comment. Aboriginal people in the contemporary pictorial record are represented by the the works of Leah King Smith and Vicki Couzens.
Portraits of Elders were commissioned by the Library and photographed by Angela Lynkushka.
To access the collection, contact the Library.
A corroboree on Emerald Hill in 1840. W.E.F. Liardet. H28250/31
General view of Aboriginal Mission Station, Coranderrk. Fred Kruger, H2006.123/9
Ramahyuck Aboriginal Mission Station, Lake Wellington, Gippsland. W.H.Harrison, IAN04/01/69/5
Aboriginal ceremony, with wallaby and emu. William Barak, H29641