Guides to Aboriginal history

State Records has produced a number of guides to assist researchers with records relating to Aboriginal people. These guides cover various subjects, including families, art, education, health, missions and legislation.

These resources are available at our Research Centre and for purchase. To order copies please contact the Aboriginal Access Team.

Whose Land Is It Anyway?

In collaboration with the SACE Board of South Australia, State Records has collated a set of original documents from the archives at State Records to produce a resource titled Whose Land Is It Anyway?

The documents cover topics relating to the lives of Aboriginal people in South Australia and their experiences with government in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

These primary source materials are appropriate for use in Year 10 History, Stage 1 History, Stage 2 Australian History, Stage 1 and 2 Society and Culture and Stage 2 Aboriginal Studies.

South Australian secondary schools are entitled to receive a free copy of this resource on CD.

A Little Flour and a Few Blankets

Available for sale: $26.50+ postage and handling

A Little Flour and a Few Blankets: An Administrative History of Aboriginal Affairs in South Australia, 1834 -2000 is a guide to records relating to Aboriginal people held in State Records’ collection. It includes:

  • a summary of legislation used to govern Aboriginal people

  • an overview of government policies and practices

  • an overview of key departmental figures (i.e. the Protectors and Chief Protectors)

  • photographs and images of documents

  • tables which provide summaries of legislative and departmental changes in relation to Aboriginal affairs over time

  • a series register of holdings of various South Australian government agencies.

It is not intended to provide a comprehensive social or cultural history of Aboriginal affairs in South Australia. Neither is it intended to trace the impact of the administration on Aboriginal individuals, families or communities.

Distant Voices

Available for sale: $40.75 + postage and handling

Distant Voices is a DVD which has been designed to create an awareness of the records available in the State Records collection relating to Aboriginal history.

Distant Voices demonstrates how access to records has assisted Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in finding out about, and coming to terms with, Aboriginal history and experience.

Guide to Records Relating to Aboriginal People

Available for sale: $11.40 per printed volume or $30.75 per CD + postage and handling

This five volume guide provides an overview of the records that relate to Aboriginals from the early 19th century. It consists of five volumes; Volumes 1-4 were published in December 1988 and Volume 5 was published in 1991.

The guide covers records from the Aborigines' Office, Police Department, and the Colonial Secretary's Office and includes records from South Australia and the Northern Territory.

The Guide is useful for people researching:

  • Aboriginal family history

  • Aboriginal reconciliation

  • sociology

  • administrative history of Aboriginal affairs.

The minutes of the Aboriginal Protection Board and the Aboriginal Affairs Correspondence Files (letters received) 1866 - 1968 are two series that contain a wealth of information about Aboriginal people, and how their lives were affected by government policies and practices.

Historical researchers may find some attitudes expressed in the records distressing or offensive. Records should be viewed in their historical context and do not reflect current Government attitudes toward Aboriginal people. For more information about this, please see State Records’ Cultural Sensitivity Warning.

The Aboriginal Resource Kit

Available for sale: $49.75 + postage and handling

The Aboriginal Resource Kit was published in 1993 and provides examples of primary sources held by State Records relating to Aboriginal people. It contains records from 1842 through to 1970 and a list of GRG52 Department of Aboriginal Affairs records, topical interest lists, and a detailed index.

The Aboriginal Resource Kit covers a wide range of themes relating to Aboriginal issues during the times of colonisation, protection, assimilation and the post 1967 referendum period.

The Kit is useful to South Australian secondary school students, in particular those studying S.A.C.E (South Australian Certificate of Education) Aboriginal Studies. It is also an excellent cross cultural training package.

Government agencies have provided copyright permission for the use of the primary source records reproduced in the Aboriginal Resource Kit. Information in the records can be used under Copyright Act 1968 sections 40 and 103 which make provision for fair dealing where no more than 10% of a literary work can be copied for the purposes of research and study.

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