Posted to the Ethnos Project by on September 13th, 2014

In this paper I describe the Northern Territory Library’s, Libraries and Knowledge Centres program and examine some of the ways that digital technologies are being used to improve local access to archival materials in remote Australian Aboriginal communities. The development of community heritage databases gives some communities the opportunity toconstruct small collections of digitised photographs, documents, films and audio recordings of local relevance. Items retrieved from archives, libraries, museums and private collections are entered into the database and enriched with additional information by interested community members. By drawing on examples from the Anmatyerr Library and Knowledge Centre in Ti Tree (Aleyaw), 200kms north of Alice Springs, this paper outlines how access to archival materials has stimulated local knowledge documentation and cultural revivification activities. Some of the inherent complexities encountered when developing collections of this nature are also discussed. This paper concludes by suggesting that improving the flow of information between remote communities and the various cultural institutions will be a major challenge for digital heritage management initiatives into the future.

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