Archival Returns: Central Australia and Beyond

Front Cover
Linda Barwick, Jennifer Green, Petronella Vaarzon-Morel
Sydney University Press, 2020 - Music - 374 pages

Place-based cultural knowledge - of ceremonies, songs, stories, language, kinship and ecology - binds Australian Indigenous societies together. Over the last 100 years or so, records of this knowledge in many different formats - audiocassettes, photographs, films, written texts, maps, and digital recordings - have been accumulating at an ever-increasing rate. Yet this extensive documentary heritage is dispersed. In many cases, the Indigenous people who participated in the creation of the records, or their descendants, have little idea of where to find the records or how to access them. Some records are held precariously in ad hoc collections, and their caretakers may be perplexed as to how to ensure that they are looked after.

Archival Returns: Central Australia and Beyond explores the strategies and practices by which cultural heritage materials can be returned to their communities of origin, and the issues this process raises for communities, as well as for museums, galleries, and other cultural institutions.

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