Gaps in the descriptive metadata of our national memory: digital engagement with colonial photographs of Indigenous Australians

Ross, Kathryn

National 2016 Conference, 29 August-2 September 2016 Adelaide: Engage Create Lead.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers should be aware that this paper contains images and names of people who are now deceased.
This conference presentation (PowerPoint slides) supports the paper which discusses the value, relevance and role of historical images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people along with the decriptive metadata that was recorded at the time of capture.
This paper examines the challenge of absent and fabricated metadata in these photographs as they are discovered, delivered and published online. It draws on research into the role these collections play in European anthropological museums, including the Pitt Rivers Museum at Oxford University and the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, to consider their transactional provenance. It also explore cultural rights and the value of photographs to Indigenous communities and considers the seminal Ara Irititja and new Indigenous databases and ask how we can best connect with experts in Indigenous communities to fill gaps in the descriptive metadata of our national memory.


Deakin, ACT : Australian Library and Information Association
National Library of Australia