Primary sources

A primary source provides a first hand account of a topic. Primary sources provide the original materials on which other research is based, and enable students and other researchers to get as close as possible to what happened during a particular event or experience. They are original materials which have not been filtered or changed through interpretation, condensation or even evaluation by a second party.

See How to Find: Primary Sources to learn how to search for primary sources.

Finding Indigenous primary sources

Google can be a useful tool for locating Indigenous primary sources. Try including the keyword Indigenous or Aboriginal in your search then add site:au to restrict to Australian websites. For example:

  • Indigenous reconciliation stories site:au
  • Indigenous youth video site:au
  • Indigenous history art site:au
  • Aboriginal music site:au

Koori Mail is a national fortnightly newspaper that focuses on the Indigenous people of Australia. Digitised copies of the Koori Mail are available online from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). Individual articles are not searchable on this site but a separate index, INFOKOORI, is provided by the State Library of New South Wales.

One of the major roles of AIATSIS is to preserve the heritage and living culture of Indigenous Australians. The site can be difficult to search, but by browsing the site’s digitised collections and online exhibitions you can discover a wealth of valuable material.

BlackWords records information about the lives, careers, and works of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers and storytellers and the literary cultures and traditions that formed and influenced them. It includes creative writing, film, television, criticism and scholarship, both by and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers.

Trove allows you to search the collections of the National Library and State Libraries across Australia as well as many other collections for Indigenous published and unpublished historical and contemporary content.

The ABC Indigenous portal aggregates Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander stories from Australia. Browse the site to explore the latest Indigenous stories and features from ABC Radio, News & current affairs, TV and iview.

Newspaper that aims to close the knowledge gap between mainstream Australians and Indigenous Australians.

A searchable sub-section of the SBS website that allows you to view NITV programs and radio broadcasts, as well as other news and media on SBS about Indigenous issues.

Collects and curates Indigenous histories and culture, such as the First Australians - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander permanent exhibition and resources. Browse this collection to explore the shared stories and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.