Improving the discovery and promotion of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander material and languages

National Library of Australia
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)
Describe the main features of the policy/measure: 
The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) AUSTLANG database provides information on over 1,200 Indigenous Australian languages, both current and historical. The system gives each language an alphanumeric code that functions as a unique identifier. In 2018, the National Library of Australia and AIATSIS successfully petitioned the Library of Congress to adopt the AIATSIS AUSTLANG coding system in place of the single code it was using to cover all Indigenous Australian languages. Together with AIATSIS, the National Library actively encouraged Australian libraries to adopt the AUSTLANG coding system. The coding system has been taken up by over 70 libraries across Australia. During National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week in 2019, to mark the 2019 Year of Indigenous Languages, the National Library and AIATSIS partnered with the library community to hold an AUSTLANG National Code-a-thon. Participants—including librarians, Trove text correctors, volunteers, language practitioners and the general public—updated catalogue records and added Trove tags using AIATSIS’ AUSTLANG database codes. Trove is the National Library’s online platform—a single access point that the opportunity to discover a huge array of unique Australian content, such as artefacts, curiosities and stories from Australia’s cultural, community and research institutions By the end of the week, a total of 8,017 records in the Australian National Bibliographic Database had received an AUSTLANG Indigenous Australian language code, with 465 unique languages represented. The results and impact of this event have far exceeded expectations. The work achieved during the AUSTLANG National Code-a-thon has resulted in a searchable map, made available via Trove, that showcases the diversity of language material available in Trove and an easy way to discover all works in a particular language. Indigenous Australian language materials are easier to find than ever before. Ongoing promotion of the uptake of AUSTLANG is assisting communities to keep traditional languages strong into the future.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the policy/measure?: 
• Improve discovery and promotion of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander material and languages in Australian collections as discoverable through Trove; • Increased access to important Australian documentary and cultural heritage; and • Increased and improved engagement between Indigenous Australians and their cultural heritage.
Financial resources allocated to the policy/measure in USD: 
Partner(s) engaged in the implementation of the measure: 
Has the implementation of the policy/measure been evaluated?: 
Goal(s) of UNESCO's 2005 Convention
Cultural Domain(s)
Transversal Priority(ies)