Archival Science

, 9:7

Matjabala Mali’ Buku-Ruŋanmaram: implications for archives and access in Arnhem Land

Original paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10502-009-9099-9

Cite this article as:
Gumbula, N., Corn, A. & Mant, J. Arch Sci (2009) 9: 7. doi:10.1007/s10502-009-9099-9


This article traces the efforts of a research team led by the Yolŋu elder and scholar, Neparrŋa Gumbula, to investigate his people’s recorded history in the University of Sydney Archives. This research has identified some of the earliest photographic and written records of Yolŋu life in Arnhem Land, Australia. Though consultations with the source communities of Miliŋinbi (Milingimbi) and Galiwin’ku (Elcho Island), it has also determined appropriate ways of maintaining ongoing local access to these rare archived materials. The article contextualises this research within broader international initiatives to locate and provide access to other early ethnographic records from Arnhem Land. It considers the role of digital technologies in providing remote community access, and how various access protocols can be implemented to ensure appropriate use.


Archives Ethnography Aboriginal Australia Arnhem Land Yolngu Photography 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ARC Indigenous Fellow, Koori CentreThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.School of Letters, Art, and MediaThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.The University of Sydney ArchivesSydneyAustralia

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