Discovering Indigenous Australian Culture: Building Trusted Engagement in Online Environments

Informa UK Limited
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Web Librarianship, 2016, 10, (4), pp. 343-363
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Promoting and facilitating access to historical collections for Indigenous communities has recently increased across Australia. Such activities have been integrated into the practices of archives and libraries seeking to reunite Indigenous people with materials that not only document their past but also inform their future. Challenges in accessing these materials go beyond retrieval and include concerns about their emotional content. The State Library of New South Wales is working to create trusted environments for Indigenous peoples and collections with both physical and digital spaces. Through the presentation of work undertaken at the State Library, this article explores how the digital environment can be an effective extension of the physical site in which cultural collections are held. In addition, this article looks at issues that must be addressed to ensure the success and ongoing viability of Web spaces, specifically, the long-standing power dynamics that often dominate interactions with Indigenous collections and that have displaced power from the traditional owners of Indigenous knowledge.
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