Visiting the collection

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) provide a range of services to help you get the most out of our vast collection of materials relating to the oldest continuing culture on earth.

Visiting AIATSIS

The Reading Room will still be open from 11am – 3pm Monday to Friday. An Access Officer will be on duty and we can assist with access to the open stacks which holds our published print collection and also our photographic database which is viewed through computers in the Reading Room.

If you are visiting us here in Canberra, it is important that you contact us beforehand so we can make sure the collections you want to visit are available.

We welcome visits from groups conducting their own research, who may wish to view specific collection items. Group visits include orientation tours of our Print collection and may include rare items as well as an introduction to our Sound and Film collections.

Access to collection items

Some of the items in our collection are not owned by AIATSIS, but have been deposited with us for preservation and safe-keeping. If you wish to view collection items with closed access, copying or quotation conditions, it is important for you to contact us before your visit so we can let you know what procedures you will need to follow for access, copy or quotation of the material. Authorisation must be in writing and must be signed by the depositor.

If you would like to view or request copies of collection items that fall into this category, permission will need to be given by the relevant Indigenous Australian person, family or community beforehand.

If the material is being requested for publication, we will need to consult with the depositor/s before proceeding. We cannot guarantee that all materials will be made available to all clients, or that permission will be received within a set timeframe.

Read our Access and Use policy (PDF, 772 KB) for more information.

Reading and viewing rooms

The Stanner Reading Room is open to the public from 11amto 3pm, Monday to Friday,for people wishing to view the print collection.

Audiovisual collection items are available to view by appointment only from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. Contact us to make an appointment.

Perfect Pictures Database

The Perfect Pictures database contains over 140,000 images, representing about 20% of the total collection items in our Photographic Collection, and is only available to view at AIATSIS. Images that are subject to access restrictions (e.g. secret/sacred content) are not included in the Perfect Pictures database.

Last reviewed: 2 Aug 2018