About AustLit

  • What's in AustLit

    AustLit is a searchable, scholarly source of authoritative biographical, bibliographic, critical, and production information about Australian writers and writing. It also documents the publishers, newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals that make this work known.

    Material dates largely from the arrival of European print culture in Australia (c.1788) to the present. However, pre-1788 works, such as Gabriel de Foigny's utopian, imaginary work from 1676, La Terre Australe Connue, are included, as are references to the pre-colonial and continuing storytelling cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

    We interact closely with our academic colleagues through the growing number of Research Projects supported by AustLit, and undertaken by scholars around the country.

    Our news blog, AustLit News, our Twitter feed, @AustLit, and an information request service keep our users informed.

  • The database encompasses information about individual 'works' such as:

    • fiction and poetry
    • writing for the theatre, film and television
    • biographical and travel writing
    • criticism and reviews

    and 'agents' who might be:

    • individual authors who write creative and critical works
    • writing-related organisations such as publishers; authors' groups and societies; Film and theatre production companies; writers' centres; literary agencies; arts and cultural organisations; and arts and literary festivals.

    Note: The use of the term 'agent' is a database convention used to distinguish people and organisations from 'works'. More information can be found in the Data Model section.

  • Understanding AustLit Records

    AustLit is the first major implementation of several important new data models, and its result displays are significantly different to those found in many other citation or full text databases.

    Authors, publishers and other organisations are all classed as AustLit agents and in some cases have quite detailed records. These can contain:

    • Primary names: the name most commonly used by this author
    • Also Known As (AKA) names: other names used by this author, including non-writing names or common shortenings of names
    • Also Writes As names: pseudonyms and alternative writing names
    • Gender
    • Heritage: cultural heritages publicly identified by authors
    • Awards: for works, or for contributions to literary culture
    • Biography: a brief summary of author's life and career
    • Summary of works by and works about this author.

    Works are classified by type, form and genre. As many works have more than one classification (e.g. novel and crime, website and biography), the numbers indicated in the Works by and Works about lists may be greater than the total number of works listed.

    AustLit Work records can contain:

    • Creator: records a range of creator roles (eg. editor, illustrator etc.)
    • Work title: records the first title under which a work is published
    • Alternative titles: title/s under which the work has also been published
    • Work subjects: including general concepts, places, people, time periods and organisations
    • Work awards: Australian and international literary awards
    • Relationships: to author or publisher series, sequences and other related works
    • Publication history: details of multiple versions (where the content has been changed, e.g. translations or revised editions, and reprints)
    • Publication details: place, date and publisher plus URL for online items
    • Contents: individual contents of journals, selected works, anthologies, multi-chapter works and websites.

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