The Search and Clear buttons activate your search and clear out the search components respectively.
The interactive search components (People and Organisations, Work, Keyword, Subject and Scope) may still have previous search terms in them even if the drop downs are closed. Use Clear before you start brand new searches to ensure a clean search.
This search box allows you to search for a person or organisation by name or persons and organisations with similarities and expands to allow you to refine your search.
Click the arrows to reveal the dropdowns
You can combine components :
Female expats – choose Female and Expatriate under Gender and Residency.
Literary societies established in the 19th century – type 'society' in the Name box and 1800-1899 in Year of Birth.
Authors who belong to the Pitjantjatjara people - use Heritage.
Use this search option in combination with others to refine your search or when you have only partial information.
Author/title searches are the simplest of these but you can also track down the identity of your fellow surfer Tim who says he writes novels set in Western Australia (see Combination Searches for more).
Clicking the plus (+) button on search boxes adds another search box for immediate use in an AND search combination.
Clicking the minus (-) button on search boxes will exclude search returns containing that word (a combined NOT search).
If you search out of the People/Organisation component results will return with people and organisations (rendered in blue) on the 'top'. Click the WORKS tab for works associated (orange) and ALL to get a list of all results.
You can use this to search to find all sorts of people and organisations by name :
Paul Eggert (scholar), Malouf (author), Voyager (publisher), ALS or Australian Literature Society (group).
Supply only the year of birth in four number format (1969) or a range of years (1960-1969).
Place searches will search 'narrower' - so if you search for people born in Queensland, it will pick up all places in the gazette within Queensland.
Note that states are divided into smaller divisions or 'areas'.
This set of details can be used to find groups of people with a particular geographic relationship to Australia.
'Expatriates' are people who were born in Australia but left to live all or a large portion of their working lives overseas (e.g. Peter Carey and Henry Handel Richardson).
'Visitors' are people who were born elsewhere and have made brief, perhaps recurring, visits to Australia (e.g. D.H. Lawrence and Maeve Binchy).
Placing a date in the field 'Arrival in Australia' can be used to find people born outside Australia who visited or who moved to Australia to live in that year.
'Departed from Australia' would similarly capture expatriates and visitors who left Australia in that year.
This option allows a search to be limited to Organisations (that is NOT individuals), by Gender (binary sex choice male or female), or Heritage (the peoples with whom an individual has expressed a belonging).
This component searches the biographies and notes in records of people and organisations, and finds awards bestowed on people and organisations (see the Work search component for awards for works).
This section also allows you to find Storytellers. Storyteller is a title used by the BlackWords project to indicate a particular role a person plays in their community. See the BlackWords project for more information.
When searching for awards and award winners, start typing the award name and choose it from the drop down that appears. Use dates in year format (1969; 1980-1988).
The biography and notes searches are targeted keyword searches. Typing a word in these boxes and hitting search means that every personal and organisational record's notes and biography (or organisational histories) will be searched for that word.
This keyword search functions like any other but it also provides you with the option to perform combination searches.
Clicking the plus (+) button adds another search box for immediate use in an AND search combination.
Clicking the minus (-) button on that box will exclude search returns containing that word (a combined NOT search).
Try searching for the keyword 'solid' AND 'mandala'.
Then click the - button and search again.
The scope option limits your search to a dataset you select. Datasets are an outcome of research projects. Sometimes these projects are discrete (and therefore the results do not alter) and sometimes they are ongoing (so the results of searches will change over time). The Mitchell Treasures dataset is small and complete, for example, while the Multicultural Writers dataset is vast and ever growing.
Check the pages under the 'Research' tab for project information to help you understand what to expect when you deploy the Scope option in your search. Some limit to people and works but some limit to only people or only works.
This search option searches on data about works or 'things created' by the people and organisations in AustLit. AustLit's foundation is its detailed and accurate bibliographic data. Accordingly, this data is rich and complex. This search option reflects that focus and complexity. It can be used in combination with any of the other searches to find, for instance, how many women had novels published in 1922.
Use this to search for words in the main title and also in altered and translated titles.
Here you can search on the when, where, and who of publishing, search for translations, film (and TV) adaptations, serialisations, and particular issues of a journal.
Go to 'Search Tips and Examples' for more on Publication Details.
AustLit distinguishes between single works and works that contain other works using combinations of definitions. Works are further distinguished by the nature of their content.
Choose from the drop down menus.
AustLit defines an anthology as a work that contains the work of more than three authors.
Collected works are posthumous collections of the work of deceased writers.
Selected works are works that contain the work of three or less authors.
Multi-chapter works are works by the same author where each chapter is a discrete entity - a book of critical articles, say.
Series are divided into author and publisher series. The 'Billabong Books' series is an author series by Mary Grant Bruce, while 'Popular Detective' is a series by many authors published by Action Comics.
Periodicals include magazines and journals and are distinguished from newspapers by, logically, less frequent publication and thus less 'news'.
The Forms are much more familiar concepts, closer to their use in common speech.
'Life story' is almost always used for Indigenous autobiographies, often spoken then transcribed and published by someone other than the speaker.
'Fiction (Unclassified)' is used most often for extracts when it cannot be determined whether the work will appear in a novel, or a collection of short stories.
'Essay' here means a relatively short piece that discusses or proposes without claiming to be a complete or rigorous scholarly exposition.
'Prose' is here the longer form of an 'Essay'.
Not all works in AustLit are designated a genre. For example, the novels of Patrick White and Miles Franklin are not while the novels of Kim Wilkins and Sean Williams are.
'Opera', 'Pantomime', 'Revusical', and 'Sketch' are all genres of performance, usually theatre.
There are disputes over genre terminology. To search for speculative fiction, choose 'Horror', 'Fantasy', and 'Science fiction'.
This component can be used to interrogate contents of a container work (such as a newspaper or a selected work of poetry). This is most likely to be used in combination searches to determine the nature of the content.
Type the name of a container work (newspaper, journal, magazine, anthology, series, etc.) into the 'Source name' box.
Type in a year (1834) or a range of years (1830-1839) for 'Source date'.
'Source type' allows you to choose from the range of work types available. Choosing 'anthology' with 2011 in the date field would result, for example, in a list of anthologies published in 2011.
This component searches for instances where the author has stated on the work where the piece was created.
Start typing the name of the place and select from the choices presented.
This component allows for searching on the first line of a poem, in abstracts and notes in work records, and finds (or discards) people other than authors.
'First line of poem': for poems without titles or if you remember the first line but not the title. Type in the line or a part of the line (e.g., type in: It was never late until).
'Abstract/ Note': Many AustLit records entered or amended since 2006 have abstracts. Abstracts for novels are often taken from the back cover of a book so characters' names are often entered here, for instance. Notes include dedications, epigraphs, and other format information. You can find how many dedications contain the exclamation 'phwoar', for instance, or, more loftily, which epigraphs quote Socrates.
'Creator role' can be used to generate lists of creatives listed in AustLit who are not authors, including film and TV directors, illustrators, and composers. Choose a role from the drop down menu.
Both of these fields offer suggestions from the AustLit thesaurus when you start typing. Choose the closest topic or place from the choices offered or think of another term to try if you don't see what you want.
This search is more controlled and targeted than a keyword search and picks up only records where the words are entered by indexers as subjects.
This component allows you to gather in one place all pieces written about a person or organisation or all the things written about all of their work. Begin typing and choose from the list of suggestions.
To find all the works about a single work do a title search and go to the AustLit record. Click the 'Works about' link.
In the 'Work' box, begin typing the name of a work (novel, poem, play, etc.) and select from the suggested list. This will return the same list as the 'Works about' section of a work record.
'Type', 'Form', and 'Genre' (see descriptions above in Work) all function from drop down menus. Selecting 'anthology' from the 'Type' menu will give a list of works about anthologies. Used in combination, selecting 'novel' and 'science fiction' will present a list of works about science-fiction novels.