AustLit has a broad definition of 'the literary', covering all forms of storytelling.
We make database records that communicate and, when possible, link to authoritative bibliographical and production information for works of fiction and poetry, writing for the theatre, biographical and travel writing, writing for film and television, criticism and reviews.
We also provide biographical and historical information about the people and organisations who associated with the works covered.
AustLit also provides extensive information about writing-related organisations such as publishers, film and theatre companies,and aims to extend coverage of writers’ centres and festivals, and literary agencies.
AustLit indexes current publications to provide an up-to-date record of Australian literature and criticism. Our indexing scheduled is determined by the level of Australian content published. Journals are indexed either quarterly or annually; newspapers on a weekly or monthly basis. We welcome receiving publication details of works we may not yet have indexed.
We support the activities of researchers working across a broad range of Australian literary and narrative cultures, book history, and print culture.
We aim to increase access to and engagement with the rich storytelling culture Australia has always had.
No other country in the world has attempted to compile such a comprehensive record of a nation’s creative writing and associated critical works. On average, more than six hundred work records are added to the database each week.
AustLit captures and interlinks both ‘by’ and ‘about’ information to map a rounded ‘Life and Career’ view of authors. Biographical records link to publications, to awards and prizes, to interviews and critical reviews, as well as to material related to teaching. Even minor works are covered.
AustLit also provides access to a range of full text material, such as novels (My Brilliant Career), children’s books (Blinky Bill Joins the Army) and recently published poetry. The AustLit Anthology of Criticism makes available complete articles about authors from Marcus Clarke and Henry Lawson to Dorothy Hewett, Peter Carey and Sally Morgan.
As an element of national research infrastructure, AustLit is a demonstration of the way scholarship in the humanities engages with new technologies and new methods of sharing research results. The high value of AustLit to the international Australianist research community has been realised through the work of AustLit's advisory and management bodies, the AustLit Team, and many others who have given generously of their time and professional knowledge to support the creation of the AustLit service.
AustLit houses and supports a growing number of individual research projects, undertaken by scholars, which add rich and diverse content streams to AustLit. For example, the BlackWords team contextualise AustLit’s timeline by the addition of ancient stories and songs, while Banned in Australia presents the impact of censorship on reading in Australia between 1901 and 1973. Reading by Numbers mined, visualised and modelled data from AustLit to produce a study that revises established conceptions of Australian literary history.