AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource is a web-accessible database providing authoritative information on creative and critical Australian literary works, authors and organisations.
The AustLit team, which is distributed around Australia at participating universities and libraries, indexes and describes Australia-identified literature published in a range of print and electronic sources. It also makes available selected critical articles and creative writing in full text.
AustLit also supports specialist research across a wide field of interests in Australian literary, print, and storytelling history.
AustLit was established in 2000. Since 2002 AustLit has been led by The University of Queensland and since 2014 most of the indexing work and content development has been undertaken there.
This online exhibition looks at Australian field theatres (also known as concert parties), which were variety-based troupes established by allied military forces during the World War I as a means of boosting moral and relieving monotony. Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) field theatres were organised by various divisions in Europe, North Africa and the United Kingdom between late 1916 and into the immediate post-war period.
Individual soldier entertainers and variety troupes comprising ex-servicemen began to tour the Australasian region as early as 1916. Following the Armistice in November 1918 Australian and New Zealand concert parties continued to entertain soldiers still on active peace-keeping duties as well civilian audiences in both Britain and Europe. The popularity of this "digger-infused' entertainment was such that troupes continued to perform on the stage around Australasia and elsewhere through until the mid-1930s. This online exhibition provides insight into some of the key people and troupes involved in soldier entertainment during that period.
'The AustLit database (Kilner, 2002) contains bibliographical records for more than 882,000 works of Australian creative and critical writing and over 161,000 author and organization records. As an information resource, it is unsurpassed in comprehensiveness and breadth of coverage and is a central plank in Australia’s research infrastructure for the fields of cultural history and heritage. As a full-text repository, AustLit contains over a thousand items selected and digitized from original documents. These comprise seminal works of nineteenth and early twentieth-century Australian literature, a collection of early speculative fiction, a large corpus of early children’s literature, and selected criticism and scholarly works. Much of the creative writing full text is out of copyright, and we are soon to embark upon a digitization project to make available play-scripts written and performed in the first half of the twentieth century. In addition to this aspect of our activities, AustLit’s comprehensive bibliographical records link outwards to more than 80,000 full-text items that are available online. This selection, curation, and development of full-text collections make AustLit a valuable site for finding contextualized reading material and content that supports historical research and teaching.' (Introduction)
'Since its launch in 2007 BlackWords has enjoyed strong Indigenous leadership and a dedicated Indigenous team, allowing Indigenous storytellers, academics and researchers to determine its look, content, and scope. The BlackWords team of researchers and indexers is a community consisting of individuals from across institutions such as the University of Queensland, the University of Western Australia, Flinders University, the University of Sydney, the University of Wollongong and AIATSIS, each of whom has brought their own expertise and specialist interest to the database (BlackWords; Holt; Kilner 62). ' (Author's introduction)