AustLit is the most comprehensive record of Australia's literary and storytelling history and culture. AustLit supports and publishes the results of scholarship and research into Australia's cultural heritage.
Research projects supported by AustLit are designed to extend and share knowledge about Australia's cultural history by adding rich and diverse content streams while supporting scholarship in specific fields.
We welcome approaches from scholars and others to discuss ideas that might form new Research Projects or which make use of the AustLit infrastructure to organise, analyse and present research findings.
World War I in Australian Literary Culture is an AustLit research project expanding our coverage of the way the 1914-1918 war has appeared in literature, film, and other forms of storytelling from the conflict's beginning to the present.
The BlackWords project was launched in 2007 by Uncle Sam Watson. The first national coordinator was Dr Anita Heiss who has remained an important champion of the work we do in recording biographical, bibliographical, and general information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers and storytellers and their continuing practice of Indigenous culture across the country. BlackWords contains records for published and unpublished books, stories, plays, poems, and secondary works associated with eligible writers and storytellers and includes works in English, in translations, and in Australian languages. Team members contextualise Australia's historical timeline by adding information on ancient stories and songs.
Readers are advised that BlackWords contains images of people who have died.
Trauma Texts is a specialist AustLit Research Project investigating trauma in Australian life narratives. It explores literary representations of individual, family or communal trauma in auto/biographical writing from 1990 to 2015.
Click here to access the project.
From pulp fiction covers to seminal Australian science fiction works, AustLit provides access to details bibliographical and biographical records, cover images, and full text collections.
Explore the links below to discover how, for example, medieval themes appear in contemporary Australian popular novels, or where we hope to go with our examination of other popular fiction collections.
This research presents the impact of censorship on reading in Australia between 1901 and 1973. By collecting details of literary publications that were prohibited as imports into twentieth-century Australia, it traces the main arc of federal publications censorship. The bibliography relies on the documented evidence of department and agency practice held by the National Archives of Australia. It has an international scope and includes titles from all over the world, including works by Australian writers published abroad.
Explore Banned in Australia.
Explore the thousands of theatre works listed in AustLit through these projects.
These projects explore the rich history of screenwriting in Australia, from silent film, through talkies and early television, to the mini-series of the 1980s and the big-budget productions of the twenty-first century.
Explore the projects below:
These projects explore the rich history of children's literature in Australia, including full-text versions of some out-of-print children's books.
Over the years, AustLit has been used to compile collections of data relating to particular geographical regions in Australia. Some of these projects have been underway for many decades.
This collection of projects explore and give access to data that deals writing in and from an Australian perspective.
In addition to BlackWords, the collection includes the following projects:
These projects explore aspects of print culture in Australia, from convict narratives to magazines to distribution patterns.
These projects explore various aspects of reading, from Copyright Australia's Reading Australia resource trails to questions of translation.
These projects, archives and publications explore aspects of the Australian media, its production, circulation and distribution, and structure.
From the first Aboriginal newspaper in 1836 to the advent of social media, from Blue Hills to The Chaser, from astrology to women in the media, this is an essential Companion for everyone with a serious interest in those who decide what we read, hear and watch every day. Hundreds of interlinked narratives – from brief entries to essays – explore media organisations, genres and regions along with key players and significant issues.
Including newspapers, magazines, radio, television, film and advertising, the MAP database focuses on private and lesser-known archives, held by companies, peak bodies, community groups and individuals. Each archive record contains descriptive information of the archive, plus links to related online material.
A research outcome of Dr Catriona Mills's 2012 AFI Research Collection (AFIRC) Research Fellowship, the project is a collection of AustLit records based on the Crawford Collection at the AFI Research Collection at RMIT.
This exhibition explores the way in which Australian newspapers marketed the silent-film era through pictorial advertisements, portraits of silent-film stars, and publicity stills harvested from contemporary newspapers.
The Colonial Newspapers and Magazines Project (CNMP) focuses on the literary content of periodicals published during Australia's colonial era (1788–1900 inclusive) and the literary culture of the colonial period. The project began in 2009, across three universities.
Undertaken by Professor Leigh Dale and researcher Robert Thomson, this project began from the premise that the academic study of literature – traditionally the focus of studies of individual writers' reputations – is only one part of a broader and more complex 'ecology' of literature, and that the circulation and reception of texts can productively be analysed in the light of this larger context.
Undertaken by Professor David Carter, AustLit director Kerry Kilner, and Dr Roger Osborne, this project is a collection of bio-historical entries on approximately 100 Australian magazines and journals, funded by the ARC.
The Bibliography of Australian Literature was one of AustLit's foundation projects. Three of the four volumes were compiled in and extracted from AustLit between 2000 and 2008. It may well be the last national bibliography to be published in print.
Find out about the Bibliography of Australian Literature here.