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Aboriginal Literature: Home

A guide to resources relating to Aboriginal literature held in the State Library of South Australia

Getting Started

This guide to sources relating to Aboriginal literature was last updated by Library staff in 2016. It comprises selected material held by the State Library or available online. 

These suggested readings are just a small sample of the relevant material we hold. To find more, try searching with the name of an author, or by using these subject headings in the State Library catalogue:

Australian drama - Aboriginal Australian authors
Australian literature - Aboriginal Australian authors
Australian poetry - Aboriginal Australian authors

Or conduct a keyword search using the following terms:

Aborigin* and drama
Aborigin* and poetry
Aborigin* and fiction
Aborigin* and literature

For more assistance, talk with staff at the Library's Information Desk or Ask Us.


Aboriginal Studies Press

AIATSIS research books and monographs

Anita's Black Book Challenge. List of 99 books with Aboriginal authors recommended by Anita Heiss

Magabala Books

Van den Berg, Rosemary. Aboriginal Storytelling and Writing


The State Library has a number of electronic resources that are useful for finding articles relating to Aboriginal literature.

Some of these resources can only be accessed within the library and others can also be accessed from home by becoming a Home Access User.

Relevant resources include:

Academic search complete General periodical index

AustLit Information resources about many aspects of Australia's literary heritage. The 'Blackwords' section looks at Aboriginal authors.

Australian/New Zealand Reference centre  Newspaper and magazine articles from the recent past.

Australian Public Affairs Full Text General periodical index

Trove website provides word searchable access to historical Australian newspapers, mostly prior to 1955

Books and pamphlets

Behrendt, Larissa. Home, 2004.

Casey, Maryrose. Creating frames : contemporary indigenous theatre 1967-1990, 2004.

Contemporary Indigenous plays, 2007.

Cooper, Judi. To tell my story : a study of practising professional Indigenous writers of Australia : research report, 2000.

Davis, Jack et al (ed) Paperbark : a collection of black Australian writings, 1990.

Dunkle, Margaret. Black in focus : a guide to Aboriginality in literature for young people, 1994.

Fogarty, Lionel . Yerrabilela Jimbelung : poems about friends and family, 2008.

Gilbert, Kevin. The blackside : people are legends and other poems, 1990.

Gilbert, Kevin. Inside Black Australia : an anthology of Aboriginal poetry, 1988.

Ginibi, Ruby Langford. Real deadly, 1992.

Heiss, Anita, Minter, Peter (eds). Macquarie PEN anthology of Aboriginal literature, 2008.

Holt, Yvette, Anonymous premonition, 2008.

Kleinert, Sylvia, Neale Margo and Bancroft, Robyne (eds). The Oxford companion to Aboriginal art and culture, 2000.

Morgan, Sally. My place, 1987.

Mudrooroo. Writing from the fringe : a study of modern Aboriginal literature, 1990.

Neervan, Ellen van. Heat and light, 2014.

Nelson, Emmanuel S. (ed) Connections : essays on Black literatures, 1988.

Proctor, Jo and Gale, Mary-Anne (eds). Tauondi speaks from the heart : aboriginal poems from Tauondi College, 1997.

Sabbioni, Jennifer, Schaffer, Kay, and Smith, Sidonie (eds). Indigenous Australian voices : a reader, 1998.

Saunders, Brenda. The sound of red, 2013.

Shoemaker, Adam. Black words, white page : Aboriginal literature 1929-1988, 1989. Also online.

This country anytime anywhere : an anthology of new indigenous writing from the Northern Territory, 2010.

Thompson, Liz (comp). Aboriginal voices : contemporary Aboriginal artists, writers and performers, 1999.

Untreated : poems by black writers, 2001.

Van Toorn, Penny. Writing never arrives naked : early Aboriginal cultures of writing in Australia, 2006.

Watson, Sam. Smoke encrypted whispers, 2004.

Weller, Archie. Land of the golden clouds, 1998.