Native Title Research and Access Services

AIATSIS assists traditional owners and native title holders with research and policy advice through the Native Title Research and Access Service. This service is your first stop for information about resources held in the AIATSIS Collections. The Native Title Research and Access Officer provides expert advice and access assistance to the AIATSIS collections for people involved in the native title process or PBCs looking after their country.

What Native Title Research and Access Services do:

  • searching our extensive collection
  • arranging for individual and group research visits
  • copying relevant material from our collection
  • providing contacts for further research and relevant Indigenous organisations
  • conducting catalogue searches and listings of AIATSIS Collections
  • facilitating individual and group research visits
  • giving advice on managing your own collections.

Native Title and traditional ownership resources and information services

Native Title Research Unit (NTRU) that generates a high volume of publications, resources and information for the native title sector. You can subscribe to receive email updates when new native title publications and resources are released. These information services include:

  • Native title information handbook: provides a summary of resources and information relating to key areas of Native Title.
  • Native title law database: is the most comprehensive collection of publicly accessible native title case and legislation summaries in Australia. This database is a key resource for traditional owners, practitioners and researchers.
  • Native title newsletter: provides organisations, practitioners and individuals involved in Native Title with up-to-date developments in native title.
  • PBC profiles: provide contact details and information about the corporation itself, their native title determinations and agreement details.
  • Find funding, a regularly updated database listing funding and grant opportunities relevant to PBCs.
  • Find training, a regularly updated database listing training opportunities relevant to PBCs.
  • PBC funding and training guides: are toolkits providing information and access to resources on a national and state level.

The National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) produced around 280 research reports or bricks to facilitate agreement-making under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) s.108 (2) and (3). The bricks contain a summary of publicly and readily available material with references to various claim groups and language groups across Australia. You can access these resources on the NNTT website.

How to look for material

You may access the information yourself online or in person when visiting AIATSIS or request a search to be done for you. All information provided to you will be treated as confidential. AIATSIS can send the listings relevant to your research to you by email or in hard copy.

Staff members at AIATSIS have expertise in many areas, and although we cannot provide advice on specific claims, you may wish to speak to someone about an area of interest either directly by phone 02 6261 4223 or by email We are happy to help you establish contact with a relevant staff member.

Accessing material on the Mura® Catalogue

You can use our collection catalogue, the Mura catalogue, to find materials. Once you have located materials of interest you can put in a request via the NTRU request email. For information about how to use the catalogue, please take a look at the tutorial.

Photo of Mura a catalogue search

Visiting AIATSIS

You can visit AIATSIS in Canberra and conduct your own research in the AIATSIS library and reading room. Computer terminals allow for online research and online viewing of collection materials. Collection and access staff can assist with your research and the viewing of original materials such as photos, written materials, sound recordings and moving images. The research workbook, research log and visiting collections checklist provides useful templated for you to conduct your research. The Family History Unit is also able to assist with finding information about your family and has a host of research worksheets and checklist available.

For access visits to view the AIATSIS Collection please use our contact form. Read more about visiting the collection.

PJ Williams is instructing Mia Stone how to use the Mura catalogue in the AIATSIS Library.

PJ Williams, an AIATSIS staff member, is instructing Intern Mia Stone how to use the Mura catalogue in the AIATSIS Library. Photo: Christiane Keller.

Further resources