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Australian Indigenous Studies (archived)

A guide to resources relevant to Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne Library

Finding books

Finding books

To find books on a particular subject, use a keyword search on the library catalogue. For example:


indigenous art

"land rights" (note: using quotation marks is useful for finding phrases i.e. words adjacent to each other)


Keyword searching often retrieves a large number of results. You can limit your search by using AND and adding more keywords to retrieve resources that have both words in the record. For example:

mabo AND history

"indigenous art" AND exhibition* (note: using the truncation * will search for words beginning with the stem word. e.g exhibition retrieves exhibition or exhibitions or exhibitionary)

"land rights" and Australia 


Use OR to broaden your search to find material related to similar keywords in the one search:

("indigenous art" OR "aboriginal art") AND Australia

Refer to the search tips for details on how to search on the library catalogue effectively. These tips also work with databases.

Another way to navigate the catalogue is to use the hyperlinked subject headings in item records. Once clicked on, these headings will show you related subjects around your area and the all the books that the library has related to that subject. Refer to the images below.

Aboriginal Australians -- Sports.

Art, Aboriginal-- Australian.

Native title (Australia)


Screenshot of subject headings in the library catalogue

Dictionaries and encyclopedias are often a useful starting point. They can supply basic factual information and definitions. The University of Melbourne Library holds a large collection of reference works in print and electronic formats including subject specific dictionaries and encyclopedias.

Some online resources are available only to University of Melbourne staff and students. You will be prompted to enter your University email username and password.

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

Atlases & Directories

If you can't find what you're looking for or an item is unavailable in the catalogue try the following options:

  • Search the BONUS+ catalogue to request an item from another university's library
  • Sign up for a CAVAL card to borrow from other Victorian libraries (including university, TAFE, and public libraries)