Indigenous Languages Map of Queensland

As part of State Library’s Indigenous Languages Project, a new online-interactive resource has been developed to assist language workers and community members. The Indigenous Languages Map of Queensland is a research tool which identifies items in State Library collections relating to Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.

Screenshot of Indigenous Languages Map

Using a Google Maps platform, languages can be researched via the map by identifying locations and clicking on the respective marker. This brings up a summary overview of the language/s related to that particular area; information may include other names/spellings for the language, dialects as well as locations for the language.

Yidinji Language Marker.

It also includes the AIATSIS Language Code which is hyper-linked to items in the collection. The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) have developed codes for languages and geographical locations – these have also been adopted by collecting institutions such as State Library of Queensland to make it easier to describe and identify items.

Bibliographical/Reference details for ‘Borobi and his friends: lets learn Yugambeh’.

The State Library of Queensland has incorporated these language and geographical codes into Subject Descriptions within the One Search Library Catalogue; in addition ‘tags‘ have been developed based on these codes.

Yugambeh Language Marker.

For example, the Yugambeh language marker includes the AIATSIS Language Code E17 which links to 31 items in the State Library collections as well as the AIATSIS Geographical Place Name code SG56-15 which links to 26 items.

Collection items for Yugambeh language.

Community members, language workers and others are encouraged to develop their own ‘tags’ to identify language materials within the State Library collections. For example, popular ‘tags’ include names of particular languages – ‘Gungarri‘, ‘Kamilaroi‘, ‘Jagera‘, ‘Djabugay‘, ‘Meriam Mir‘, etc. while other generic ‘tags’ include ‘language revival‘, ‘indigenous languages education‘ and ‘central qld aboriginal history‘.

Example of ‘tags’ used in One Search.

Researchers can also use the list of language names below the map – these open up the language markers on the map and represent another path to locating resources in the collection.

Indigenous Languages Map – Language Names.

This resource is a prototype and will be further developed to include links to community-based resources such as items held in Indigenous Language Centres, Museums and other collecting institutions. Community members, language workers and other researchers are also encouraged to provide input into the map and advise State Library of any errors or other discrepancies.

Note: The map and language locations are indicative only and should not be used for other purposes such as Native Title; the purpose of this resource is to link researchers to items within State Library collections. Language names and spellings are based on the AUSTLANG database.


Desmond Crump, Indigenous Languages Coordinator

State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Webpage:

State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Blog: