Place-based cultural knowledge - of ceremonies, songs, stories, language, kinship and ecology - binds Australian Indigenous societies together. Over the last 100 years or so, records of this knowledge in many different formats - audiocassettes, photographs, films, written texts, maps, and digital recordings - have been accumulating at an ever-increasing rate. Yet this extensive documentary heritage is dispersed. In many cases, the Indigenous people who participated in the creation of the records, or their descendants, have little idea of where to find the records or how to access them. Some records are held precariously in ad hoc collections, and their caretakers may be perplexed as to how to ensure that they are looked after.

Archival Returns: Central Australia and Beyond explores the strategies and practices by which cultural heritage materials can be returned to their communities of origin, and the issues this process raises for communities, as well as for museums, galleries, and other cultural institutions.

'I realized that what I had gained from this book was so much more than specialist or technical knowledge. The authors explore many different layers of meaning, providing the opportunity to reflect on why the process of returning knowledge back to Country and the decolonization of archives, libraries, and museums are vital steps for sovereignty and self-determination of Aboriginal peoples and communities ... recommended reading for archivists, anthropologists, curators, and any other professionals working to promote sovereignty and self-determination of Aboriginal peoples within the information sector.' -- Monica Galassi * Information & Culture *