Multiple Knowledge Systems and Standardised Classification Systems – The Guidelines for First Nations Collection Description

This topic delves into the critical realm of cultural heritage management, specifically within the context of Indigenous people and communities and their cultural heritage held within libraries and archives. The panel explores the intricate play interplay between – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge systems and Western classification.
Central to writing the Guidelines were the considerations of cultural protocols and Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property. These play pivotal roles in the classification and description of materials that are created by or contain information about Indigenous people and communities. The Guidelines address the nuance surrounding protocols, kinship, men’s and women’s business. Using reparative and anti-racist description practices, and examples from Australian libraries and archives, the Guidelines offer solutions to updating records to increase searchability and accessibility to materials.

Tui Raven

Creative Director and Cultural Advisor

*Photographer Credit – © Mauro Palmieri

Author Bio

Tui Raven, Yamaji Nyngar is Senior Manager Indigenous Programs, Deakin Library and operates a sole trader business that specialises in Aboriginal cultural advising, research, project management, and art curating. In 2023 Tui published the Guidelines for First Nations Collection Description for the Australian library, and as collaboration between five organisations: the Australian Library & Information Association (ALIA), National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA), the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) and CAVAL. From 2020 to 2022, Tui worked on The First Inventors documentary as a remote and on-Country advisor, associate producer, and on-screen investigator. Tui’s interest in reparative description comes from working at the State Library of Western Australia – in her roles as an Indigenous Literacy Officer and as Project Coordinator for the From Another View project, a reimagining of exploration history from Aboriginal perspectives and knowledge systems.