a back line with organge waves

Indigenous Engagement

We help mob to connect with their past and strengthen their future by leading the Library in celebrating and prioritising First Nations voices, memories and collections. 

The Indigenous Engagement branch was established in 2013 to promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services and collections in the Library. The small First Nations-led team works to make the vast collections of Aboriginal historical, political, cultural and language materials available to communities on Country and online. 

We work in partnership with communities to develop programs, and to share and enhance collections relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We also provide advice to the Library on policy and on collection development. Requests for research assistance from First Nations people are prioritised.

Collections and resources

Mapping genealogy by Penny Evans.

NSW First Nations Family History Research Guide

Use this guide to find key family history resources for Aboriginal Australians.

Sketch of Squatters drawn in 1864 by Tommy McRae, an Aboriginal man from the upper Murray River. (Call number: PXA 364, 11)

Indigenous collecting

The Library holds rich collections relating to Australian Indigenous history and culture, and proactively collects material created by Indigenous people, who have contributed, and continue to contribute, to the life of NSW and its communities. 

Banners across the front of the Macquarie St wing of the Library for the Eight Days in Kamay exhibition 2021

Guiding Principles and Indigenous Frameworks

The Library's work with Indigenous communities is guided by the following protocols and statements of best practice. 

Dyarubbin exhibition in the First Nations Gallery, March 2022

Indigenous Spaces in Libraries

Building a vibrant Public Library Network Inclusive of Indigenous Peoples and Communities

Group on the steps of the AIM Church, Cherbourg (Call number: MLMSS 9638/Folder 17/3, 67)

Got a question?

Check out our FAQs, and find out how to contact us.

Exhibitions and events

Koori Knockout: 50 years

In 1971, six young First Nations men created what is today the largest gathering of First Nations peoples in NSW — the Koori Knockout.

Collage of objects from the exhibition Wadgayawa Nhay Dhadjan Wari

Wadgayawa Nhay Dhadjan Wari

(they made them a long time ago)



Dyarubbin, the long, winding and ancient river, has been home to the Darug people for millennia and is a vital and sustaining resource.

Eight Days in Kamay

On 29 April 1770, the Gweagal people of Kamay discovered James Cook and his crew as they sailed into the bay and came ashore. The eight days that followed changed the course of Australia’s history.

Smiling portrait of an old woman holding a model of the Sydney Harbour Bridge covered in shells.

Sydney Elders

Four Sydney elders — Uncle Chicka, Aunty Esme, Aunty Sandra and Uncle Dennis — tell very personal stories of Aboriginal Sydney.

Travis De Vries

Talking Deadly

A First Nations speaker series hosted by the Library's Indigenous Engagement team.