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Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia

The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, society and culture, edited by David Horton, is an encyclopaedia published by the "Aboriginal Studies Press" at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) in 1994 and available in two volumes or on CD-ROM covering all aspects of Indigenous Australians lives and world (such as biography, history, art, language, sport, education, archaeology, literature, land ownership, social organisation, health, music, law, technology, media, economy, politics, food and religion). There are 2000 entries and 1000 photographs, with the CD-ROM having 250 sound items and 40 videos.

An Indigenous language map was produced in 1996. It consists of names and regions used in the encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia. The map also shows some of the language groups in Australia with a more complete list on the reverse.

Over 200 contributors wrote articles for the encyclopaedia. Many of them are Indigenous writers, activists or scholars. In an unusual decision, the editor has chosen to mention white people in the encyclopaedia only if they have some impact on Aboriginal society.

The CD-ROM was made available after the launch of the book version in 1994. It was criticized for user-unfriendliness due to the lack of hypertext links. Important details, such as the passing of the Native Title Act 1993, were missing from the CD-FOM, as of 1995.

The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia has received Awards:

David Horton was awarded the NSW Premier's Literary Award 1995 "Special Award" for the Encyclopaedia.

  • "The Australian" Award for Excellence in Educational Publishing
  • WA Premier's Literary Award
  • AIMMIA Award for best Multimedia Title
  • CACS Award for ‘An Outstanding Contribution to Australian Culture 1994’
  • NSW Premier's Literary Award 1995 "Book of the Year"


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