South Australian Museum Archives
The South Australian Museum Archives contains records relating to the State's cultural and natural heritage including expedition journals, papers, maps, films, sound recordings, photographs, drawings, and information collected by scientists, collection managers, directors and curators since 1856.
Archival information is made available to the local and international community through publication, promotion, education and exhibitions. The specialised knowledge contained in the museum's archives contributes to a better understanding of Indigenous culture, geological diversity and biodiversity.
To supplement South Australian Museum research interests, documents have also been collected by donation, bequest and acquisition. Fellow scientists, missionaries, Indigenous organisations, artists, police inspectors, medical doctors and photographers from the mid 1800s have all contributed to the wealth of knowledge contained in the museum archives.
The South Australian Museum Archives was formally established in the 1940s when the Curator of Anthropology, Norman B Tindale, recognised the need to manage the collections and aid their retrieval. In 1966 Graeme Pretty, Tindale's successor, developed the existing system further by adding a classification system linking the objects to the archives. In 1980 the registration system was superseded by the record group system where collections are accessioned by collector or donor. This system continues to be used today.
The majority of corporate records dating pre 1940 were transferred to State Records of South Australia
Many of the South Australian Museum Archive collections are unprocessed but are still accessible. A complete list of collections can be downloaded below: