The materials contained in this series reflect Tindale's long held interest in Aboriginal place names, and relate in particular to a research project that remained incomplete at the time of his death in 1993. During the 1980s, Tindale devoted much of his time to preparing contributions to the official gazetteer of South Australia, then in the process of computerization. In consultation with the Geographical Names Board of the South Australian Government, Tindale gathered together from his voluminous writings, but also from other sources, Aboriginal place names in the South East of South Australia. In correspondence relating to the project, Tindale was informed that 'the basic aim of the gazetteer is to assemble in one file, all the names used or in use within South Australia, including such information as derivation/meaning, variant spellings etc and it is hoped that eventually all the Aboriginal place names recorded by you in South Australia will be included in the gazetteer, and where appropriate on the maps' (letter from the Secretary of the Geographical Names Board, M Medwell, to Tindale, 20 November 1986). As Tindale trawled through his writings, he amassed place name data on index cards filed under tribal headings (see Index cards relating to language research, series AA 338/7/1). Place names were also entered onto Hundred maps (see Maps - Hundreds and counties, South East of South Australia, AA 338/24).
As well as his contribution to the general gazetteer of the state, it was also proposed that Tindale would prepare a separate special gazetteer of Aboriginal place names in the South East of South Australia (note that for Tindale, the South East of South Australia included land from the lower Flinders Ranges south and east to the Victorian and New South Wales borders). Tindale's draft title for this volume was 'Aboriginal names of places in southern South Australia'. Besides the materials contained in this series, correspondence and Tindale's notes on matters relating to this project are also found in the volumes of his Canberra and California Journal for the 1980s (see especially AA 338/1/53/10 - AA 338/1/53/14).
Note that the materials in this series were originally contained in ring folders, and that, in moving them to archival folders, the South Australian Museum archive has preserved Tindale's original order.