This series comprises maps annotated by Tindale during field trips to southeastern South Australia from the 1920s to the 1970s. The maps contain data collected on the trips as well as from his short visits and ongoing research, including intensive site recording in the Lower Murray and Lakes regions. The whole of the Lower Murray region is generally considered today to be the country of the Ngarrindjeri people. Other areas represented include the Fleurieu Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula and Kangaroo Island. A number of maps contain a summary of data recorded on the 'hundred' and county maps found in series AA 338/24. For a description of maps relating to Tindale's research in other areas of South Australia and regions throughout Australia, see series AA 338/15.
The function of these maps was to support or supplement Tindale's journals. (See series AA 338/1 for a description and list of journals.) Included in this series are annotated topographical, pastoral and road maps, as well as those he obtained from colleagues. Tindale recorded original data from informants, including Aboriginal place names, clan names, 'tribal' boundaries and the tracks of Dreaming Ancestors. He also recorded archaeological, botanical, entomological, geographical and geological data. Many maps contain references to published and unpublished sources, thereby providing links to related research.
Some maps are clearly linked to a particular trip or journal entry, whereas others contain data compiled over years onto a single sheet. Tindale occasionally made copies of his maps, to which he added corrections or conclusions in another ink colour. In some instances, a copy was later made of the annotated copy and further notes added. As a result, ink colour may provide a clue to date of annotation. The maps are arranged roughly in chronological order by date of annotation or printing. If dates of annotation and printing are unknown, an approximate date or 'date unknown' has been recorded in the description. Within this chronological arrangement, maps are grouped by related journal and/or geographical region.
Where relevant, 'Tindale tribes' are listed and linked to the Catalogue published in Tindale's 1974 publication Aboriginal tribes of Australia, their terrain, environmental controls, distribution, limits, and proper names. Descriptions of maps can be accessed via the Catalogue.
In 1978, Tindale contributed Aboriginal place name data compiled from a number of his annotated maps for a map published for the UNESCO Regional Seminar on the 'Role of Museums in the Preservation of Indigenous Cultures', held in Adelaide (see maps AA 338/16/57-67). The new map, titled: 'Aboriginal Landscape of the Lower Murray Valley South Australia', accompanied an 'Excursion Guide' for visitors written by Tindale and Graeme Pretty of the South Australian Museum (see maps AA 338/16/68-70). The guide may be found in Robert Edwards and Jenny Stewart, eds, Preserving Indigenous Cultures: A new role for museums. Papers from a regional seminar, Adelaide Festival Centre, 10-15 September 1978, Canberra: AGPS, 1980.