Tindale's map of Aboriginal 'tribes' (1974) was originally compiled on a set of 'World Aeronautical Charts' published by the Division of National Mapping, Department of National Development, Commonwealth of Australia (1953-1969). Scale ICAO 1:1,000,000 or 1 inch = 16 miles. The data were later transferred to a four-sheet map, 'Tribal Boundaries in Aboriginal Australia', published in 1974 with his book, Aboriginal tribes of Australia, their terrain, environmental controls, distribution, limits, and proper names. An earlier version was published in 1940 as 'Map Showing the Distribution of the Aboriginal Tribes of Australia' (see series AA 338/17).
The 44 aeronautical charts contain Tindale's hand-written 'tribal' names in the International Phonetic System. 'Defined' and 'approximate' boundary lines are drawn in black and red felt-tipped pen, with changes made in white correction fluid. In addition to the boundaries, maps may contain 'original data', 'personal research' or data copied from other sources. Most annotations are undated. Included in this series are two location keys to Tindale's charts. The first is a hand-drawn grid map superimposed on a published base map of Australia. The map divides the continent into numbered geographical areas which correspond to the charts (see item AA 338/18/1). The second is a topographic map series index published by Division of National Mapping (Canberra, Australia, 1972). This brochure also serves as a location key to the numbered aeronautical charts (see item AA 338/18/2).
A number of Western Australia, Northern Territory and South Australia maps in this series contain cross-references to titles of earlier 'Australian Aeronautical Maps' used by Tindale to record data from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) - University of Adelaide Anthropological Expedition to North West Australia in 1953. These maps may be found in series AA 338/15 (see descriptions of maps related to the UCLA Expedition beginning with map AA 338/15/71).
Also included in the series is a 'National Mapping Office Map Catalogue' (Commonwealth of Australia, first edition, 1955). The catalogue lists title, scale and price of maps available for purchase from the Mapping Office, including the 'Australian Aeronautical Maps' mentioned above (see item AA 338/18/47).
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.