Humanities collection

The South Australian Museum is responsible for the largest and most comprehensive collection of Australian Aboriginal cultural material in the world.

We are committed to a process of making these items accessible to Aboriginal communities across Australia, and also have a charter to interpret the collections to a broader Australian and international public, in partnership with Aboriginal people.

Our World Cultures collection encompasses ethnographic items from the Pacific, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Our Papua New Guinea and Pacific cultures collections are particularly strong.

Temporary suspension of collection services

Access to the Collections of the South Australian Museum will be closed from late November 2023 while our staff undertake essential audit work.  During this time we will not be accepting acquisitions or requests for loan or viewing of collection items.

All pre-existing bookings and commitments made prior to December 2023 will be honoured.  We will also continue to honour requests from Aboriginal communities for access relating to repatriation activities.

This closure is expected to continue until mid-2024.

Our galleries remain open to the public, 10am-5pm every day except Christmas Day and Good Friday.

Any questions can be sent to


Shields on display in the Aboriginal Cultures Gallery.

Coming up next


Up next:
Library collection