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.

Reopening of Collection Services

We are pleased to announce that the South Australian Museum is gradually reopening access to its collections. While we continue to work through essential audit tasks, we are now able to slowly resume our collection services as capacity allows.

  • Acquisitions: We are now accepting acquisitions on a limited basis. Please contact us to discuss any potential donations.

  • Loans and Viewing Requests: We are also starting to process requests for loans and viewings of collection items. We appreciate your patience as we work through these requests.

  • Aboriginal Cultural Heritage: We remain committed to prioritising access for Aboriginal communities to their cultural heritage materials, especially for repatriation activities.

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

For any questions or further information, please contact us at

Thank you for your understanding and support.


Shields on display in the Aboriginal Cultures Gallery.

Coming up next


Up next:
Library collection