Return of material to Indigenous communities

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) provides free copies of audio recordings, video recordings and photographs to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through our Return of Material to Indigenous Communities (ROMTIC) program.

We provide up to 20 items for personal use, free of charge, per person every financial year. Contact us to see if we have material that relates to your family, language or country.

The material

Our collection holds photographs and 'rough' unpublished sound and video recordings of community life, languages, songs, ceremonies and oral histories submitted by academics, families and Indigenous communities from all over the country. While the quality of the collection items is variable, most of it is unique and irreplaceable, and the copies you obtain may become an important and treasured part of your family collection.

We can prepare a list of relevant collection items for you—just contact Us  for what kind of material you are looking for. You can also search the collection to see what is available. 

Copyright, privacy and cultural ownership

A lot of the material held by AIATSIS carries personal, ceremonial or copyright restrictions and can only be copied once permissions have been obtained. 

We recognise the importance of providing copies of collection items to the communities from which they originated. Indigenous Australians can get copies of 20 collection items per financial year that relate specifically to their language group or their family, free of charge. Above this amount, normal ordering collection item costs apply as we are unable to process large amounts of copy requests.

Audio, film and video materials which have not gone through the preservation process are not available through ROMTIC.

Last reviewed: 6 Aug 2015