Call for volunteers

There are many opportunities to help develop the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages. We rely on the input and support of many different people to improve the archive. Here are a few ways you may be able to help:

Collecting permissions

All the books that are visible on the website have signed permission from the creators (author, illustrator, translator, etc) or a family member of those who have passed away. Collecting these signatures is time-consuming and difficult, but works well when we have people with good contacts in a community who can help us identify and locate the right people.

The more signatures we get, the more books can be viewed on the archive. If you have connections in remote NT communities, contact us and we’ll share the names of people we’re trying to locate.

We can assist with some expenses as well as provide background materials and any necessary training. Obtaining permissions is the most useful way to develop the archive.

Enhancing metadata

Many items in the archive are missing useful information about the stories, such as who created them, where, when, what they’re about, etc. The more information there is about the book, the more useful it becomes, and the more accessible. We’d like to add more metadata, and rely on people to tell us what’s missing.

You may know the English title of a story, or who wrote or illustrated it, or when it was produced, or be able to provide an English translation. Contact us if you can fill in any missing information.

Correcting texts

The text files attached to each record are an important and useful resource. Most of the text files in the archive were produced using Optical Character Recognition software, which sometimes misreads letters or words. For example, special characters are sometimes missed, or the letter ‘l’ is replaced with the number ‘1’. The text files are checked by non-native speakers of the languages involved, so many errors are missed. Please help us by sending in your corrections when you notice errors.

Sharing stories or ideas

To ensure that the collection remains a Living Archive, we’d like to include stories about the material or how it is being used. Tell us about

  • the history of one of the stories in the collection
  • a story about one of the storytellers or artists
  • how the material is being used in the classroom or the community

We can post these stories (and any photos) to our blog or social media pages.

Adding material

You may have material that you think should be included in the Living Archive. Check the collections policy and use the offer of materials to tell us about it and we’ll be in touch.

If the material is not appropriate for our collection, we may be able to advise alternative sites, such as Batchelor Institute’s CALL collection or AIATSIS.


If you’re involved in a language or education workshop in an NT community, we would be delighted to work with you to engage community members in using and enhancing the archive. We can also visit your school or community group to show people how to use the archive and how they can be involved with its development. Let us know how you think we might be useful.

Giving feedback

We’d love to hear from you! There are often things wrong with the website, or you may have noticed problems in some of the materials, or have suggestions about how we could do things better. Please let us know by using the Feedback form, or just contact us directly.