“This item is restricted” – Or how to deal with sensitive slides in the Tindale Collection

Blog Post 2

Jonathan Nicholls

There are slides in the Tindale Collection which have restricted access due to what is shown in the slides. Hypothetical examples would include slides which show secret men’s sites, secret women’s sites, and rituals being conducted. There are, of course, many other types of activities and locations which would be sensitive and therefore restricted in terms of access, but the aforementioned examples suffice for now.

While these slides are restricted, it is important that the appropriate Aboriginal people have access to them. As such, a minimum amount of information is given for restricted slides.

For example, rather than listing the title of the slides as Tindale himself labelled them, the restricted slides are labelled “This item is restricted”. Any academic journal referenced on the slides is included in the database entry for the slide as per usual, as is the date, and the relevant Aboriginal Tribe (to use Tindale’s terminology). All other information which would normally be entered is omitted.

“This item is restricted” is not the only title a sensitive slide may be given. A slide may be titled “senior men only” if it is deemed to be a more appropriate course of action. It all depends on exactly what is depicted. Norman Tindale did a very good job of labelling the slides; as such it is not necessary to actually look at the picture to see what it shows. Simply reading the information on the slide is enough.

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