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state library of queensland


By Anne Wong, Librarian, Information Services | 16 November 2020

Series: Our favourite State Library eResources.

People often ask us what our most loved eresources are. Admittedly we all have a favourite, or two, or three. It’s hard to pick as there are so many wonderful State Library eresources available. In this series our Librarians and Library Technicians share with you their most favourite eresources and how they’ve been used to solve research queries.

Next in the series we look at AustLit, a big favourite of Librarian Anne Wong.

So why is AustLit so fabulous?

AustLit is a great resource for discovering Australian literature, including information about authors and creators (biographical) and their works (bibliographical) as well as analytical and teaching resources. The database is continually updated and useful for students, scholars, teachers and anyone interested in Australian literature.

Best of all, you can access AustLit online from home with your free State Library membership.

About the database

AustLit is a comprehensive database, allowing browsing and basic keyword searching as well as complex advanced searching. The site covers the following five areas:

  • Creative writing
  • Criticism
  • BlackWords
  • Stage and screen
  • Children's and young adults

Using the database

Students will find AustLit useful for researching authors and their works. For example, students studying Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey can use AustLit to find relevant information about the author and his novel, as well as articles which analyse the novel. A keyword search using ‘Jasper Jones’ will provide an abstract of the book, list adaptions (drama, film/tv) and other works about this work.

Image from Austlit database. Text, links and image.

Image from Austlit database

Clicking on ‘Craig Silvey’ will display his biography and list his other works, as well as showing related works. Once you have searched AustLit to find what’s available, then search One Search, State Library’s online catalogue to see what items are held by State Library. For example, Jasper Jones (drama adaptation by Kate Mulvany – print form or as an ebook) are accessible by members of State Library.

Features of Advanced Search

The advanced search facility provides a powerful tool for finding authors or works of literature. For example, you can search by the birthplace or cultural heritage of the author, the place or setting of the work, as well as the form, genre or subject of the work.

Austlit database Advanced Search page.

Image from Austlit database

You may wish to search for children's fiction written by Torres Strait Islanders (cultural heritage = Torres Strait Islander AND form = children’s fiction) or find works about World War II set in Townsville (place setting = Townsville AND term= World War II). You can then check One Search, to see if these items are held by State Library.

Additional features to explore

  • BlackWords - discover the lives and works of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers and storytellers
  • Full textAustLit provides access to thousands of full-text works
  • Teaching - teachers can access resources supporting primary, secondary and tertiary teaching
  • Research – access original work by researchers

Join now and start searching Austlit.

Look out for the next blog in this series #FavouriteEresources



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