AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource

AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource is an internet-based collaboration between researchers and librarians from Australian universities designed to comprehensively record the history of Australian literary and story making cultures. AustLit is an encyclopaedia of Australian writers and writing.

LanguagesEnglish, Australian Aboriginal languages
CostCreative Commons License: Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 Australia
DisciplinesAustralian literature criticism, bibliography, biography
Geospatial coverageAustralia
No. of records900,000


AustLit was founded in 2000 as a resource and research infrastructure for literary studies. It has been funded by participating universities and the Australian Research Council. The University of Queensland leads the consortium. Partner universities include the University of New South Wales, the University of Sydney, Flinders University, the University of Wollongong, James Cook University, and the University of Western Australia. Significant levels of research and teaching in the field are undertaken at all partner universities.

AustLit and research

AustLit publishes biographical entries and brief essays on Australian writers, critics and storytellers, organisational histories relating to publishers, theatre companies and other arts organisations, and complete bibliographical histories of works of fiction and criticism. It also has an active digitisation program to generate full text versions of out-of-print literary works and critical articles about Australian literature.

AustLit Research Communities support detailed explorations of particular aspects of Australia's literary culture. Researchers can work within AustLit to create datasets around a specific field. These projects range across book, magazine and publishing histories, subject specific surveys of regionally based publishing and thematically based subsets. Research into the history of Australian popular and pulp fiction is supported alongside research into theatre history, drama and multicultural writers.[1] BlackWords is a landmark AustLit research project that details the lives and work of Indigenous Australian authors, which includes Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers and storytellers.

AustLit has become a key information resource for the study of Australian literature and related fields. Because of its status as the most comprehensive record of a nation's publishing history, AustLit has become an important source of data for analysing Australian literary history.[2][3][4]


  1. Jacklin, Michael. "Multicultural Literature in Australian and the AustLit Database". InCite Vol. 30., No. 4., April 2009.
  2. Bode, Katherine. "From British Domination to Multinational Conglomeration: A Revised History of Australian Novel publishing, 1950-2007". Resourceful Reading: The New Empiricism, eResearch and Australian Literary Culture, Sydney: Sydney University Press, 2009. pp. 194-222.
  3. Kilner, Kerry. "AustLit: Creating a Collaborative Research Space for Australian Literary Studies". Resourceful Reading: The New Empiricism, eResearch and Australian Literary Culture, Sydney: Sydney University Press, 2009. pp. 299-315.
  4. Ensor, Jason. "Still Waters Run Deep: Empirical Methods and the Migration Patterns of Regional Publishers, Authors and Titles within Australian Literature". Antipodes, December 2009.
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