AIATSIS Subject Thesaurus


Using the thesaurus

Important:
The thesaurus has been set up in a way that allows automatic searching of the AIATSIS on-line catalogue, Mura®. Before clicking on the links to search the catalogue, please read our sensitivity message.

Types of searches you can perform

There is a drop-down box of different search options, where you can select the type of search you want to make. It is currently set (as a default) to "Search terms by keyword".

  Search terms by keyword

Enter in a word or set of letters in the search box, then click on the search button, and this setting will search for that string anywhere within the term. For example, the string 'arac' will retrieve 'character'.

  Terms that start with ...

The search option will only find terms beginning with the letters you have typed into the search box. If you know the start of the term you are looking for, but not the whole term, use this option (it will bring back fewer results than "Terms which contain ...").

Display formats

The initial search will display a list terms in alphabetical order starting with your search term.

Clicking on a term will display the full record for that term along with its relationships to other terms. Terms in italics are the non-preferred terms. Clicking on those terms will display the full record with a link to the preferred term.

BT: Broader Term
NT: Narrower Term
RT: Related Term
UF: Use For


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Structure and display

Hierarchical relationships

The thesaurus is based on a hierarchical structure.

The subject thesaurus reflects the library's exclusive interest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies. Where possible the choice of headings tries to reflect Indigenous perspectives. For example, headings under the term Religion relate to Australian Indigenous religious practices and concepts. Other world religions such as Christianity or Buddhist entered under Religions.

The subject headings are faceted. This clearly shows the hierarchy to which each term belongs. For example, the heading for mutton birds is: Animals - Birds - Mutton birds. This indicated other types of birds will be found by moving to the next level up the hierarchy and records for all animals by moving up again . Please note that these hierarchies are constructed to aid searching and do not necessarily reflect formal scientific categories.

The following abbreviations have been used in the thesaurus: "Broader Terms" represent more general concepts than "Narrower Terms", which are more specific terms. These are labelled as BT (broader term) and its reciprocal relationship of NT (narrower term).


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Searching the AIATSIS catalogue from the thesaurus

This thesaurus has been set up to allow automatic searching of the AIATSIS catalogue. Once you have displayed the full record for a term, the 'Search AIATSIS' link will give you the option of performing an automatic search of the AIATSIS catalogue, Mura®, for that specific term. Further refinement of the search by item type is available from the drop-down menu to the right of 'Search AIATSIS'.

Description of search options

All
This option will automatically search for and retrieve records relating to all item types in the AIATSIS catalogue for the term from the thesaurus.

Books
This option will automatically search for and retrieve records relating to books, and book chapters from the AIATSIS catalogue for the term from the thesaurus.

Manuscripts
This option will automatically search for and retrieve records relating to manuscripts from the AIATSIS catalogue for the term from the thesaurus.

Pamphlet collection
This option will automatically search for and retrieve records relating to items in the pamphlet collection from the AIATSIS catalogue for the term from the thesaurus.

Language collection
This option will automatically search for and retrieve records relating to items in the language collection from the AIATSIS catalogue for the term from the thesaurus.

Recorded sound collection
This option will automatically search for and retrieve records relating to the recorded sound collections held in the AIATSIS Audiovisual Archive, for the term from the thesaurus.

Film and video
This option will automatically search for and retrieve records relating to film and videos held in the AIATSIS Audiovisual Archive, for the term from the thesaurus.

Pictorial collection
This option will automatically search for and retrieve records relating to the pictorial collections held in the AIATSIS Audiovisual Archive, for the term from the thesaurus.

Rare books
This option will automatically search for and retrieve records relating to rare books from the AIATSIS catalogue for the term from the thesaurus.

Serials
This option will automatically search for and retrieve records relating to serials and serial articles from the AIATSIS catalogue for the term from the thesaurus.

If your catalogue search is unsuccessful you will see a browse list of headings. You can navigate through this list if you wish or return to the thesaurus and select to search the catalogue by a different item type.


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Updated October 2007