Francis Gillen Collection

Francis James Gillen (1855-1912)




Offline Only


More 500 Aboriginal artefacts collected by F.J.Gillen from central and north-central Australia.

F.J. Gillen is recognised as one of Australia's pioneer anthropologists, in partnership with the zoologist and museum director W.B. Spencer.

Collection is centred upon the material culture of the Arrernte peoples, mainly collected by Gillen at and near Alice Springs, N.T., during the 1890s, but also in partnership with W.B. Spencer during the 1901-1902 Spencer-Gillen Expedition, from Oodnadatta to Borroloola.

Out of copyright

Restricted access to secret sacred objects and photographs

Original object lists in specimen documentation files; collection documentation (of like or actual objects) in W.B. Spencer and F.J. Gillen (1899) Native Tribes of Central Australia, Macmillan, London and, for example, F.J. Gillen (1968) Gillen's Diary: The Camp Jottings of F. J. Gillen on the Spencer and Gillen Expedition Across Australia, 1901-1902. State Library of S.A., Adelaide. Online note: Under development (comprehensive website with digitised resources relating to Spencer and Gillen). Related Collections: Gillen photograph albums, glass-plate negatives and glass slides, collection lists, one field notebook, correspondence held in the SAM Archives (AA108; AA93; AA298); Gillen journals and field notes also held in Special Collections, Barr Smith Library at the University of Adelaide and in PRG 456, State Library of South Australia. W.B. Spencer's journals, photographs and ethnographic collections (complementary to Gillen's) are held in several institutions, but notably Museum Victoria. For Gillen's biographical entry, see


Aboriginal artefacts; Aboriginal culture; Aboriginal peoples (Australians); Photography

Aboriginal artefacts; Australian Aboriginal material culture; Axe; Bag; Bags; Basket; Boomerang; Ceremonial objects; Club; Container; Cordage; F.J. Gillen; Fire-making; Knife; Late 19th and early 20th centuries; Manuscripts; Material; Medical; Message; Musical instrument; Narcotic; Ornament; Photographs; Plume; Shield; Sorcery; Spear; Spear-thrower; Tjurunga; Toy; Waninga

Aboriginal peoples; Artefacts; Ceremonial objects; Drugs; Indigenous medicine; Musical instruments; Photography; Sorcery; Toys

Anthropological specimens; Ceremonial objects; Containers; Documents; Edged Weapons; Personal adornments; Photographs; Projectile weapons; Tools; Toys; Weapons

Francis James Gillen

Coverage Spatial

Alice Springs; Tennant Creek; Wycliffe River; Central Australia; MacDonnell Ranges; Crown Point; Charlottte Waters; Finke River; Hanson River; Barrow Creek

Coverage Temporal



Related Collections


2012-05-30 23:41

2011-03-18 18:24