Frontier Conflict, also known as the Frontier Wars, refers to the period of conflict between First Australians and the British Colonists. The exact dates for this period are debated, but it is generally accepted as dating from the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 through to the 1930s.
The National Library holds a wide range of primary source materials that relate to the period of Frontier Conflict, most of which can be found in the pictures or manuscripts collection. There is also a large body of work available through our eResources page.
For example, the albums of Eliza Younghusband contain a watercolour painting from William Oswald Hodgkinson, who painted his encounters with First Australians. Aside from this material, the Library also holds a large body of books, journal articles and oral history recordings that discuss First Australians resistance to the colonial expansion. Some examples of this material are:
Please keep in mind that some of the search phrases for this material will often relate to historical wording and language. This means terms that we would today consider highly offensive may appear in your search.
Here are some search terms that you might use in our Catalogue or Trove.
The National Library of Australia acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples – the First Australians – as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website contains a range of material which may be considered culturally sensitive including the records of people who have passed away.