Special Care Notice

About the Aboriginal place names and meanings

This website is not intended to be an authoritative source for Indigenous Languages and placenames in Australia. The language lists available from the State Library of New South Wales were recorded historically by many individuals — both amateurs and professionals — who documented Indigenous words, placenames and meanings. This includes records from surveyors and public officials.

Visitors to this website should be aware that the language documentation may not reflect current understandings of the use of some languages. In addition, some historic lists may also record words and meanings inaccurately.

This website presents information drawn from the Library’s Royal Anthropological Society of Australasia collection regarding ‘Aboriginal Place Names’, 1899 – 1903, 1921-1926.
We are presenting data from this collection to encourage discussion. We welcome feedback from Aboriginal communities and users who may have knowledge and information on place names and meanings.

Users are warned that there may be words and descriptions which may be considered sensitive and/or offensive in today's contexts.

Muru View (Muru – meaning path in Darug) is an interactive data visualisation drawing from the State Library of New South Wales Indigenous language collections. The data used in the interactive is over 120 years old, and is drawn from the survey forms collected by the Royal Anthropological Society of Australasia. We open this historic data to encourage dialogue and discussion around the words and meanings that have been recorded.

Created in collaboration with creative studio, Sandpit, Muru View dynamically uses data to display locations around New South Wales incorporating their Indigenous name and meaning that were recorded at that time, all using the Google Maps API in a way never done before. The result is an interactive online experience and a projected installation at the State Library of New South Wales itself coinciding with NAIDOC week 2017 in the first week of July.

The 2017 NAIDOC theme ‘Our Languages Matter’ focuses on the importance, resilience and richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. This project seeks to increase public awareness of these historic Indigenous language archives and cultural history using cutting edge technology and beautiful design.

For more about the making of Muru View visit the DX Lab website.

This project draws 360˚ images from Google Streetview to display place names in their correct locations. Some of these locations are in areas not yet photographed by Google. If you would like to contribute to this project and take your own 360˚ images please get in touch and we’ll let you know where we in NSW we could use your help!

Please email us at

The words, placenames and meanings that are used in this project are drawn from historic sources, and were recorded by non-Aboriginal people about Aboriginal languages. Some of the words and meanings may have been misinterpreted when originally recorded, and could be inaccurate. If you would like to provide more information on the words, placenames and meanings please contact us. We encourage Aboriginal people and communities to get in touch.

Please email the Indigenous Services Team at

If you have any queries or feedback about this project please email us at or

For any media enquiries please contact