Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory partners with Rock Art Australia to digitise the historic George Chaloupka Archive

AAR-MAGNT-George-Chaloupka-OAMMuseum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) is proud to announce an exciting new partnership with Rock Art Australia (RAA) aimed at digitising approximately 25,000 colour transparencies in the George Chaloupka Archive housed at the Museum.

This archive, renowned locally, nationally and internationally is the most comprehensive visual record and documentation of rock art in the Arnhem Land Plateau region.

Chaloupka and Bininj/Mungguy Traditional Owners, who shared vast amounts of cultural knowledge, invested time, trust and goodwill, worked together and developed the fieldwork and research over a thirty year period.

The preservation of this invaluable archive has become increasingly urgent as the physical rock art sites continue to deteriorate due to weathering and the impacts of climate change, rendering some of the imagery no longer visible.

MAGNT and RAA have joined forces to embark on this vital project, ensuring the long term care of and access to this important visual record, which will, in turn, assist Bininj/Mungguy in their endeavours to research, record, monitor, manage and protect their own rock art sites into the future.

As part of this collaborative initiative, MAGNT has employed a dedicated team, including a Digital Imaging Officer and a Rock Art Collections Officer, for a two-year period. Their primary focus will be the digital conversion of the transparencies that constitute the visual component of the Rock Art Archive, accompanied by comprehensive metadata for each image.

This collaborative endeavour represents a significant step towards preserving and sharing Australia’s ancient cultural heritage for generations to come. MAGNT and RAA invite everyone to follow the progress of this transformative project.

“The George Chaloupka Archive represents an irreplaceable repository of Australia’s rich cultural heritage,” said Adam Worrall, Director MAGNT.

“By commencing the digitising of this archive, we not only preserve its historical significance but also ensure that it is accessible, first and foremost, to Bininj/Mungguy Traditional Owners of the ‘Stone Country’ rock art sites and their communities who live in the extraordinary, rich cultural landscape of Kakadu, western and central Arnhem Land.”

“Researchers and other stakeholders will be able to apply for access to the Archive through MAGNT’s Aboriginal Heritage Access policy. Together, MAGNT and RAA are committed to reconnecting the Archive with the people, places and countries to whom it rightfully belongs,” said Worrall.

“Supporting the digitisation of the Chaloupka Archive means we can support the sharing of histories and stories that date back 28,000 years,” said John Morrison, Rock Art Australia Chairman.

“The transfer of community knowledge is important. Our mission is to uncover our past and this project will assist with sharing vital information relating to the Archive, which can be shared with the traditional owners, the communities and the public.”

“We are extremely pleased to be partnering with MAGNT on a project we believe to be nationally and internationally significant,” said Morrison.

For more information about Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT), visit: for details.

Image: George Chaloupka OAM (1932-2011) standing in front of the Simulated Rock Art Panel display at MAGNT Artist: Dick Nguleingulei Murrumurru (Dangbon/Kunwinjku 1920-1988) – photo courtesy of MAGNT