ABC report on the Mitchell Libraries Rediscovering Indigenous Languages project.

A treasure trove of Indigenous language documents from across Australia has been discovered in the New South Wales State Library.

The accounts of early contact between Aboriginal people and European settlers were unearthed during a forensic search of the unpublished papers filed away in the basement of the colonial building.

The operation was led by Dr Michael Walsh from Sydney University's Linguistics Department, who spent two years combing the stacks.

"I found it quite exciting in the midst of a lot of drudgery, because some of the material was buried in boxes and boxes of papers, so you get two pages out of 2,000," he said.

"It's the agony and the ecstasy, you might say." Read the full article and watch the TV news report.