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Housing a growing state

During WWII, the Federal Government introduced restrictions on the building and renovation of homes in Australia. A shortage in building materials and labour made development during the war a limited exercise. The increase in post-war population put further strain on the nation’s housing infrastructure. Show More Summary

Queensland Places – Sweers Island

Sweers Island is located to the east of Bentinck Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria.  The island was named in 1802 by Matthew Flinders during his voyage of circumnavigation, in honour of Cornelius Sweers, one of the councillors of Batavia, who had originally authorised Abel Tasman’s journey of 1644.  Tasman had been sent by the [...]

Karl Langer Architectural Plans

Karl Langer, architect, town planner, and landscape architect was one of the most influential Queensland architect’s of the 1950s. Born in Vienna, he was head architect in the Vienna office of Peter Behrens. Following the annexation of Austria, he came to Australia, together with his Jewish wife, art historian and critic, Gertrude Langer (1908-84), arriving in [...]

The great and not so great fires of 1864

Guest Blogger: Susan Boulton – Queensland State Archives Fire presented a grave risk to the timber-built shops which were commonly built in Brisbane 150 years ago. Three separate fires occurred in the centre of Brisbane city in 1864 and inquests held at Queensland State Archives provide details of the origin of the fires, property lost [...]


The romance comic Love illustrated was banned in Queensland in 1954,  one of the first ten publications banned by the newly created Queensland Literature Board of Review. The Board banned forty-seven publications in its first twelve months – most of them crime or love comics. Why were comics targeted in this way?  In its first [...]

Queensland Places – Cape York and Torres Strait Regions – Queensland Government Ketch Melbidir

The QGK Melbidir was a well-known vessel in the Torres Strait and Gulf regions, operating from around 1900 up until the 1950s. But, in fact, there were three vessels called the Melbidir with the second and third Melbidir replacing the previous vessels. The first Melbidir was built for the Queensland government, with the vessel’s name [...]

60 000 high resolution images for free download

Immediate access to 60,000 high resolution historic and contemporary Queensland images is now available free from State Library of Queensland. Out-of-copyright and Creative Commons-licenced images can now be directly downloaded through One Search, the library catalogue. Show More Summary

News this week in September 1914

This week in 1914 included speculation that Russia may relax restrictions against Jews, as an official announcement revealed that commissions in the Russian Army and Navy would now be made available to Jews. The anti-semitic press applauded this news. The Brisbane Courier enthusiastically reported a great Allied victory at Precy-sur-Oise, 15 miles north of Paris.  According [...]

Forgotten Australians: Micah Pilot Oral History and Digital Story Project

“[f]ar from being simply complementary to each other, memory and history tell of very different relationships to the past than we can or do possess” – Dipesh Chakrabarty “In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot.” – Czes?aw Mi?osz This week marks Queensland Child Protection [...]

Queensland Places – HMS Dart and the naming of some Cape York locations

In the late 1890s, the government survey vessel HMS Dart was undertaking on-going hydrographic survey work in the waters of far North Queensland. As well as this work preparing more detailed surveys, in areas important for the safety of coastal shipping, a number of places were named during the vessel’s various travels. In the midst [...]

Researching Queensland’s fashion business history

Guest bloggers: Nadia Buick and Madeleine King from The Fashion Archives When most people think of ‘business’ they imagine serious corporations and enterprises, not the ‘frivolous’ world of fashion. But fashion businesses have played an important role in the economic history of Queensland, and their story is a significant one. Through our online publication, The Fashion [...]

Queensland Places – Coen

The name of the town of Coen is said to have been derived from the Cape York Peninsula river of the same name.  The river was originally named by the Dutch navigator Jan Carstensz, during his 1623 voyage through the region, in honour of the then Governor of the Dutch East Indies. In the period [...]

A Golden Opportunity for Gold Coast Community Museums

Guest Blogger: Josh Tarrant - Museum Development Officer- South East Queensland Region Recently, members of the Gold Coast Heritage Voice network were treated to a behind the Scenes tour of both the John Oxley Library and the Southbank campus of the Queensland Museum. Brian Randall, Anne Scheu and staff at SLQ were generous enough to [...]

Queensland Places – Wild Irish Girl Reef, Mine and Crushing Works, Palmer River

The Palmer River Gold Field followed a similar pattern to many other gold mining fields.  Beginning as rich sources of alluvial gold, the fields then evolved into surface or deep reef mining areas, with heavy machinery needed to extract payable levels of gold.  In the case of the Palmer River area, this was taking place [...]

Podcast: Johnstone Gallery (A night in the JOL)

The Johnstone Gallery operated in Brisbane from 1950–72, a seminal time in the development of an audience for contemporary art in Australia. The gallery represented major Australian artists including Charles Blackman, Sidney Nolan, Donald Friend, Arthur Boyd, Ray Crooke and Margaret Olley.   Gallery owners Brian and Marjorie Johnstone were well known for their friendliness, [...]

A long ride on a tall bicycle : Sydney to Rockhampton in 1884

No doubt many readers have been following the recent Tour de France but the impressive performances of the riders in that classic event in many ways pale to insignificance when compared to the epic ride of George E. C. Timewell in 1884.  The ‘road’ from Sydney to Brisbane and on towards Rockhampton was dreadful enough [...]

Vale Blair Wilson

Brisbane architect Blair Wilson recently passed away, aged 83. Born in 1930, Blair began his architectural education in 1949, attending the Brisbane Central Technical College and the University of Queensland. He followed in the footsteps of his father Ronald Martin Wilson and grandfather Alexander Brown Wilson, who founded Wilson Architects in 1884. Blair was principal [...]

Brisbane City Botanic Gardens and the New National Trust Significant Tree Database/App

Guest blogger: Margaret Munro – Volunteer, City Botanic Gardens Queensland has many outstanding trees. The 2,000 year old Antarctic Beech Trees (Nothofagus moorei) on the Springbrook plateau – relics of Gondwana, beautiful Norfolk Pines...Show More Summary

Sharing stories from Multicultural Communities

“What sets worlds in motion is the interplay of differences, their attractions and repulsions. Life is plurality, death is uniformity. By suppressing differences and peculiarities, by eliminating different civilisations and cultures,...Show More Summary

Queensland Places – Keiraville, Ipswich

This grand Ipswich residence, located in Roderick Street, has long been a part of the city’s history, dating from 1886. It is believed to have been built for the Cribb family by local building contractor, John Mackenzie, who originally acquired the land upon which Keiraville stands, in 1884. It is not clear who actually planned [...]

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