libraries and archives

National Library Australia


Trove is the most obvious and most used source for researching Australian history. The site started in 2008, and has grown in 10 years to more than 585 million items - newspaper pages, images, book pages, maps, music and more.

A brief and handy guide to Trove has been prepared by Tim Sherratt.

Digitised journals

More than 250 journals have been digitised and are now searchable, viewable and downloadable within the Trove platform. These have been made available thanks to partnerships with State Libraries, Universities, Public Libraries, Government Departments, Community Groups and Individuals. The journals come from Australia, the Pacific, and Australian military units deployed overseas. Some specific to Queensland but plenty of others with Queensland references - for example the Pastoralists Review.

Government Gazettes

This section contains the New South Government Gazette and the Commonwealth Gazette. The latter has plenty of references to Queensland. For example a search on Cunnamulla found no less that 1400 entries!


Pandora comprises archived websites no longer live and you never know your luck in a big city - for example speeches by the former Governor of Queensland Penny Wensley (and she gave excellent speeches wherever she went).


With an abundance of sources in Trove, it is easy to conclude that is plenty, but the National Library has more on their eresources site. It provides access to a wide range of online eresources for historical research. Some are only available on site at the library in Canberra but other are online. One of particular value is the Sydney Morning Herald Archives 1955-1995. Newspapers on Trove are great but how many times using Trove did you wish that you could search beyond 1954. Not perfect but via this site the Sydney Morning Herald has plenty of references to Queensland material (more than you might think). You need a NLA library card to access this site but it is free to obtain.

Australian Joint Copying Project

The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) is a collection of unique historical material relating to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific dating from 1560 to 1984. The original project began in 1948 of copying records relating to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific held in hundreds of institutions, organisations and homes throughout the United Kingdom. Now the NLA has digitised the microfilm. The digitised records are easily searchable.

National Archives of Australia

National Archives of Australia

The National Archives of Australia has been undertaking an ambitious program of digitising their collection and there are plenty of surprises as to what material is available in digital form.


What is especially good is that the NAA updates what has been digitised each day on their SODA site (Newly scanned records from the Archives). This is a great place to browse what has been digitised. For example recently uploaded items included images of the Queensland towns in the 1970s from the Australian News and Information Bureau.

State Library of Queensland

SLQ catalog

Plenty here, as it should be, but not always easy to find. Images are the strength of the digital collection but more and more documents and publications are being digitised.

Digital resources

The website provide a link to all digital material in the SLQ with no less than 2283 entries. One series that is now well covered are the publications of the Queensland Government Tourist Bureau.

SLQ blog

The SLQ blog site is useful for being aware of additions to the collection or recently digitised material.


Another useful tool is Unstacked. This page provides a real-time visualisation of resources users are accessing from the State Library of Queensland's collection. It is surprising what you can discover by browsing what others are looking at - especially images.

University of Queensland


Espace is the university's main source for the research outputs of the staff and students of the University of Queensland. At first glance, it might seem that it is not of much value for researching Queensland history. Not so. It is the digital repository for the Fryer Library and also duplicates much of Text Queensland. There are lots of goodies here. As an example, just search Barcaldine. And lo and behold - numerous images and references to books and journals.

Espace holds some significant photographic collections including the Hume collection and Mobsby collection. Henry Mobsby was a government photographer and more than 300 images are in the Fryer Library.

Text Queensland

This site is described as a unique and dynamic collection of full-text, searchable, digitised sources on Queensland colonial and state history. It provides access to a range of sources relating to Queensland history, including:

  • Journal of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland 1914-1994
  • Pughs Almanac 1958-1927
  • Extensive selection of books on Queensland history
  • Queensland Government Gazette 1859-1900
  • Theses on Queensland history.

Queensland Historical Atlas

The Queensland Historical Altas is a collection of essays on a wide range of topics on Queensland history. The Atlas features the work of over 100 contributors and over 250,000 words, together with hundreds of maps and images.

Queensland places

This is a website containing all the places in Queensland—including cities, suburbs, towns and villages—that have now, or once, had a population over 500 at any census. Useful basic information about these places.

Queensland University of Technology

Digital collections

This website brings together a range of digital collections developed and managed by QUT staff. Of historical interest is the QUT Alumini Donations which is a collection of items that have been donated by QUT Alumni but do not specifically relate to the Queensland University of Technology or its predecessor institutions. Items in this collection range in subject and geographical distribution and are historically and culturally significant.

Brisbane City Council

Brisbane City Council Archives

Not the easiest of most intuitive place to find, but located on the Brisbane City Council library website under Brisbane Images. This site provides access to images, maps, plans and documents on Brisbane's history from the 1850s to the present. The material includes:

  • Extensive collection of early maps of Brisbane, town planning maps, transport plans, bridge plans and subdivision plans
  • Building registers from 1903 to 1945
  • Detail plans (plans drawn for the construction of the sewerage network showing the outline of every house in Brisbane
  • Documents on street names in Brisbane.

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) is a world-renowned research, collections and publishing organisation. It promotes knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, traditions, languages and stories, past and present. Some useful Queensland material is online.

Queensland legislation and reports

Collection of legislation and official reports relating to the removal and protection of Aboriginal and Islander peoples in Queensland. The legislation ranges from 1865 to 1987. The reports of the Chief Protector of Aboriginals, and successors, range from 1899 to 1959.