A Gem in the collection – Royal Irish Constabulary

One of the many enjoyable activities of an archivist is finding gems in the collection such as rare photos, personal mementos or evidence of private memberships and professional associations. For us, serendipity unearthed this gem! It’s an original certificate for Constable William Murphy who was formerly a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and […]

The Aramac Tramway

The Tramways Act of 1882 allowed companies and local authorities to operate tramways. As well as municipal street tramways, it allowed the construction of what were rural railways in all but name. The rural “tramways” were usually constructed to less stringent standards than the Queensland Government Railways to reduce the cost of construction and operation.

Pigeons catch the train home

At the end of World War II, repatriating and demobilising the Australian military was a huge and challenging logistical task. There was a large variety of military equipment needing to be shifted, including 530 army pigeons that needed to be returned from Canungra, Queensland,  to their original civilian owners in New South Wales, Victoria or […]

Save our koala – in 1927!

Today we take it for granted that our unique wildlife is not hunted and many people are working hard to save endangered species such as the iconic koala. However, in 1927, there was debate about the number of koalas in the wild and whether an ‘open season’ would be appropriate. Queensland State Archives’ (QSA) holds […]

1987’s Cabinet minutes reveal pivotal year for Queensland

The release of the 1987 Queensland Cabinet Minutes this week by QSA, reveal a landmark year for Queensland politics which saw strained relations with Bob Hawke’s federal government, the start of the Fitzgerald Inquiry and the resignation of long-serving premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen. The Cabinet minutes show  the enormous workload of the Cabinet which often […]

Kingaroo the Kangaroo

We all know how much Americans love our native wildlife but did you know about Kingaroo, a young female Eastern Grey kangaroo that ventured from Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary to San Diego Zoo via the US Navy? Kingaroo’s story came to life through letters in the collection from William L Read, Commander in the US […]

Waltzing Matilda and the Swagman Inquest

It’s our unofficial anthem. But as we sing along to this seemingly light-hearted ditty, most of us are blissfully unaware of the history that underpins A.B. “Banjo” Paterson’s most famous work. It is widely agreed that the inspiration for Waltzing Matilda came from the death of shearer Samuel Hoffmeister, known as Frenchy, and that the […]

Artists in Conversation Series: Shehab Uddin

Windmill of your mind: Stories inspired by Queensland’s oldest building is the latest exhibition by Queensland State Archives (QSA). The exhibition, showcasing the artwork of students from the Queensland College of Art at Griffith University, alongside treasures from the state’s archives, focuses on the Old Windmill on Wickham Terrace in Brisbane. The heritage-listed Old Windmill […]

Crash at Camp Mountain

We hold some incredible tales within the collection at QSA. Some offer insight into our shared history, other’s offer stories of heroism and adventure, or of incarceration and subjugation. And some shed light on moments of disaster. The events that befell the passengers of Train E91 on Monday 5 May 1947 resulted in the largest […]