Memory collections


To contribute to a greater understanding of Queensland.

A wide range of content both contemporary and retrospective is collected to reflect events, people, places and ideas that continue to shape Queensland. These collections are a resource for current and future generations wishing to understand Queensland.

Relevant collections

  • John Oxley Library Collection


State Library is a lead collector of Queensland’s documentary heritage. The John Oxley Library, founded in 1934, has a long-standing tradition of housing Queensland’s collective memory. Content belonging to this category is retained as an important record of Queensland’s history, past and present. Within this category, there are many named collections, each with their own particular provenance and associations.

It is critical that the management of these collections, at each stage of the lifecycle, contribute to developing a deeper picture of Queensland and its history. The content of these collections is paramount, with levels of public usage and viability issues being contributors to the overall value of an item.


Materials are collected for their research value and historical significance. Other factors that may be considered are provenance, context, representation, uniqueness, condition, completeness, integrity and interpretive potential.

Our challenge is to proactively seek material that represents the diversity of the Queensland experience while simultaneously managing an extensive existing collection. Material may be acquired in a range of formats, from traditional paper-based materials and photographs to digital images and files. We play a key role in digital archiving, ensuring future access to the state’s digital heritage. We collect both original materials such as diaries, letters and oral histories and published materials with a link to Queensland, including via legal deposit.


We are committed to providing effective channels for the community to discover, access, use and re-use Queensland’s documentary heritage. Increasing the visibility collections will be a priority. As a custodian of these unique and significant collections we are committed to increasing access, whether through digitisation, enhanced description or full-text indexing.

Through a wide range of activities we aim to provide multiple levels of engagement with our collections including: online engagement, exhibitions, tours, events and fellowships. We will actively build and connect with the community to foster deeper engagement with the memory collections, encouraging debate and discussion across the breadth of topics relevant to Queensland.

Content Strategy 2017
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