First World War exhibition tells Queensland's story

State Library of Queensland opens its major exhibition Distant Lines: Queensland voices of the First World War – this Saturday 4 April, running until 15 November.

Distant Lines connects us with the intimate and untold stories of Queenslanders as we commemorate 100 years since Australia's involvement in the First World War.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said astonishing stories of bravery, heartache and patriotism are told through personal letters, diaries, photographs, belongings and digital stories which offer the opportunity for interaction, debate and reflection on this tumultuous time in history.

"State Library of Queensland's exhibition, Distant Lines: Queensland voices of the First World War, is a part of a $49.3 million investment by the government in Anzac Centenary commemoration events and projects during 2014-15," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"We can all play a role in commemorating Queensland's contribution to the First World War, and going to this exhibition is the perfect way to get involved and honour the memory of Queensland servicemen and women."

State Librarian and CEO Janette Wright said the exhibition explored the home front and war front experiences of the war – before, during and after.

"The exhibition will showcase many of State Library's precious First World War collections that have never been seen by the public before," Ms Wright said.

Visitors to Distant Lines will be immersed in the daily reality of war by walking through a First World War trench experience in SLQ Gallery and discover personal war front experiences through the lives of 25 Queenslanders who served.

Philip Bacon Heritage Gallery tells the First World War home front stories from recruitment and conscription campaigning to the darker side of patriotism: racism, censorship and propaganda with State Library's extensive collection of posters, photographs, records, letters and event programmes on show.

Displays throughout the library take you on a journey through Queensland's history to commemorate 100 years since the Gallipoli landing; and the age-old debate 'for or against war' is discussed in relation to Australia's two conscription referenda (1916 and 1917).

The community is invited to celebrate the opening of Distant Lines on Saturday 11 April with a special day of reflection packed with free music events, workshops and activities, talks, curator's tours, and exclusive performances by Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

The highlight of the exhibition opening event will be a free performance by Queensland Symphony Orchestra in response to the life stories of Queensland soldiers, nurses, and doctors whose stories are told in SLQ Gallery.

The exhibition aims to commemorate our history, expand our understanding of the First World War and help current and future generations appreciate our state's experience of the war and the Anzac legacy.

Distant Lines, as part of State Library's Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation program, is proudly supported by the Queensland Government.

For full program details visit Distant Lines or follow the conversation online with @slqld #distantlines #qanzac100 and #ww1.

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