Queensland's history is vibrant and diverse reaching back more than 40,000 years when Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders first inhabited the landscape. Queensland memory is filled with stories that tell of discovery and development from Queensland's stunning coastline to the rugged outback; of connections from communities in the south to the pristine islands of the Torres Strait; and of journeys overland and across seas.
State Library of Queensland, mainly through the John Oxley Library, has a vital role in preserving and sharing Queensland's history by collecting contemporary and retrospective content that chronicles events, people, places and ideas that continue to shape Queensland.
State Library encourages the development of new knowledge about Queensland's history through the John Oxley Library blog, the Queensland Memory Awards, special research initiatives, and in its support for local collections and the distributed collection of Queensland memory.
Collecting our present for our future
Queensland is a vast state, enjoying diversity in its culture, places and experiences. This is just as true of contemporary Queensland as it was in the past.
The John Oxley Library, is not only committed to collecting Queensland's history and heritage, but also to collecting evidence of Queensland's contemporary life and culture.
Collecting aspects of contemporary life allows us to preserve the present for the future, so that we can look back at the people, events, experiences, feelings and values of today.
What aspects do we collect of Contemporary Queensland?
The John Oxley Library seeks to reflect and react to contemporary Queensland by gathering materials that represent the society and culture of our time.
It might focus on: current events that impact widely; the every day contemporary life of individuals, families, organisations or businesses; or current popular culture in its various forms.
An example of this can be found in the various digital photograph collections that captured the 2011 Queensland floods.
How is Contemporary Queensland material captured?
The John Oxley Library is particularly focused on capturing and collecting the present through different and new and emerging technologies. Examples include:
- Websites through the PANDORA intiative
- eserials, such as newsletters, magazines and journals
- ebooks, reports and other one-off publications
- born-digital images
- digital video footage
- oral histories and digital stories.
Archives and manuscriptsThe John Oxley Library holds an extensive collection of archives and manuscripts that document the social, cultural, economic and political development of Queensland. The collection consists of unpublished material including personal papers, dairies, correspondence, original maps, plans, business and organisational records.
Search John Oxley Library's collections of archives and manuscripts through One Search.
A distributed collection of Queensland memory
Queensland memory exists in local communities throughout the state. Local collections of oral histories, manuscripts, maps, books, artworks, objects, and photographs reveal unique Queensland stories.
The State Library of Queensland, in partnership with local communities and state organisations, aims to support the preservation and sharing of memory about Queensland's history through advocacy and training.