Queensland history

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.


The collections of the John Oxley Library reflect Queensland's contemporary and popular culture as well as the past.


Join with the individuals and organisations that are connecting to and engaging with Queensland knowledge in diverse ways.


Share your Queensland stories online, be active and increase engagement with and understanding of contemporary Queensland and Queensland history.

John Oxley Library

Access the collections specific to Queensland’s events, development, experience, people and places in the John Oxley Library Reading Room.

Tools and resources

The tools and resources developed by State Library are provided to support, guide and assist everyone interested in preserving Queensland’s unique heritage.


View our guests, panellists, academics, researchers, and historians invited to go under the spotlight and reflect on various aspects of the Queensland experience.


The Queensland Memory Awards are announced annually, recognising excellence in library research and the contribution of new knowledge to Queensland’s history.

Library membership

Become an SLQ member now to access our services, collections and facilities.

Library Shop online

Discover an eclectic range of books, gifts, reproduction prints and more at the Library Shop.