Flashback 1988 - State Library of Queensland opens at South Bank
On April 8, 1988, on the eve of World Expo 88, the State Library of Queensland was officially opened at its new premises in inner Brisbane's South Bank by Premier and Arts Minister Mike Ahern.
Ahern described the library as "something of which all Queensland can be extremely proud", and of "enormous importance to the scholastic and cultural development of our great state".
On Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th April, State Library of Queensland hosted a special celebratory weekend with displays and entertainment. State Library's photographer Reina Irmer captured the celebrations. These images are now part of our historical photograph collection and have been digitised for access online.
The new four-level building housed the library's extensive reference and research collections, including the John Oxley Library - "the state's centre for research and study relating to the history of Queensland" - with its vast collections of photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts.
It also boasted many new and upgraded facilities, including computer catalogues, a small theatre for lectures and film screenings, a rare books room, a maps collection area, music practice room and a children's library.
In our collection, State Library holds the ceremonial key presented by Bill Gunn, Deputy Premier, Minister for Public Works, Main Roads and Expo and Minister for Police to Dr J.W. Trace, Chairman, Library Board of Queensland on the occasion of the opening of the Library in 1988. The key is housed in a wooden case.
State Library has also kept two building plaques, one silver and one black, unveiled at the opening ceremony.
A collection of ninety-five photographs taken by Reina Irmer during the opening weekend celebration can be viewed online via our One Search catalogue.
Between December 2003 and November 2006, the building was redeveloped and expanded, which included an additional floor added to the structure.
Myles Sinnamon - Engagement Officer, State Library of Queensland
Further reading about State Library's history:
- Genesis of State Library of Queensland
- A library in darkness
- SLQ and the Spanish Flu
- Library mutilation madness
- Cataloguing another milestone - SLQ's redevelopment, 2006
Previously titled, 30th anniversary - State Library of Queensland opens at South Bank