Online index of names to the Margaret Lawrie collection

State Library of Queensland have recently created an online index to Torres Strait Islander names recorded in the genealogical sheets from the Margaret Lawrie Collection of Torres Strait Islander Material TR1791.

View of a beach on Dauan Island, Queensland 1968. From TR 1791, Margaret Lawrie Collection of Torres Strait Islands Material, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image TR1791-0173-0021 (CC-BY)

View of a beach on Dauan Island, Queensland 1968. From TR 1791, Margaret Lawrie Collection of Torres Strait Islands Material, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image TR1791-0173-0021 (CC-BY)

This collection, which was added to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2008, consists of material gathered by Margaret Lawrie on the Torres Strait Islander people’s culture between 1964 and 1973. As well as genealogies the collection also contains children’s games, maps, music, photographs, plants, sketches, stories and vocabularies of the Torres Strait.

Margaret Lawrie collated 328 genealogy sheets from seventeen Torres Strait Islander communities: Badu, Mabuiag, Thursday Island, Bamaga (located on the mainland), Muraleg (Prince of Wales Island), Ugar, Boigu Island, Murray Island, Warraber, Dauan Island, Naghir (Mount Ernest Island), Yam Island, Erub (Darnley Island), Poruma (Coconut Island), Yorke Island, Horn Island, Saibai, Kubin Village / St Pauls (Moa Island) and Seisia (located on the mainland).

Along with the online index of names, State Library have also digitised the original genealogical sheets. As much of the information on these charts are private or sensitive, there are restrictions on who can access the full family tree information.

Further information on the Margaret Lawrie Genealogies and the access conditions can be found on our website.

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