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state library of queensland
John Oxley Library

Out of the Port: Missing! German heritage of Queensland

By JOL Admin | 22 October 2010

It was standing room only on Wednesday as 140 people, including Mr Detlef Sulzer, Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Brisbane, packed into the State Library's Auditorium 2 to hear Professor Anna Haebich and Mr Mark Schuster speak about the preservation and promotion of Queensland's German heritage.

Professor Anna Haebich speaks about her German heritage and her research into German related collection items held in the john Oxley Library where she was Historian in Residence in 2008/09.

German immigration from the 1840s to the present had a significant influence on Queensland's history and culture. Professor Raymond Evans, in his History of Queensland, notes that "by 1881 Queensland had the largest number of German-born residents in the Australian colonies"(p.89). Yet with the anti-German propaganda of the WWI and WWII eras German cultural expression was driven underground and much of this group's heritage is not thoroughly recorded and preserved in our public collections.

Mark Schuster

The State Library has a wealth of information for family historians tracing their German origins. See our website for details of info guides and talks.

The John Oxley Library Collection also contains interesting German related materials. Copy print photographs from the category "Germans in Queensland" were displayed outside Auditorium 2 along with items from Mark Schuster's personal collection including Konzert Zithers, accordians, a certificate from Tatura (Victoria) internment camp where Mark's parents were sent by train from Innisfail during WWII, and an ornate homeopathy kit sold by Muller Bros in Toowoomba.

Many of the participants in Wednesday's session made their way up to level 4 to see the beautiful Johann Heussler Presentation Album of 1897.

State Library of Queensland, John Oxley Library, and the Department of Environmental and Resources Management's Cultural Heritage Unit come together to present the monthly Out of the Port talks promoting new research on Queensland. The Out of the Port series has been very popular in 2010 highlighting our incredibly rich and diverse history, and encouraging dialogue amongst researchers and interested members of the public .

Join us on 17 November for the last Out of the Port session of the year where architect Robert Riddel will discuss the Boggo Road Gaol site. The future of this landmark group of buildings, after 20 years since the gaol's closure, is still unresolved.


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