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Plan of allotments to be sold.
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See how you can use maps to help with your house history research. Find the exact block of land in context of the history of the estates, subdivisions and surrounding areas. Land has its own story. What led to your home being constructed on this block of land? Was it chosen from an estate plan for the promise of a better life?

Video guide

Part 2: Maps

Set the foundations for house history research success by watching State Library’s series of 5 House Histories video guides. Watch below to find out more about maps. 


Maps: your land in context

Discover essential mapping and land resources to help you on your house history journey.


Estate maps

State Library of Queensland has a unique collection of original maps and plans created by real estate firms between the 1850s to the mid 1900s. As well as looking good, these maps can give information about how the land was subdivided, when it was first auctioned, who the surveyors were and who sold the land. They can be useful for investigating the history of urban land areas. The maps are predominantly from Brisbane but also cover some regional areas of Queensland such as the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.

You can find physical estate maps at State Library in the John Oxley Library on level 4 in red folders organised by suburb. Alternatively, explore a sample of our digital collection below.

Explore a unique collection of original maps and plans created by real estate firms.

Brisbane maps

Access historical Brisbane maps in the John Oxley Library on level 4 of State Library. Also explore some of our digitised maps below, covering the Brisbane area.


McKellar map series
McKellar's official map of Brisbane suburbs shows numbered house lots, reserves, parish and local authority boundaries.
Cadastral map of Brisbane and surrounding suburbs
Moreton 40 chain series
This map series shows rivers, creeks, roads, property boundaries and landowners' names.
Brisbane map - details of V1-FL425131 Ham's map of the city of Brisbane, Queensland 1863
Ham's map of Brisbane
Ham's map of the city of Brisbane (1863) shows streets, blocks, buildings, reserves, creeks and some physical features.

Brisbane City Council Archives

Brisbane City Archives at Moorooka is open to the public during designated opening hours, or by appointment. Brisbane City Council (BCC) holds important records, some of which are online, such as:

In the John Oxley Library on level 4 at State Library we have Brisbane City Council Water and Sewerage Maps 1917 in a bound volume in the Open Access collection.

Other resources

Man using laptop in the State Library of Queensland. Photo by Jeff Camden.
Search and download images as you investigate Queensland's history and see how the landscape has changed over time.
Family picnicking in the bush on Mt. Tamborine in the 1910s
Queensland State Archives
Discover cadastral maps, pastoral run maps, and many others.
Woman using computer at the Caboolture public library
Museum of Lands, Mapping and Surveying
Access parish, cadastral, historical topographic and orthophoto maps.

State Library resources

Maps: CD-ROMs, Family history desk, level 3