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View along Adelaide Street from George Street with the buildings decorated for the Royal Visit, 1954
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Living Queensland

From the Great Barrier Reef along the Queensland coastline to the Simpson Desert in the west, the island communities in the Torres Strait and the holiday destination of the Gold Coast in the south, Queensland is a state of unique contrasts.

Through the collections of the John Oxley Library we invite you to explore a small taste of the experience of living in Queensland as we showcase the natural state and landscape, its vibrant community spirit, celebrations of culture and folklore, and the experiences of those who live and work in the bush and beyond the capital city of Brisbane in the south-east of the state.

Down at the base of the Barron Gorge, Queensland, 1966
Natural Queensland
Explore collections documenting the natural beauty of the Queensland landscape and the collections that expose the nature of its fury, testing human endeavour, response and recovery.
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Restaurant owner Sabor Mesghum in Moorooka, Queensland, 2013
Spirit of community
Explore collections showcasing the spirit of Queensland and the communities that contribute to Queensland's culture and lifestyle.
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Night shift begins at a Bowen Basin coal mine near Coppabella, Queensland, 2012
Industrious Queensland
The success of Queensland is achieved through work and commitment. Learn more about the industries and the jobs people do, helping to keep our state on the map.
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National Exhibition at the Show Grounds, Brisbane
Festivals and Celebrations
Explore the collections of the John Oxley Library showcasing the diverse ways Queenslanders celebrate culture, lifestyle and experiences of living in Queensland.
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LGBTQIA+ community recognition

State Library of Queensland started collecting print posters, ephemera, oral histories, costumes and photographs recording the diversity of LGBTQIA+ communities in Queensland including evidence of the ongoing struggle for recognition and same-sex marriage equality which became legal in December 2017.
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Close up of supporters after march at Marriage Equality Rally in Brisbane, 2011

Digital stories

State Library of Queensland collects digital stories that help to preserve and capture the stories of Queenslanders going about their everyday lives and experiences. They include stories about people, places and community sharing aspects of Queensland's unique social history, business and fields of industry and practice. 

We invite you to browse a small selection.  

A Sporting Great

Aunty Lesley Williams talks about the ‘Imparas’, the Cherbourg Marching Girls team who travelled the country during an era of restrictions on Aboriginal people. [21235374460002061]

Seaman Dan

ARIA-award winning musician Henry Gibson (Seaman Dan) talks about his life and family, his musical career and work as a pearl diver. [447667] 

Community Bands

A digital story focussing on community bands and the music that brings players and interested parties and supporters together. [Acc 28956] 

Karen and Alan Pedersen, Karma Waters Station

Alan Pedersen and family share their thoughts about the ceremony of drinking tea and its significance to their everyday lives working on a cattle station in Queensland. [36115469]

Sarah Jenyns

The family of business pioneer, inventor and trained nurse Sarah Jenyns talk about Sarah’s contribution and design of a garment to support women’s health.  Acc 29634/13]

Sallyanne Atkinson

Brisbane's first and only female Lord Mayor Sallyanne Atkinson talks about her role in local government.

Experience Queensland

State Library of Queensland holds a vast collection of photographs, negatives, copy prints and album collections recording aspects of Queensland’s history, settlement and development. Access public domain images on State Library’s Flickr Commons channel.
Flickr gallery
Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, January 10, 1929