John Oxley Library Fellowship

2019 John Oxley Library Fellows Louise Martin-Chew and Matthew Wengert

The 2019 John Oxley Library fellowship was awarded to Louise Martin-Chew and Matthew Wengert for their joint project Designs-Details-Devils: A Visual History of Queensland’s Government Printing Office 1862-2013.

Louise and Martin will utilise the John Oxley Library collection to research the visual history of Queensland’s Government Printing Office (QGPO). The Government Printing Office was responsible for publishing official documents and information (‘Details’), including Hansard, Parliamentary Papers, Annual Reports, Royal Commissions, Acts & Bills & Regulations & Statutes, Nautical charts and Tide Timetables, Electoral Maps (and hundreds of other types of maps), Survey Plans, Railway Timetables, and other regular and occasional publications.

It generated beautiful and elaborate decorative printing (‘Designs’), including posters for the Government Intelligence & Tourist Bureau, and invitations and menus for official functions (Royal Visits, Parliamentary banquets and festive events etc.), and official artworks and illustrations for publications by all the different government departments and agencies— books, maps, charts, posters, pamphlets, and signs.

Many hundreds of people worked in the QGPO’s different sections—and the project aims to organise a visual history of the workplace, and the staff (‘Devils’). These workers include artists William Bustard, Lloyd Rees, and Peter Smith Templeton—and more who we will discover. The gargoyles above the George Street facade represent the workers, who styled themselves as ‘printer’s devils’.

The industrious ‘Devils’’ work—creative 'Designs' and informative 'Details' published on behalf of the people and State—contribute to a rich visual history of Queensland through what the QGPO printed.

2019 John Oxley Library Honorary Fellow Dr Gemmia Burden

Dr Gemmia Burden has been awarded the inaugural John Oxley Library Honorary Fellow for her project Private lives, public knowledge: Gendered collecting and intimacies of place in Queensland c. 1842-1900.

Gemma will utilise the diaries, station records, personal papers, albums and images found in the John Oxley Library collection to investigate how settler and pioneer women on Queensland’s frontier collected, categorised, and understood the world around them, including through their relationships with local Indigenous people.

By focussing on Queensland as a case study, it has the potential to uncover exciting and intimate threads of knowledge production and histories of place that are largely hidden from Queensland’s history, while also highlighting how the Colony was connected across Empire.

About the fellowship

The John Oxley Library Fellowship offers researchers of all disciplines, historians, writers and creatives the opportunity to uncover Queensland’s rich and diverse history utilising the resources of the John Oxley Library and State Library of Queensland.

The fellowship recipient will receive a stipend of $20,000, a personal work space within the Neil Roberts Research Lounge for 12 months and premium access to the extensive collections and expertise library staff. 

Established in 2019, State Library offers the John Oxley Library Honorary Fellowship as part of the John Oxley Library Fellowship program. The honorary fellow is provided with a personal work space within the Neil Roberts Research Lounge for 12 months and premium access to the extensive collections and expertise library staff. The honorary fellow does not receive a monetary stipend. 

For more information about the John Oxley Library Fellowship please email fellowships@slq.qld.gov.au or call 07 3840 7879 or 07 3840 7887.

Proudly supported by the Queensland Library Foundation