Making Meaning

Save the date! The next Making meaning symposium will be on Friday 26 May 2023 at State Library. Stay tuned for updates.

The inaugural Making meaning: Collections as data symposium took place at State Library of Queensland on Friday 6 March 2020. It was a day for digital innovators, featuring influential and challenging speakers from the research, government, digital humanities and GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) sectors. Coinciding with Open Data Day 2020, the symposium aimed to raise awareness of the potential of collections as data and build a community of practice in Australia. Explore the program below.

Making new meaning with our Digital collections catalyst

We opened applications for the inaugural Digital collections catalyst in Residence initiative at Making meaning: Collections as data. This initiative builds on the momentum and fantastic discussions held on the day to support innovative and creative uses of our digital collections and collections data.

We are thrilled to announce Dr. Keir Winesmith as our Digital collections catalyst for 2020. Keir will develop 'Mapping future Brisbane' - an interactive predictive mapping tool that allows users to see Brisbane's past and experiment with how Brisbane could change into the future. The digital experience is powered by a machine learning model that is trained on State Library maps and collections.


Welcome and panel discussion

Opening keynote - Mauricio Giraldo

Sponsor lightning talks and curator’s tour of Spoken

Lightning talks: from data to meaning

Closing keynote: Chris McDowall

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Explore collections as data projects

Building Inspector

Identify buildings on maps and train computers to recognise shapes on atlases.

Corley Explorer

Explore and contribute to over 61,000 mapped photos of Queensland houses.


Search and display engine for visual artworks powered by Wikidata and Wikimedia.

Mapping Prejudice

Visualise the hidden histories of race and privilege in Minneapolis.


Resample archival recordings as electronic music.


Identify visual trends in advertisements in Dutch historical newspapers.

Text Analyzer

Find key topics and terms in any text, then find similar content in JSTOR.

Visionaries Explorer

Investigate historical events, characters and places from NSW.


See what people are using from our collections in real-time.