House histories

Houses hold memories that last beyond a lifetime. If your walls could talk, ever wondered what tales they’d tell? Maybe they’d whisper secrets from families before you, gloat about the status they’ve held in Queensland communities over the years or tell stories about how their fixtures and features came to be. Explore video guides on each topic for handy tips and to introduce you to the resources you’ll need.

House Histories Video Guides

Set the foundations for house history research success by watching State Library’s series of 5 House Histories video guides. These guides introduce you to the resources you’ll need and provide handy tips to help open doors to a house’s hidden past.

Begin your research journey

Gradually build the story of your house by using State Library and other local archives. Tips on research and the importance of documents such as Certificate of Title.   


Understand the history of the land upon which the house is built.  Land tells its own story of subdivision and ownership through transfers, inheritance and sales. Digital and physical maps to help your research.

Architectural styles

What clues are contained in the roof pitch, the plan of the rooms, the materials used and the ornamentation – finials, veranda posts and railings, window hoods, lattice work and paint colours. Find builders, architects, plans and council documents to discover more about the architectural style of your home.

Inhabitants of your house

A house is not a home without people and their stories.  Enrich the history of your home by finding out who lived there and what events unfolded in that house?  

Your house and its community

Know how your house fits into the locality and suburb.  What did the house and its inhabitants contribute to the community? What role did it play in the evolution of that locality?

Ask us

Do you have questions about your research? State Library is here to help.

Corley Explorer

Frank and Eunice Corley drove the old suburban streets of Queensland taking photographs of houses and selling them to homeowners. Explore our collection to find yours.

From the blog

Beginning your house history

31 July 2020
Gradually build the story of your house by following our house history blog series. We outline the resources of State Library of Queensland and other local Archives that can be used to tell the story of your house.

Queensland maps online

24 July 2020
Maps are bursting with information and surprises. They can help with researching many different topics, from...

But where did they live?

13 July 2020
Recently I was asked to find the land where a dairy farm was located on Ithaca Creek, Brisbane. The...