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. 

Estate maps

The 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.

McKellar maps

Discover McKellar's beautifully detailed official map of Brisbane and suburbs.


Browse our catalogue by filtering for 'maps' and uncover our digital collections.


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

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 of Queensland we have Brisbane City Council Water and Sewerage Maps 1917 in a bound volume in the Open Access collection.

Other resources


Search and download images as you investigate Queensland's history and see how the landscape has changed over time. 

Queensland State Archives

Discover cadastral maps, pastoral run maps, and many others.

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