LGBTIQ+ collections

Discover ephemera, photographs, posters, costumes and other items that celebrate the diversity of LGBTIQ communities in Queensland. Watch, listen and read stories of people coming out, struggling with prejudice and learning to embrace life.

Browse a longer curated list of LGBTIQ+ related collections at State Library on our One Search catalogue.

Demonstrators wearing wedding gowns at Marriage Equality Rally Brisbane

On September 10, 2017, thousands turned out for a rally in Brisbane’s CBD in support of marriage equality. The Brisbane Marriage Equality Rally was in response to the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, a national survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to gauge public support for the legalisation of same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage would be legalised later that year on 9 December.

A collection of 58 photographs and film footage from this rally can be viewed online.

Gay pride badges and flags from the Shayne Wilde collection

Shayne Wilde was an active member of QAGLR (Queensland Association for Gay Law Reform) and the Pride Collective in Brisbane during the 1990s, as well as being involved with numerous other community and activist groups. Shayne's extensive collection (14 boxes to be precise) contains a plethora of materials including papers associated with QAGLR (Queensland Association for Gay Law Reform) and ACGLR (Australian Council for Lesbian and Gay Rights), t-shirts, posters and other ephemera.

This collection can be requested and viewed onsite at State Library.

Robert Cosgrove Collection 1976-2006 [27579]

This collection includes photographs, hat pins, ticket stubs, a necklace, theatre programs, 2 T-shirts and a Mardi Gras outfit. It presents a picture of LGBTIQ+ history through the lens of ephemera and costumes belonging to Robert Cosgrove.

National Day of Action for Marriage Equality Rally

National Day of Action for Marriage Equality rallies were held in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra, from 13-14 August 2011 to mark the 7th anniversary of the ban on same-sex marriage. In Brisbane the rally on the 13th August 2011 commenced at Queens Park [opposite the Treasury Casino], marched around the CBD and returned to Queens Park. The rally included speeches by Labor MP for the state seat of Brisbane Central Grace Grace, and Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters.

Discover LGBTIQ+ memorabilia

Help others find our LGBTIQ+ collections! You can request to look through boxes of our ephemera, posters and other collections. Let us know what’s in the collection that relates to LGBTIQ+ communities and we will update our catalogue records to increase discoverability.

Equal Love Brisbane collection

Equal Love is a nationwide organization formed in 2004 as a response to the Howard Government’s amendment of the Marriage Act prohibiting marriage between people of the same sex. In 2014, Equal Love Brisbane donated a collection of t-shirts, badges, stickers, flyers, posters and other memorabilia related to their activism and campaigning for marriage equality. Our 2014 blog story (link below) provides further images and details on this collection.

Ephemera collection

In everyday life, ephemera (such as flyers, invitations, concert programs, badges, tote bags, menus, ticket stubs and stickers) are items we often discard, however as time passes these ‘ephemeral’ items can become historically significant. You might be surprised to learn that State Library of Queensland collects ephemera on a wide variety of Queensland topics, including material related to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer + community. There is also a separate collection for the Brisbane Pride Festival. These ephemera collections can be requested and viewed onsite at State Library.

Collection of posters on gay and lesbian themes. Set 1.

As the title indicates, this collection contains a variety of colourful posters from various events, including rallies, Pride Week celebrations, dance parties and more. This collection can be requested and viewed onsite.

Additional LGBTIQ+ themed posters can be found in other collections, such as the AIDS Archive collection.

Oral histories

In 2010, a series of interviews were conducted as part of the LGBT Lives: Oral Histories project to create a permanent record of LGBTQI+ history in Brisbane. The audio files from several of these interviews are now available to listen to online.

In this recorded oral history, one of Queensland's best-known political activists Greg Weir discusses his involvement in a number of civil liberties movements and as one of the central organisers of the campaign for gay law reform. Listen to Greg's story online.

Things to read

A collection of PFLAG newsletters

Produced by the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, back issues of this newsletter from 2005 onwards can be viewed online.

Groom and groom cake toppers from the Equal Love collection

The John Oxley Library recently received a wonderful donation of memorabilia from the pressure group, Equal Love Brisbane, relating to the Marriage Equality campaign. It is timely that in 2014, the 10 year anniversary since the amendment to the Marriage Act and a significant year of action for the group, that material has been donated to State Library.

In preserving the history of Queensland's LGBTQI+ communities, State Library of Queensland has developed a fascinating collection including photographs, recorded oral histories, posters, t-shirts, flyers, magazines and more. Here are some highlights from our collection.