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Queensland State Archives

Home > Brisbane > Tours | Places of Interest | Libraries | Hobbies | Free
by Katie E (subscribe)
A mum who uses adventures and outings around town as an excuse to avoid the housework.
Published June 9th 2013
Free access to historical documents, seminars and tours
Have you ever wanted to find out about the history of your local area? Perhaps you've tried to trace your family history through a genealogy search only to be stopped by expensive access fees. Maybe you have been curious as to how past political decisions that were made have influenced your present day life. A visit to the Queensland State Archives could help.

Queensland State Archives

The Queensland State Archives manages and preserves the state's most significant public records and historical documents, dating as far back as 1859, when the colony of Queensland separated from New South Wales. There are even a small number of selected government records that date back as far as 1824. Access to these records is provided free of charge to the public and is facilitated by a team of specialist staff. Immigration registers, diaries of early explorers, historic photographs, early convict records, land and rates records and Queensland cabinet minutes that are over 30 years old are amongst the most popular records searched.

Queensland State Archives Treasury Building
Treasury Building Brisbane, 1898, By Lands Department, Survey of Lands Branch, Photographic Branch Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons, Queensland State Archives, Digital Image ID 2273

Part of the archives management and preservation process involves the digitisation of records which are available on-line, and storage of original documents at their facility at Runcorn. Just over 40 kilometres of records are held in the repositories at Runcorn in specially designed facilities which are climate controlled to ensure the long-term preservation of these documents. Behind the scenes tours of the repositories can be arranged for groups between 10 and 50 people, explaining how the public records are managed and allowing visitors to view some of Queensland's most historically important documents.

Queensland State Archives
Part of the massive Queensland State Archives facility at Runcorn

Researchers will find the public search room, open to the public free of charge, extremely valuable. Original public records of Queensland can be viewed here with the assistance of a reference archivist. There are a few rules about using the public search room so it's best to check the website before your first visit. It is important to note that children under the age of 15 are not permitted into the public search room or the repositories tour due to the delicate nature of many of the documents.

Exhibitions are held in the Runcorn foyer, with some later becoming available online and for community group loan. Tributes to the members of the British royal family that have visited Queensland and a celebration of Queensland's first 150 years have been amongst the most popular exhibits.

Queensland State Archives regularly hosts events such as seminars at Runcorn. However, rural, remote and regional Queenslanders have not been forgotten with off-site special interest workshops and seminars presented. A written and telephone reference service is also provided for off-site research requests.

The Queensland State Archives facility is located at 435 Compton Road Runcorn. Opening hours are 9am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday, plus the second Saturday of every month. It is easily accessible by car as it is close to the gateway motorway and under cover free on-site parking is provided. It is also easily accessible by public transport with a nearby bus stop on Compton Road and a free taxi service provided on Tuesdays from Fruitgrove train station (bookings required with QSA ahead of time).

Queensland State Archives should be the first port of call for anyone investigating their family, local or state history. This facility has been designed to easily connect Queenslanders to their past and is working on carefully preserving the present for future generations.
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Why? Explore Queensland's past and discover how the present is being kept for the future
When: Monday - Friday plus the second Saturday of every month 9am - 4:30pm
Phone: 07 3131 7777
Where: Queensland State Archives, Runcorn & various other venues
Cost: Free
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