Mystery Object: Lifesavers of the Coral Sea

Identifying obscure and bizarre objects is all in a day’s work for staff in the Queensland Museum Discovery Centre! Today Dr Jonathan Cramb, Information Officer, shares the mystery object of the month. The mystery These objects are found in large numbers on some beaches in tropical Queensland. These particular examples are from Airlie Beach on the Whitsunday Coast. Close examination shows that the objects are … Continue reading Mystery Object: Lifesavers of the Coral Sea

National Reconciliation Week 2021: More than a word. Reconciliation takes action.

By Julia Waters, Records Manager, Queensland Museum Each year National Reconciliation Week reminds many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families of the changes that occurred after the 1967 Referendum on 27 May. My family lived at Inala and we were like so many other families in Housing Commission communities across Queensland. My parents were labourers. My father, Len Waters, who was a recognised World War … Continue reading National Reconciliation Week 2021: More than a word. Reconciliation takes action.

Caravanning in Queensland

By Jeff Powell, Curator Cobb+Co Museum. A caravan in Queensland Museum’s collection (H46579) was made by Duncan (Len) Macpherson around 1945. Although simple in appearance, the caravan is evidence that Len was a bit of a trendsetter. His wooden caravan is a tangible example of social changes that were about to sweep the nation. Caravans were not completely unknown in the late 1930s, but were … Continue reading Caravanning in Queensland

Research and programs to support Little Learners across the Queensland Museum Network

by Shalini Gautam (PhD candidate, School of Psychology, University of Queensland) & Amy Boulding, Head of Lifelong Learning. Young children (and their carers) have lots of fun participating in QMN’s Little Learner programs, but what else is happening? PhD candidate in child cognitive development Shalini Gautam conducted research to find out. Little Learner Programs, for children aged 6 and under, are offered at each campus … Continue reading Research and programs to support Little Learners across the Queensland Museum Network

International Day for Biological Diversity

by Bronwyn Mitchell, Editor, Queensland Museum This year on the International Day for Biological Diversity, discover the Eungella rainforests, a biodiversity hotspot and one of Queensland’s most stunning natural environments. Even with all the technology available in our modern world, humanity will always depend on healthy and vibrant ecosystems for our continued existence, particularly for food, water, fuel, energy, shelter, medicines and clothing. Biological diversity … Continue reading International Day for Biological Diversity

Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 14]: What it’s like to be a maritime archaeologist with Dr Maddy McAllister

How did such a large ship and experienced crew come to be wrecked? What is the full story of HMS Pandora that now lies at the bottom of the ocean? To celebrate National Archaeology Week, we’re chatting to Queensland Museum Network’s only underwater archaeologist Dr Maddy McAllister. You might know her from Instagram as the@ShipwreckMermaid.    In this episode we reveal the difference between underwater and … Continue reading Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 14]: What it’s like to be a maritime archaeologist with Dr Maddy McAllister

5 minutes with David Parkhill, Assistant Collection Manager of Archaeology

What is your favourite object in the collection and why? One that comes to mind is the core formed Greek alabastron, a small glass vessel, used for holding perfumed oils from the antiquities collection. I am drawn to this item because of the method of manufacture, and its resultant inherent beauty. Made sometime during the 4th -3rd cent BCE, it was formed by winding or … Continue reading 5 minutes with David Parkhill, Assistant Collection Manager of Archaeology

Objects of War: The First World War Antiquities project

Written by Mr James Donaldson (Museum Manager and Curator, R.D. Milns Antiquities Museum, The University of Queensland) and Dr Brit Asmussen (Senior Curator, Cultures and Histories, Queensland Museum). Queensland Museum and The RD Milns Antiquities Museum, The University of Queensland, are collaborating on a research partnership to learn more about the antiquities collecting activities of Australian WW1 personnel. Learn more about how this research project is … Continue reading Objects of War: The First World War Antiquities project

Tower Mill: An Archaeological Investigation of Queensland’s Oldest Surviving Building

By Taylor O’Neill – Museum Studies student at the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Archaeology. Known as the Old Windmill or The Observatory, Tower Mill is an instantly recognisable part of Brisbane City and Queensland’s oldest building. What can archaeology tell us about this place? Located on Brisbane City’s Wickham Terrace, you’ve probably glanced at Tower Mill once or twice … Continue reading Tower Mill: An Archaeological Investigation of Queensland’s Oldest Surviving Building

Tribute – Arone Meeks

Queensland Museum pays tribute to the recent sad passing of celebrated KuKu Miidiji artist Arone Meeks. Born in Sydney in 1957 to a KuKu Miidiji mother and Spanish father, Arone Raymond Meeks spent many of the early years of his life reconciling his Aboriginal heritage and searching for the ‘lost pieces’ of himself.  The linocut print, ‘Laura Dreaming’, which Queensland Museum is proud to have … Continue reading Tribute – Arone Meeks

5 minutes with Jeff Powell, Curator of Cobb+Co Museum

What is your favourite object in the collection and why? My favourite object is the German wagon. This was a common type of farm wagon in South-East Queensland. The style was introduced by German immigrants from the 1860s, but adopted by farmers of many ethnic backgrounds. The style can be traced back to northern European peoples in Roman times or earlier. German wagons remained largely … Continue reading 5 minutes with Jeff Powell, Curator of Cobb+Co Museum

Eliza’s crochet quilt: women’s work and a mother’s love

by Judith Hickson, Curator, Queensland Stories Many of us have handmade quilts that were lovingly made and handed down by our mothers and grandmothers. Perhaps we too have made quilts for our children and grandchildren. As markers of life’s most important milestones, quilts are made for babies, brides and coming-of-age celebrations, as articles of warmth for elderly parents, as gifts for friends and loved ones … Continue reading Eliza’s crochet quilt: women’s work and a mother’s love

Museum Tales: Journey to becoming a curator with Patrick Couper

I grew up in New Zealand and was always interested in natural history. As a child, I collected many things – shells, feathers and rocks etc. At the time, I belonged to the junior branch of the Forest and Bird Society in Wellington and would attend meetings where members would display the interesting objects they’d found. Continue reading Museum Tales: Journey to becoming a curator with Patrick Couper

Chapter 2: 1918 – 1968 (50 Years) A museum that is developing

Read chapter 1: 1862 – 1918 (56 Years) A Fledgling Natural History Museum Following the retirement of Ronald Hamlyn Harris in 1917, the Assistant Curator at the time, Heber Longman was appointed as Director. Known for his gentlemanly demeanour, Longman fostered staff and encouraged loyalty to the institution. Staff morale was high and he grew staff interest in Natural Sciences, leading to an increase in … Continue reading Chapter 2: 1918 – 1968 (50 Years) A museum that is developing

5 minutes with Jennifer High, Senior Curator of Transport and Energy

What is your favourite object in the collection and why? My favourites are those that look uneventful, but actually have a large story behind them with links to numerous people, events and places. For example, two wooden straight edges, made from the broken propeller of Vickers Vimy G-EAOU, flown by Ross Smith and Keith Smith from England to Australia in 1919. During the flight from … Continue reading 5 minutes with Jennifer High, Senior Curator of Transport and Energy

5 minutes with Judith Hickson, Curator of Social History

What is your favourite object in the collection and why? There’s so many great stories and objects from the Queensland Museum Network Collection that spring to mind making it difficult to choose, so I’ll go with the first object donated to Queensland Museum’s social history collection on 11 October 1876 – a letter from Sir Walter Scott to Mr George Harper donated by George’s son … Continue reading 5 minutes with Judith Hickson, Curator of Social History

War Brides

By Carmen Burton, Assistant Curator, Queensland Stories, Queensland Museum Women’s experiences of war are an important part of the ANZAC Day commemorations and traditions. Their stories reshape how we might understand the experience of living through conflict. This year for ANZAC Day, we are honouring and acknowledging the contribution of the young women who were married during these periods of history by sharing a 1940s … Continue reading War Brides

Shakespeare in the Rare Book Collection

by Bronwyn Mitchell, Editor, Queensland Museum This year on World Book and Copyright Day, discover The Library Shakspeare, an 1890 illustrated edition of the Bard’s collected plays in the museum’s Rare Book Collection. UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day was established in 1995 to promote the worldwide enjoyment of reading, and to recognise the role of books as ‘a link between the past and the … Continue reading Shakespeare in the Rare Book Collection

5 minutes with Dr Paul Muir, Research Officer and Collection Manager, Corals

Dr Paul Muir is the Research Officer and Collection Manager for Corals at Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville. His research interests lie in mesophotic (deep reef) corals, coral bleaching, coral biogeography, coral taxonomy and marine microbiology. What is your favourite object/species in the collection and why?– Welllll…….there’s about 50 000 coral specimens in our collection, so it’s difficult to say!  But, there is this … Continue reading 5 minutes with Dr Paul Muir, Research Officer and Collection Manager, Corals

What can archaeology tell us about Australian South Sea Islanders?

by Dr James Flexner, Senior Lecturer in Historical Archaeology and Heritage, University of Sydney and research Leader on the Australian Research Council-funded project Archaeology, Collections and Australian South Sea Islander Lived Identities. Archaeology is an important tool for understanding Australia’s ‘hidden histories’. Australian South Sea Islanders wrote little about themselves, but traces of their history abound in Queensland’s landscapes and collections. When most people think of … Continue reading What can archaeology tell us about Australian South Sea Islanders?