Of course everybody wonders what a crocodile hairball looks like! Or do they?

by Marisa Giorgi, Discovery Center Information Officer When cabinets of curiosity were fashionable, this strange looking smooth ball would be a worthy addition. In those early 16th century permutations of what would become museums, what could be more appropriate than a crocodile bezoar or hairball nestled among a collection of peculiar oddities on display? Hair, along with hooves, claws, and fingernails for that matter, is … Continue reading Of course everybody wonders what a crocodile hairball looks like! Or do they?

More than just tea towels: the migrants, makers and merchandise of Reef Productions

Queensland Museum Network’s Museum Development Officers provide vital support for regional community collections across Queensland. The Museum Development Officer program is an important partnership between the Queensland Museum and Arts Queensland. The program employs five professionally qualified Museum Development Officers, known as MDOs, who are based in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Ipswich and Toowoomba. For the last 12 months, Cairns MDO Dr Jo Wills has been working … Continue reading More than just tea towels: the migrants, makers and merchandise of Reef Productions

How artists use our research collection

Queensland Museum Network’s mammal and bird collections are like a library of animals. Unlike a regular library of books where you go to read to take away information gathered from authors, visiting scientists and artists study the animals, generating information to fill in the gaps in our understanding of the unique fauna of Queensland.  Artists use the research collection in a number of ways: to … Continue reading How artists use our research collection

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

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

Hinkler’s Avro Baby

By Jennifer High, Senior Curator of Transport and Energy On 11 April 1921, Bert Hinkler flew non-stop from Sydney to Bundaberg, Queensland, in his Avro Baby aircraft, G-EACQ. The flight was a new distance record in Australia, with the 1287 km journey completed in 8 hours and 40 minutes. One hundred years later, Hinkler’s Avro Baby is part of Queensland Museum’s collection and on display … Continue reading Hinkler’s Avro Baby

5 minutes with Sophie Price, Curator of Anthropology

In her position as Assistant Curator, Anthropology Sophie manages and cares for the unique, complex and extensive anthropology and social history collections at Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville. What is your favourite object/species in the collection and why? This is always a hard question – I have too many favourite objects to count! One of them is this incredible protest sign that we collected … Continue reading 5 minutes with Sophie Price, Curator of Anthropology

It’s a great day for the Irish

Across the world on 17 March, Irish expatriates and those who share Irish ancestry celebrate St Patrick’s Day. But what is the story of the Irish in Queensland? Queensland has been holding celebrations in honour of St Patrick annually since the 1880s. It seems a non-sequitur to see residents of contemporary Queensland rejoicing a 4th century Romano-British missionary credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. However, … Continue reading It’s a great day for the Irish

Women’s History Month

This blog post is part of an ongoing series titled Connecting with Collections. There are so many ways to celebrate and honour incredible women around the world. In the museum, we’re always looking for opportunities to bring out objects and tell their stories – and this month, it’s time to feature some of the iconic items held at Museum of Tropical Queensland, that were made, … Continue reading Women’s History Month

To the beach, by Cobb & Co

By Jeff Powell, Curator, Cobb+Co Museum Cobb & Co delivered mail and passengers to some of the most remote and dusty corners of Queensland such as Boulia, Croydon, and Thargomindah, but Cobb & Co was just as important to settlements around Brisbane and southeast Queensland. The opening of the railway between Brisbane and Ipswich in 1875 spelled the end of Cobb & Co’s original route … Continue reading To the beach, by Cobb & Co

International Women’s Day 2021

by Judith Hickson, Curator, Social History One of the focal points for the women’s rights movement, the first ‘Women’s Day’ was declared by the Socialist Party of America in 1909. On 18 March 1911, amid increasing and widespread calls for women’s rights and suffrage, the first International Woman’s Day was held in Germany, Austria and Denmark. The first Australian International Women’s Day rally was held … Continue reading International Women’s Day 2021

Investigating Backstamps: The Trials and Tribulations

by Isabella Zust-Sullivan, Student Intern, The University of Queensland When dealing with fragmented plates, saucers and cups, backstamps can be really useful in providing more information about these artefacts. However, with successful investigation also comes the inevitable mystery that arises when cases go unsolved. A Sea of Ceramic Over the past couple of weeks, I have worked at Queensland Museum as a University of Queensland … Continue reading Investigating Backstamps: The Trials and Tribulations

Seven Fascinating Stories to Discover at I Do! Wedding Stories from Queensland

Few things change our life more than getting married. It binds us legally or emotionally to a person, a family, a community and a shared future. Currently on display at Queensland Museum are more than 40 ensembles from the museum’s collection together with loans and commissioned artwork that explore the significant rolefashion plays in revealing the diverse, rich, heartbreaking and hopeful stories behind wedding garments. … Continue reading Seven Fascinating Stories to Discover at I Do! Wedding Stories from Queensland

Once Made in Queensland (including the kitchen sink!)

2020 has been a year when many accepted practices have come under review; commuting to work, socialising with friends and family, how and where we take holidays to name a few. Covid-19 has also focused scrutiny on the origins and reliability of commodities we have come to expect as necessary for life. There was concern about the supply of toilet paper, antiseptic hand wash and … Continue reading Once Made in Queensland (including the kitchen sink!)

A Wedding Anniversary on Christmas Eve!

How many couples do you know celebrate their wedding anniversary on Christmas Eve? One married couple whose wedding story features in the museum’s exhibition I Do! Wedding Stories from Queensland did so throughout their married life. Mary Ann and John Dunlop were married 157 years ago today in 1863. What a big day it must have been for the couple to travel from Oxley down … Continue reading A Wedding Anniversary on Christmas Eve!

Is it a buckboard?

Cobb+Co Museum has always wanted a Queensland buckboard, and we think we have one… By Jeff Powell, Curator, Cobb+Co Museum The American buckboard was about as simple a four wheeled vehicle as it was possible to build. They looked like someone had taken a section of picket fence, attached a wheel in each corner and placed a seat on top and halfway back. Comfort was … Continue reading Is it a buckboard?

Ancient Egyptian Bread and Beer for World Bread Day

By Dr Brit Asmussen Let’s celebrate World Bread Day with a peek inside the Queensland Museum’s Antiquities collections! Celebrating World Bread Day For millennia, bread has held an important place in many cultures. World Bread Day is an international observance celebrated on October 16 dedicated to this culinary staple, enjoyed by communities around the world and throughout history. Ancient Egyptian bread in the Queensland Museum … Continue reading Ancient Egyptian Bread and Beer for World Bread Day

90 Years of Gardams – The History of the Queensland family business

How It All Began Gardams Fabric Store has been part of a long-held tradition of dressing brides in Queensland for 90 years. The family business was started by Bert Gardam who arrived in Queensland as a ward of the state in 1921. At just 16 years of age and with only 10 shillings in his pocket, Bert obtained work on a sheep station and began … Continue reading 90 Years of Gardams – The History of the Queensland family business

Relocating a Supersized Squid, Tentacles And All!

One of Queensland Museum’s resident tenants took the stress of moving to a whole new level, as the giant squid found his tentacles being transported to a new abode. Past Life Before calling Queensland Museum home, the supersized ocean dweller was discovered lurking in the deep ocean off New Zealand, measuring a staggering 6.75 metres. The life of the preserved Architeuthis dux has spanned vast … Continue reading Relocating a Supersized Squid, Tentacles And All!

What didn’t make it into “Duty, Debt and Picket Lines: the Queensland Railway Department during the First World War”

While researching for my paper Duty, Debt and Picket Lines: the Queensland Railway Department during the First World War for the Queensland Museum Memoir volume 11, I found a large amount of material that, due to space constraints, I was unable to include. Therefore, I thought writing a blog might be a good opportunity to publish these unused images and documents. The paper investigates the … Continue reading What didn’t make it into “Duty, Debt and Picket Lines: the Queensland Railway Department during the First World War”