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 her 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”

A Moment in the Sun

Dr Geraldine Mate, Principal Curator – History, Industry and Technology, Queensland Museum  Where better for a solar powered bicycle than the Sunshine State? In October 2020, the Brisbane International Film Festival will be premiering a new documentary – A Moment in the Sun. The documentary explores the inspiring and fascinating story of the development of a solar-powered tandem bicycle, designed and built at the University … Continue reading A Moment in the Sun

John Gould’s The Birds of Australia

Did you know only 250 sets of John Gould’s The Birds of Australia were published? The Queensland Museum library has one complete set of the seven volumes and supplement, as well as an incomplete set that was one of the first acquisitions for library in 1876.     Gould acknowledged in the preface that it was mammoth ten-year effort creating this work. There are 602 … Continue reading John Gould’s The Birds of Australia

Oceanography in the Rare Books Collection

During Biodiversity Month, the Museum Library has taken a deep dive into our rare oceanography books on the voyage of the HMS Challenger, renowned as being the pioneering expedition of modern marine science. The voyage had only one intent – to investigate “everything relating to the ocean”, the first to do so. Naturalist’s John Murray and Charles Wyville Thomson spearheaded the expedition, made achievable with … Continue reading Oceanography in the Rare Books Collection

Queensland Australian South Sea Islanders embrace 20th Anniversary

Collections: Australian South Sea Islander Kastom Collection Imelda Miller, Curator – Torres Strait Islander and Pacific Indigenous Studies, Queensland Museum Network Australian South Sea Islander history and heritage is an important part of Queensland history.  This year, 2020 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Queensland Government’s official recognition of Australian South Sea Islanders’ continuing contributions to Queensland. 20 years ago today Early in my … Continue reading Queensland Australian South Sea Islanders embrace 20th Anniversary

Remembering Queensland Mobilised

The mobilisation of the people of Australia and their possessions means that the country will be turned into one vast war machine. Every person whether civilian or soldier will be a cog in that machine… Women and children according to their individual capabilities, have a place in the wartime economy… ‘Mobilisation’, Queensland Times Ipswich, 14 March 1942. A pair of pilot’s goggles sit quietly on … Continue reading Remembering Queensland Mobilised

Still more important than anything money can buy

This blog post is part of an ongoing series titled Connecting with Collections. The series offers readers a peek inside the collections at Museum of Tropical Queensland, highlighting objects and their stories. “I am giving you this gift – not to buy a bride – but to remember the Purpuruk Family and our beautiful Country.” Between 1980 and 1984, Jenny Sebba and Arnold Young lived … Continue reading Still more important than anything money can buy

Held within eternal wrappings | Animal mummies in the Queensland Museum collection

Animal mummies in Ancient Egypt In ancient Egypt, a wide variety of animals were mummified. Household pets could be interred with their masters so they could be together in the afterlife; joints of poultry and meat were wrapped in linen and placed in tombs as […]

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The oldest Lepidoptera book in the Queensland Museum Library

by Shannon Robinson, Queensland Museum Librarian Inspired by the recent butterfly activity this is the perfect time to share a couple of the rare Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) books held in the Queensland Museum Library. Unlike today, where we can photograph insects from using our phones to a microscopic-lens camera, the early naturalists relied on the art of hand-drawn illustration to accompany their text. There’s … Continue reading The oldest Lepidoptera book in the Queensland Museum Library

Henry Lawson’s other skill

Henry Lawson remains one of Australia’s best known poets and authors a century after his death. Poems such as ‘The Lights of Cobb & Co’, ‘The Teams’ and ‘Andy’s Gone with Cattle’, and short stories like ‘Joe Wilson and his Mates’ flowed from his pen. His face has adorned banknotes and stamps. Henry Lawson’s life was glorious and tragic in equal measure. At once blessed … Continue reading Henry Lawson’s other skill

What’s the oldest book in the Collection?

by Shannon Robinson, Queensland Museum Librarian The Museum library has just over 2400 titles within the Rare Books Collection, spanning publication dates from the 16th century through to the 20th century. Over half, 1450 books to be precise, are from the 1800’s! Much of this material is irreplaceable and, being paper-based objects, in a fragile state. These factors contribute to placing these items in a … Continue reading What’s the oldest book in the Collection?

Grindstone – ancient multi-tools

Marisa Giorgi, Information Officer, Queensland Museum Grindstones are a relatively common tool found across Australia. But did you know grindstones have many varied uses? Archaeological science is revealing the complex nature of these stone artefacts. Introduction At Queensland Museum we have many grindstones of different shapes and sizes from across Queensland. These grindstones represent durable examples of everyday items used by Indigenous Australian people.  They … Continue reading Grindstone – ancient multi-tools

Discovering the world’s largest kangaroo – Part 2: In the lab

By Rochelle Lawrence, Palaeontological Research Assistant, and Scott Hocknull, Senior Curator, Geosciences, Queensland Museum  The giant kangaroo tibia (shinbone) found at the megafauna fossil sites of South Walker Creek, travelled safely back to the Queensland Museum’s Geosciences collection. The specimen is treated like evidence for a case (fossil evidence!) and is processed through a series of stages from field collection (Part 1) and preparation, to … Continue reading Discovering the world’s largest kangaroo – Part 2: In the lab

Discovering the world’s largest kangaroo- Part 1: In the field

By Rochelle Lawrence, Palaeontological Research Assistant, and Scott Hocknull, Senior Curator, Geosciences, Queensland Museum  As the weather begins to cool, the ‘dig’ season starts for us (palaeontologists) as we venture off along the coast and into the outback heart of Queensland. Over the last ten years we have been investigating a series of fossil sites at South Walker Creek located near the town of Nebo, … Continue reading Discovering the world’s largest kangaroo- Part 1: In the field

A Crime scene of the past – investigating tropical ice age megafauna

By Rochelle Lawrence, Palaeontological Research Assistant, and Scott Hocknull, Senior Curator, Geosciences, Queensland Museum In 2008, an extraordinary discovery was made at South Walker Creek, located near the town of Nebo, west of Mackay in Queensland, Australia. Traditional owners of the area, the Barada Barna people, were conducting a cultural heritage survey for the South Walker Creek Mine when they came across some interesting bones. … Continue reading A Crime scene of the past – investigating tropical ice age megafauna

What are megafauna?

By Rochelle Lawrence, Palaeontological Research Assistant, and Scott Hocknull, Senior Curator, Geosciences, Queensland Museum. Megafauna are giant animals usually weighing over 44 kilograms (kg). Most megafauna are now extinct (no longer exist) and were closely related to living species of animals we see today. You have probably heard of the more commonly known megafauna species, like the saber-toothed cat and woolly mammoth from North America. … Continue reading What are megafauna?

Contemporary collecting: Recording history as it happens

This blog post is part of an ongoing series titled Connecting with Collections. The series offers readers a peek inside the collections at Museum of Tropical Queensland, highlighting objects and their stories. What springs to mind when you think of museums? How about words like old, ancient, artefact or taxidermy? That’s not surprising.  Museums have a long history of collecting and displaying ‘curiosities’ just like … Continue reading Contemporary collecting: Recording history as it happens