Since early 2020, Queensland Museum’s social history team has been collecting objects and stories from the SARS-Cov2 pandemic. As we enter the fourth year since the outbreak, it’s timely to look back on some of the items we’ve collected so far as we continue our mission to document this important time in our world’s history. Continue reading Collecting the pandemic: Connecting past and present
Karen Kindt, Collection Manager, First Nations Cultures Today is World Rhino Day. In acknowledgement of the importance of these amazing creatures and the demise of their populations, the museum has delved into the World Cultures Collection, to showcase a rare, valuable, interesting object – a carved, rhinoceros horn libation cup. Why does the museum hold a cup made of rhinoceros horn? Most people are collectors … Continue reading Reflecting on the collection
How one jug in Queensland Museum’s collection can lead to many histories. Tess Shingles, Acting Assistant Curator, Queensland Stories Have you ever wondered what moonshine, Queensland farming, and mascots have in common? Answer: The Beenleigh Rum Character Jug, though perhaps not at first glance. This jug, held in Queensland Museum’s collection is quite small, colourful and full of character. The “Beenleigh Rum” painted on the … Continue reading Moonshine, Cane Farms and Mascots: Histories of a Jug
By Leitha Assan, Senior Curator, Indigenous Cultures From its inception in Townsville in 1981 to the High Court victory on 3 June 1992, 2022 marks 30 years since the historical landmark Mabo decision was handed down by the High Court of Australia. The High Court ruled that the Meriam people were entitled to possession, occupation, use and enjoyment of their Islands, effectively recognising their Native Title. … Continue reading The Mabo Decision 30 years on… the legacy lives on
By Jeff Powell, Curator Cobb+Co Museum. Transport museums are not usually associated with presenting medical advances, but few objects in any museum had a bigger impact on public health than our dunny cart. It is difficult for us in the twenty-first century to imagine a time when people were left to their own devices regarding human waste or ‘night soil’, as it was genteelly called … Continue reading What has four legs, two wheels and flies?
Many of us think nothing of picking up a few things for dinner on the way home, or purchasing a trolley load of groceries at the supermarket on the weekend. Shopping in supermarkets is a part of everyday life in Australia, but it is a fairly recent phenomenon. Large suburban shopping centres only sprang up in the years since car ownership became commonplace in the 1950s. Continue reading In every suburban street
by Judith Hickson, Curator, Social History, Queensland Museum In mid-2019, buying a chess set for my granddaughter’s birthday proved to be more difficult than I imagined. I was looking for something special – not too expensive – a set that might last her until she could afford a better one of her own one day. The range of sets I found in toy and department … Continue reading Queensland Gambit
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!)
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!
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?
We’ve been collecting COVID-19 items including hand sanitiser, rainbow “honk for the helpers” signs and of course, face masks. On the Museum Revealed podcast today is Judith Hickson, Senior Curator of Social History who gives us an exclusive insight into contemporary collecting for the museum. Listen now on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Let’s meet our guest: Judith Hickson Judith Hickson joined the Queensland Museum in 2016 as a … Continue reading Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 12]: Contemporary Collecting during COVID-19 with Judith Hickson
Who would have thought that Brisbane would ever host an AFL Grand Final? It turns out though, that if you look back through history, this is not the first time that the rugby league heartland has become the epicentre of Aussie Rules. In fact, it is not even the first Aussie Rules grand final to be played at the Gabba. So, before the mighty Lions … Continue reading The Aussie Rules Circus comes to Brisbane… again