Digital Histories, Cultures and Landscapes

The history discipline at UQ publishes six major scholarly websites, combining newly digitised nineteenth and twentieth-century materials with the latest research to create a unique, interactive sources for teachers, researchers and students.

The websites are overseen by Emeritus Professor Peter Spearritt and Dr Geoff Ginn. Three of the websites were supported by a five-year research contract with the Queensland Department of the Premier and Cabinet, while the Queensland Historical Atlas was supported by an ARC Linkage Grant with the Queensland Museum. Victorian Places is a joint initiative of the University of Queensland and Monash University, while PNG Speaks is supported by the National Museum of PNG, UQ, Deakin University and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Queensland Historical Atlas

Groups the ways in which people interact with, understand and interpret the Queensland landscape into a range of cultural themes and concepts. The website draws on the research of over 150 contributors, including research notes and peer reviewed articles, overseen by an editorial board. It contains a range of historical maps, photos, and graphic images that have never been brought together before. The material has been drawn from major cultural repositories, archives, art galleries, museums and private collections. The project was made possible by an ARC Linkage Grant with the Queensland Museum.

Queensland Places

The first major scholarly public website to be developed at the University of Queensland. It incorporates a searchable database containing historical and geographical data on over 1100 entries on settlements in Queensland that now have or once had populations of 500 or more (including villages, suburbs, towns and cities). The site includes an interactive map, as well as an A-Z list of place names. The Centre also conducted the Queensland Slide Search, digitising slides taken from the 1950s to the 1980s, from as far afield as the Torres Strait. At over 500,000 words, with 13,000 images, this is the leading website on the places that make up Queensland and is used by over a quarter of a million people a year, a fifth of them from overseas.

Text Queensland

Brings together a wide variety of full-text, searchable, published and unpublished sources about the history and government of Queensland over the last 150 years, from scholarly books and periodicals to popular magazines and unpublished theses from all the universities in Queensland. Users can search with a wide variety of keywords, from the names of politicians, entrepreneurs and police commissioners, to schools, hospitals, retailers and many other businesses. Key participants include the Fryer Library, University of Queensland, Queensland Government, State Library of Queensland and the National Library of Australia.

Queensland Speaks

Is an oral history and biographical research project. It features interviews with the politicians, public servants and officials who, since the 1960s, have helped shape Queensland. Over 100 interviews with former Premiers, Ministers and senior public servants, including former Directors-General of key departments, throw new light on decision making in Queensland. Regularly used by researchers and journalists, the site includes indexed interviews which can be listened to and biographical profiles of the interviewees.

PNG Speaks

PNG Speaks presents interviews with Papua New Guineans who were central to the country’s attainment of independence from Australia on 16 September 1975. PNG had been administered as a United Nations Territory by Australian since 1945. The interviews are indexed and can be listened to via the website. There is a biographical account of each of the interviewees explaining their varied roles in the independence movement, which you hear in their own words. The website is supported by the National Museum of Papua and New Guinea, Deakin University, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the University of Queensland.

Victorian Places

Victorian Places has entries on over 1600 places in Victoria that now have or once had populations of 200 or more. As Victoria is Australia’s best-documented state, this enables a very fine-grained account of suburbs, towns, villages and cities, including long abandoned gold towns, along with the cities built on gold. Twenty years in the making, the website is a joint initiative of the University of Queensland and Monash University and is the most comprehensive scholarly account of the settlements in any Australian state, aimed at both researchers and the general public. As with the Queensland Places website, it is updated at each new census.