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Queensland Museum

Coordinates: 27°28′24″S 153°01′06″E / 27.473412°S 153.018420°E / -27.473412; 153.018420
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Queensland Museum Kurilpa
Queensland Museum at South Brisbane
Former name
Queensland Museum
Established20 January 1862; 162 years ago (1862-01-20)
LocationSouth Brisbane
Coordinates27°28′24″S 153°01′06″E / 27.473412°S 153.018420°E / -27.473412; 153.018420
Collection size1,000,000+

The Queensland Museum Kurilpa is the state museum of Queensland, dedicated to natural history, cultural heritage, science and human achievement.[2] The museum currently operates from its headquarters and general museum in South Brisbane with specialist museums located in North Ipswich in Ipswich, East Toowoomba in Toowoomba, and in Townsville City in Townsville.[3]

The museum is funded by the Queensland Government.


Queensland Museum — 1862–1869 — The Old Windmill in Wickham Terrace (Queensland Museum's first home)
Queensland Museum — 1879–1899
cnr. William Street and Elizabeth Street, Brisbane — (opposite Queens Gardens)
Queensland Museum — 1899–1986
the Old Museum Building in Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills
Queensland Museum (1986–present), a part of the Queensland Cultural Centre. A pedestrian bridge, linking the museum and the Queensland Art Gallery to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, and also to lifts to platforms at the Cultural Centre Busway Station, can be seen on the right.

The Queensland Museum was founded by the Queensland Philosophical Society on 20 January 1862,[4] one of the principal founders being Charles Coxen, and had several temporary homes in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The temporary homes included: The Old Windmill (1862–1869),[4] Parliament House (1869–1873)[4] and the General Post Office (1873–1879).[4]

The Queensland Government built a home for the museum in William Street (later called the John Oxley State Library), with Queensland Museum moving there in 1879. The museum occupied the William Street location for 20 years.[4]

In 1899, the Queensland Museum moved into the Exhibition Hall (now called the Old Museum), on Gregory Terrace in the Brisbane suburb of Bowen Hills, remaining there for 86 years.[4]

In 1986, the Queensland Museum moved to the Queensland Cultural Centre at South Bank, where the museum is adjacent to the Queensland Art Gallery.[4] Both a tunnel and pedestrian bridge connect the Museum and Art Gallery buildings with the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Three lifts were added to the bridge in 2004 to provide access to the platforms of the Cultural Centre busway station. There is a large sculpture of a Cicada in front of the centre lift.[citation needed]

Curators and directors


Museum Network


The Queensland Museum Network now operates at a number of locations.

Queensland Museum


Queensland Museum is located at South Brisbane in the Queensland Cultural Centre alongside the State Library of Queensland, the Queensland Art Gallery, the Gallery of Modern Art and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.

Queensland Museum connects visitors to Queensland, its people and their stories of the past, present and future.

Popular exhibitions include travelling shows from Australia and around the world as well as exhibitions revealing the story of Queensland, including its prehistoric past, the cultures of Queensland's Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders and exhibitions revealing Queensland's unique biodiversity.

The museum is also a research facility in the fields of biodiversity, geoscience and cultural history.

Queensland Museum is home to SparkLab, which offers hands-on, interactive activities for kids and grown-ups alike that reveal the science behind our everyday lives.

Museum of Lands, Mapping and Surveying


The Museum of Lands, Mapping and Surveying opened in 1982 and is at 317 Edward Street, Brisbane.[9][10]

Workshops Rail Museum


The Workshops Rail Museum opened in August 2002 and is housed in the North Ipswich Railway Workshops. The collection includes 15 items of rolling stock and thousands of smaller items. Some operational steam locomotives from the Queensland Rail Heritage Fleet are often placed on display within the museum when not required for main line use.

Cobb & Co Museum


In 1987, when the Queensland Museum required more room to display its horse-drawn coaches and carriages, the museum opened its Cobb & Co Museum campus in Toowoomba, Queensland.

Cobb+Co Museum is home to the National Carriage Collection. The museum's collection includes examples of a vast range of vehicles from the horse-drawn era, from farm wagons and delivery carts to the Rolls-Royce of Carriages, the landau.

Cobb+Co Museum run a heritage workshops program. Workshops include blacksmithing, silversmithing, leadlighting and leatherwork.

Museum of Tropical Queensland


The Museum of Tropical Queensland is located in Townsville. The star attraction is the HMS Pandora gallery. Sent to catch the famous HMS Bounty and her mutinous crew, the Pandora sank off the coast of Cape York in 1791. Hundreds of artefacts have been recovered from the wreck and are on display.

The most popular area for kids is the MindZone, an interactive science centre. Other galleries celebrate the rainforest, corals and marine creatures from the deep sea and fossil past.

World Science Festival Brisbane


The Queensland Museum Network holds exclusive licence to host the World Science Festival in the Asia Pacific region.[11] The inaugural World Science Festival Brisbane was held in 2016. The festival runs in March each year, based in Brisbane, with regional satellite events taking place in Toowoomba, Townsville and Chinchilla, Queensland.[citation needed]

Special exhibitions

  • Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul was a major touring exhibition held 5 September 2013 - 27 January 2014, which showcased 230 priceless objects from between 2200 BC and AD 200. The exhibition provided a glimpse into the world of the ancient Silk Road and some of the most remarkable archaeological finds in all of Central Asia. Included in the exhibition were jewellery, sculpture and gold work.[12]
  • Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb was a major exhibition of four Egyptian mummies and over 100 pieces from the British Museum, London, held from 19 April - 21 October 2012.[13]

Queensland Museum Medal


The first Queensland Museum Medal was awarded in 1987. Recipients of the Queensland Museum Medal for research include:

  • 1987 — Professor Mike Archer
  • 1988 — Mr Jack Woods, ISO — Mr F.S. Colliver, OBE — Emeritus Prof. Syd Prentice — Mr Jack Woods, ISO — Mr Terry Tebble — Mr Don Vernon — Dr Valerie Davis
  • 1989 — Mr Leonard J. Taylor
  • 1990 — Mr J.C.H. Gill, AM MBE — Mr I.G. Morris CMG
  • 1991 — Dr Patricia Mather AO
  • 1992 — Mr R.I. (Sam) Harrison MBE — Mr Doug Traves OBE — Professor Colin Dobson
  • 1993 — Dr Robert Paterson
  • 1995 — Dr Elwyn Hegarty — Professor Don Nicklin
  • 1996 — Dr Mary Wade
  • 1997 — Mr John Lyons
  • 1999 — Mr Ian Venables
  • 2000 — Keith McDonald — Dr Alan Bartholomai
  • 2003 — Ms Jeanette Covacevich AM — Mr Steve Irwin
  • 2004 — Dr Lester Cannon — Dr Dan Robinson — Dr Robert Anderson OAM
  • 2005 — Mrs Nerolie Withnall — Mrs Rae Sheridan — Mr Bruce Campbell
  • 2006 — The Elliott Family — Mr Bill O’Brien OBE OAM
  • 2007 — Mr Bill Kitson — Dr Geoff Monteith
  • 2008 — Dr Steve Van Dyck — Mr Vince O’Rourke AM
  • 2009 — Ms Anne Jones — Dr Carden Wallace — Mr Michael Quinnell
  • 2010 — Sir David AttenboroughDr John Hooper
  • 2011 — Professor Peter Andrews AODr John Stanisic
  • 2012 — Professor Ronald J. Quinn, AM[14]

Repatriation of human remains and objects


The Museum's program of returning and reburying ancestral remains and cultural property belonging to Indigenous Australians, which had been collected by the museum between 1870 and 1970, has been under way since the 1970s.[15] As of November 2018, the museum had the remains of 660 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people stored in their "secret sacred room" on the fifth floor.[16]

See also



  1. ^ "QUEENSLAND MUSEUM ANNUAL REPORT 2018–19". 22 August 2019. Archived from the original on 10 March 2019. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  2. ^ "Queensland Museum Kurilpa". www.museum.qld.gov.au. Retrieved 17 February 2024.
  3. ^ "About us". Queensland Museum Network. Queensland Museum. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "A Time for a Museum — The History of the Queensland Museum — 1862 to 1986", — Patricia Mather, published by the Queensland Museum, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 2001 (originally published as "Volume 24" of "The Memoirs of the Queensland Museum")
  5. ^ "WEEKLY EPITOME". The Telegraph. No. 53. Queensland, Australia. 30 November 1872. p. 2. Retrieved 24 April 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "DEPARTURE OF DR. HAMLYN-HARRIS". Darling Downs Gazette. Vol. LIII, no. 9130. Queensland, Australia. 30 September 1910. p. 4. Retrieved 24 April 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "Director of the Museum". The Brisbane Courier. No. 16, 449. Queensland, Australia. 30 September 1910. p. 4. Retrieved 24 April 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ Gill JCH (1986). 'Longman, Albert Heber (1880–1954)'. In: Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol.10. Canberra: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Archived from the original on 16 May 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  9. ^ "History". Queensland Museum. Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Museum of Lands, Mapping and Surveying". www.qld.gov.au. Archived from the original on 24 June 2019. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  11. ^ "World Science Festival Brisbane". World Science Festival. Archived from the original on 20 July 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures". Queensland Museum. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  13. ^ "Brisbane hosts Egyptian mummy exhibition". Tony Moore. Brisbane Times. 3 October 2011. Archived from the original on 24 November 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  14. ^ "2012 Queensland Museum Medal". Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  15. ^ "Repatriation of Aboriginal Peoples & Torres Strait Islanders ancestral remains". Queensland Museum. Archived from the original on 6 May 2019. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  16. ^ Stockwell, Stephen (14 November 2018). "The quest to remove Aboriginal remains from museums". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Triple J Hack. Archived from the original on 2 June 2019. Retrieved 6 May 2019.