The Queenslander – 150th anniversary

2016 marks the 150th anniversary of The Queenslander, a weekly newspaper much loved by researchers and family historians.

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, October 27, 1927. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, October 27, 1927. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

The Queenslander was first published on February 3, 1866 by newspaper proprietor Thomas Blacket Stephens, who also owned the Brisbane Courier (which later evolved into The Courier-Mail). The Queenslander contained a compendium of the week’s news from Brisbane and around Queensland. It later introduced illustrations and photographs, which depict many important historical events. The newspaper was discontinued in 1939.

Founder of The Queenslander, Thomas Blacket Stephens, 1867. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 60029

Founder of The Queenslander, Thomas Blacket Stephens, 1867. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 60029

“Our first desire is to render this paper what its name implies, a steady advocate of general interests of the colony”. – proclaimed the newspaper in its first edition. This principle would see The Queenslander thrive for the next 73 years.

Advertisement in The people, products, and industries of West Moreton, Queensland : being a brief account of the progress and resources of the district Ipswich, 1899. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Advertisement in The people, products, and industries of West Moreton, Queensland : being a brief account of the progress and resources of the district Ipswich, 1899. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

In Alfred G. Davies’ 1941 paper, Queensland’s Pioneer Journals and Journalists, he details the rise and fall of The Queenslander.

“In those pioneering days, with a sparse and scattered population, and limited telegraphic facilities, the weekly newspapers were much in demand, and the profits derived from their sale and from advertising were considerable. As a consequence they wielded a substantial influence, particularly in the pastoral and agricultural districts….The quality of the production was at a very high level in the first twenty years of the present (20th) century; but the writing was on the wall, and the need for weekly newspapers in view of highly developed aerial and other mail services and the radio, was rapidly on the decline.”

Bert Hinkler returning to Brisbane after his solo flight London to Brisbane, February 1928. image appearing in The Queenslander, 8 March 1928 . John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 69438

Bert Hinkler returning to Brisbane after his solo flight London to Brisbane, February 1928. image appearing in The Queenslander, 8 March 1928 . John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 69438

Page 28 of the Queenslander Pictorial supplement to The Queenslander, 5 February 1916. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 702692-19160205-0028

Page 28 of the Queenslander Pictorial supplement to The Queenslander, 5 February 1916. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 702692-19160205-0028

Illustrated advertisement from The Queenslander, May 24 1934, p 37. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 702692-19340524-s002b

Illustrated advertisement from The Queenslander, May 24 1934, p 37. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 702692-19340524-s002b

Accessing The Queenslander from home

A number of wonderful resources containing content from The Queenslander are available to researchers at the click of a button.

The Queenslander on Trove

The entire run of The Queenslander (from 1866 to 1939) has been digitised and is available through Trove. Optical Character Recognition allows users to search by keywords making discovery so much easier than sifting through microfilm reels.

Excerpt from The Queenslander, November 16, 1912

Excerpt from The Queenslander, November 16, 1912

World War One Soldier Portraits

During the First World War, The Queenslander published nearly 27,000 soldier portraits. State Library has digitised all of these soldier portraits in The Queenslander and is gradually making them available online through One Search, our catalogue.

A. Sinnamon, one of the soldiers photographed in The Queenslander Pictorial, supplement to The Queenslander, 1917. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 702692-170106-s0026-0014

A. Sinnamon, one of the soldiers photographed in The Queenslander Pictorial, supplement to The Queenslander, 1917. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 702692-170106-s0026-0014

Digitised photographs, illustrations and covers

Hundreds of high resolution images from The Queenslander, including illustrated front covers, photographs, cartoons and advertisement can be found on our One Search catalogue. Please be aware that it is not the totality of all images published in this newspaper.

Aerial view of suburbs of Brisbane including West End St. Lucia  Yeronga Indooroopilly Graceville and Sherwood 1933. Lucia  Yeronga Indooroopilly Graceville and Sherwood 1933. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 60569

Aerial view of suburbs of Brisbane including West End St. Lucia Yeronga Indooroopilly Graceville and Sherwood 1933.  John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 60569

Showcase – Discover the Queenslander

This showcase features some 1000 scanned covers and pages in the collection of the State Library.

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, November 29 1928. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 702692-19281129-s001b

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, November 29 1928. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 702692-19281129-s001b

Myles Sinnamon – Project Coordinator, State Library of Queensland