2016 marks the 150th anniversary of The Queenslander, a weekly newspaper much loved by researchers and family historians.
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.
“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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Showcase – Discover the Queenslander
This showcase features some 1000 scanned covers and pages in the collection of the State Library.
Myles Sinnamon – Project Coordinator, State Library of Queensland