The State Library of Queensland has tens of thousands of its photographs digitsed and available to share and download through our One Search Catalogue, however we don’t always know the details of what’s in every photo.
One such instance was recently on Twitter where user @Ozbob13 shared one of our photos, Sir Matthew Nathan visiting a Brisbane suburban railway station, 1922 and asked the question…..anyone know the location? @Ozbob13 was able to identify the rail car as a converted Studebaker road vehicle but further research into our photographic collection and Trove only lead to dead ends regarding the location of the station.
This simple question started an investigation by State Library staff. The State Library of Queensland has been collecting items relating to Queensland history since 1935 through the John Oxley Library, items have been deposited into the collection through public donations often with no corresponding information. A simple check of our Photographic Accession Register only recorded the photo as being catalogued under the subject heading Logan – Slacks Creek and the date of 1922. This location could not be possible as there has never been a railway station built at Slacks Creek.
With no helpful leads from the Accession Register, staff retrieved the original photograph from State Library’s repository where 42 kilometres of collections are housed. The photograph had a cataloging card attached with a note, not Slacks Creek, confirmed by Logan City Council Libraries.
Upon closer inspection, the photograph turned out to be a Post Card with the clue – Eagle Heights Series. The rough location – around the Eagle Heights/ Mt Tamborine area and approximate year 1922, were now confirmed. Staff have access to an array of online resources including Trove, the National Library of Australia’s online database of digitised newspapers. Conducting a search in Trove resulted in finding a news article
Mountaineering Governor again on Tour published in the Daily Mail on 19 June 1922 (the same confirmed year of the photograph). The article reported Governor Matthew Nathan on tour and travelling by rail motor car down the Canungra railway line from Logan Village through Tambourine to Canungra, Queensland.
A response on Twitter to @Ozbob13 and the link to the Daily Mail newspaper article on Trove was re-tweeted and shared via State Library’s twitter account in case other rail enthusiasts could help with the question. With the magic of social media, online resources such as digitised maps from the National Library of Australia and further research in Trove, a news article His Excellency the Governor on tour in the Country, published in the Daily Mail on the 24 June 1922 confirmed the location as Tambourine Station. A copy of the photo in question was even in the article! Cataloging staff at the State Library then added this valuable research and extra information to the catalogue record for the photo on One Search.
State Library’s mission is to make our collections as discoverable as possible and we encourage researchers using our catalogue who have extra information that could be added to or correct a record to submit this via the feedback link at the bottom of all our catalogue records. We also encourage researchers to tag our catalogue records to make our records more searchable.
Further collections on Governor Sir Matthew Nathan and the Canungra Railway
- OM84-46 Sir Matthew Nathan Records
- 30789 Sir Matthew Nathan Speeches and Addresses 1921-1925
- Photographs – Governor Sir Matthew Nathan
- Books – Canungra Railway
- Photographs – Canungra Railway
Further reading on railways in Queensland