One of the exciting aims of State Library’s QANZAC100: memories for a new generation project is to identify and digitise 100 First World War collections from around Queensland. Depending on the significance or fragility of material, we can also extend our interest to items from other conflicts, such as the Boer War or World War 2. To that end, we have recently digitised the Souvenir of Queensland : presented to Imperial troops, 17th January 1901. The booklet was kindly lent to us for scanning, and while a digital copy is now part of State Library’s collection, a physical copy remains an important item in the collection of the Army Museum South Queensland at Victoria Barracks in Brisbane.
The booklet is a simple publication filled with photographs – mostly of Brisbane, with a couple of images of Barron Falls near Cairns and wool teams in Charleville. Included are scenes around Brisbane city – the Houses of Parliament, government offices, Queen Street, Victoria Bridge, Central Railway Station and the Botanic Gardens.
At the back of the booklet is a fold-out panorama of North and South Brisbane taken from the Observatory.
In late 1900, the Imperial Representative Corps – a body of troops selected from all branches of Her Majesty’s service journeyed to Australia to represent Queen Victoria at the inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1st January, 1901. Week-long ceremonies were held in Sydney, and the troops visited Queensland and Tasmania, Victoria and New Zealand.
An article in the Brisbane Courier, 22 January 1901 explains why the publication was compiled by the Outridge Company:
An article in The Telegraph (Brisbane) dated 21 January 1901, contains an appreciative letter from Lieutenant-colonel Peyton, officer commanding the Indian contingent, addressed to the joint honorary secretaries of the Reception Committee:
“Dear Sirs, — On behalf of myself and of the Indian contingent, I beg you will convey our hearty thanks to the Imperial Troops Reception Committee for the handsome illuminated address which has been presented to me, and also for the 100 copies of the souvenir of Queensland which you have sent the native officers and men. “Our stay in Brisbane has been most enjoyable, and we only wish it could have been longer, so that we might have seen more of the beauties of your city. ” Now that I have seen this great colony I shall follow its expansion with great interest. ” Yours very truly, ” L. S. Peyton, “”Lieutenant-colonel in charge of Indian contingent.”
And another article in The Telegraph (Brisbane) dated 19 January 1901, describes the departure of the Corps from Queensland. The National Library of Australia holds the Record of the Imperial Representative Corps’ trip, Australia and New Zealand, 1900-1901, which is a diary of the Corps’ tour and provides a detailed account of its official duties.
State Library is grateful to the Army Museum South Queensland for sharing this resource so together we can make it accessible to everyone. Newly digitised content can be found throughout this blog by looking for digitisation tags and Digitised@SLQ headings. More content is available through State Library’s catalogue One Search.
Robyn Hamilton – QANZAC100 Content Curator, State Library of Queensland