Contact Person: Manager Ilona Fekete

Email Address: [email protected]

Contact Phone: (07) 3221 4198


Postal Address: PO Box 12057, George St, Brisbane, 4003


The Historical Society of Queensland was formed in 1913 to record, study and publish the history of Queensland and Pacific Islands. A Journal was an early priority and publications began in 1914. At first the Society was connected closely with the University of Queensland and its records were housed there. The Society also commenced to collect museum items. It was the only collector of manuscripts and museum artefacts, long before the John Oxley Library was formed and the Queensland Museum began collecting cultural history items. The Society is incorporated and its Constitution provides that the governing body is its elected Council. The word, ‘Royal’, was added to the name in 1962.

Newstead House was the Society’s home from 1932 to 1981 and an extensive library and museum were established there. The Society moved to the Commissariat Store at 115 William Street, Brisbane and held its first meeting there on 18 September 1981. The Bulletin was commenced in 1940 and the Journal changed its name to the Queensland History Journal in 2008. It is published quarterly and is peer reviewed. The Society has published many Queensland historical books over the years.

Over the years the Society has held history bus tours across Queensland and booklets and Journal articles have been published to support them. The Society also erected plaques at numerous locations in Queensland recording significant historical events and sites eg. 1770 commemorating Captain Cook’s landing, and Beerburrum commemorating Matthew Flinders’ trip. The Society is the Trustee of the Burke and Wills ‘Dig Tree’ Reserve on Nappa Merrie station on Cooper Creek, which is on the National Heritage Register and the Queensland Heritage Register.

The Society holds monthly lunch-time history lectures and regular conferences. The Society holds a Queensland Day Dinner on 6 June each year along with a Separation Day Celebrations function on 10 December.

Volunteer Guides provide guided tours of the Commissariat Store for school students and visitors. The Society has changing museum exhibitions in the Commissariat Store. These are open to the public.

Thomas Welsby, a foundation member and Hon Treasurer, bequeathed his extensive library of Australiana to the Society, received in 1939. The Society operates a Research Service with Hon Research Officers and Hon Librarians assisting researchers each Thursday.

The Society makes a number of awards – Fellowships, MacGregor Medal, Centenary medal, John Douglas Kerr Medal for Distinction in research and writing Queensland or Australian history, and Certificates of Appreciation.



Harrison, Jennifer. With J.G. Steele. Edited. The Fell Tyrant: or the suffering convict. RHSQ. 2003.

Cohen, Kay. with Val Donovan, Ruth Kerr, Margaret Kowald, Lyndsay Smith, and Jean Stewart. Lost Brisbane and Surrounding Areas 1860-1960. Volume 1. RHSQ. 2014.

Kowald, Margaret. with Val Donovan, Ruth Kerr, Kay Cohen, Lyndsay Smith, and Jean Stewart. Lost Brisbane and Surrounding Areas: The Later Years. Volume 2. RHSQ. 2016.