In 1859, a group of curious individuals formed the Queensland Philosophical Society. Three years later, in 1862, they opened their first public display in the Windmill on Brisbane’s Wickham Terrace, and the Queensland Museum Network was born.
Today, Queensland Museum Network is the keeping place for the State Collection, a magnificent assemblage of 1.2 million cultural objects, natural history specimens and geological treasures and more than 14 million research items. Every year, we bring our collections to life through fieldwork, contemporary acquisitions, world-class research and a dynamic program of exhibitions, workshops, talks, lectures and major events including World Science Festival Brisbane.
Queensland Museum Network is a museum without borders, committed to engaging with communities across Queensland and beyond through five public sites, a state-wide education loans service, virtual museum online and best-selling popular publications. Our Museum Development Officers provide best-practice, professional support for arts, cultural and collecting institutions across the state, while branch museums including the Lands, Mapping and Surveying Museum in the Brisbane CBD and Earth Sciences Museum at The University of Queensland provide access to niche components of the State Collection.
With generous support from industry, academia and government, Queensland Museum Network is a celebrated and valued cultural and scientific leaders, collaborating with community to foster a better understanding of our place in the world.
1862 – Queensland Philosophical Society founded the Queensland Museum in Brisbane on 20 January, operating from a room set aside in the Windmill
1868 – Moved to the Parliamentary building in Queen Street, Brisbane
1871 – The government assumed primary responsibility for the museum
1873 – Relocated into the old Post Office building
1879 – First purpose-built museum building completed, William Street, Brisbane
1899 – Moved to the Exhibition building
1982 – Museum of Lands, Mapping and Surveying opened in Woolloongabba, Brisbane
1985 – Closed the museum’s home of 86 years, Brisbane’s Exhibition building
1986 – Queensland Museum opened in the heart of Brisbane’s cultural precinct
1987 – Cobb+Co Museum opened in Toowoomba
1987 – Museum of Tropical Queensland opened in Townsville
2000 – Museum of Tropical Queensland – brand new, landmark building opens on Flinders Street in the centre of Townsville
2001 – Cobb+Co Museum Stage 2 development is completed to expand activities and services to the community
2002 – The Workshops Rail Museum opened in Ipswich
2003 – Sciencentre in George Street closed and reopened at Queensland Museum, South Bank in 2004
2010 – Cobb+Co Museum The National Carriage Factory expansion project is completed
2012 – Queensland Museum celebrates 150 years of connecting and collecting
2014 – Queensland Museum opened a new exhibition Deep Oceans from 28 March 2014 to 6 October 2014
2015 – Queensland Museum opened a new exhibition Dinosaur Discovery: Lost Creatures of the Cretaceous from 27 March 2015 to 5 October 2015
2015 – Queensland Museum opened a new exhibition Medieval Power: Symbols & Splendour from 11 December 2015 to 10 April 2016
2016 – Queensland Museum Network hosts the first World Science Festival Brisbane
2016 – Queensland Museum opened a new exhibition Dinosaur Discovery: Lost Creatures of the Cretaceous from 21 June 2016 to 9 October 2016
2016 – Queensland Museum opened a new exhibition Hadron Collider from 9 December 2016 to 25 April 2017
2017 – Queensland Museum opened a new exhibition Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum from 23 March 2017 to 28 January 2018
2018 – Queensland Museum opened a new exhibition Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives from 16 March 2018 to 26 August 2018
2018 – Queensland Museum opened a new exhibition Monkeys! A Primate Story from 29 September 2018 to 28 January 2019
2019 – Queensland Museum opens a newly refurbished 1000 square metre exhibition space on Level 3
2019 – Queensland Museum opened a new exhibition NASA – A Human Adventure from 15 March 2019 to 9 October 2019
2019 – Queensland Museum opened a new exhibition Spiders! The Exhibition from 6 December 2019 to 4 May 2020
2019 – Queensland Museum opened a new exhibition Antiquities Revealed from 20 December 2019 to 27 April 2020
2020 – Queensland Museum opened a new exhibition I Do! Wedding Stories from Queensland from 18 September 2020 to 21 February 2021
2020 – Queensland Museum opened a new exhibition Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Ocean Predators from 20 November 2020 to 3 May 2021
2021 – Queensland Museum opened a new exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World from 18 June 2021 to 30 January 2022
2021 – Queensland Museum opened a new exhibition Island Futures: What Lies ahead for Zendath Kes? from 25 June 2021 to 25 April 2022
2022 – Queensland Museum opened a new exhibition Disney: The Magic of Animation from 24 June 2022 to 22 January 2023
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Explore the history of Queensland Museum, from its first public display in 1862 to the network of museums it is part of today.
Explore the history of The Workshops Rail Museum and Queensland's early rail construction, maintenance, and technology.
Explore the history of Cobb+Co Museum, home to Queensland Museum Network’s collection of horse-drawn carts, carriages and wagons.
Explore more about our history and focus on researching and interpreting the cultural and natural heritage of tropical Queensland.
Explore the history of World Science Festival Brisbane, presented by Queensland Museum Network since its inception in 2016.
Queensland Museum Network is the keeping place for the State Collection of more than 1.2 million items.
Learn from our experts and discover Queensland's natural and cultural history through articles, images, blogs and podcasts.
Since 1862, we’ve been dedicated to collecting and researching Queensland's unique natural and cultural heritage.