Over 5,000 items of our Cultures & Histories collection are now accessible online for free. All you need is your device and a little bit of inspiration to explore Queensland’s cultural and natural heritage.
Discover how Queenslanders have moved through our landscapes with the aid of wheels and wings when you explore Queensland Museum’s Transport collection.
Our Transport collections reveal the social history of transport, the development of the public transport systems and advances in technology Queenslander’s have used to move around the state, make a living and explore the world.
The horse-drawn vehicle collection comprises horse and bullock powered transport indicative of vehicles commonly used in Queensland in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The railway collection traces the history, operations and culture of Queensland Rail, with an emphasis on the Ipswich Railway Workshops. It contains large technology objects, including locomotives and rolling stock, as well a variety of smaller objects representing different railway functions. It captures the introduction of new technologies and changing roles of railways.
The aviation collection highlights the significance of aviation and the efforts of individual aviators in Queensland history. The collection contains eight complete aircraft, a range of parts and equipment, uniforms and clothing, the personal effects from numerous aviators and the Thomas Macleod Queensland Aviation archival collection.
The motor vehicle collection contains a selection of cars, motorcycles, trucks, and tractors revealing stories of industry, innovation and the roles these played in social life.
There is also a range of Queensland-made bicycles and some watercraft involved in significant achievements.
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History of the Ipswich Railway Workshops
Queensland Museum Rail Workshops, located in the Heritage-listed North Ipswich Railway Workshops complex, maintains relationships with many past workers and continues to research and record the contributions and activities of workers at the Ipswich Railway Workshops. A strong part of the workers’ identity at the workshops was related to social aspects of the sites and these recreational activities contributed to the largely intangible heritage and social significance of the site.
ARC Linkage Project ‘Heritage of the Air’
This project aims to generate new understandings of how aviation has transformed Australian society over the last hundred years, and how the technology of global mobility has shaped people, cultures and communities. The project will make an important contribution to culture and society by enabling community access to neglected and at-risk sources of aviation heritage and engage the public’s fascination with aviation through new interpretations of its extraordinary social and cultural impact.
The Spencer Project
Queensland Museum and the Historic Motor Cycle Club of Queensland are working together to restore an assortment of parts from the collection and recreate a Spencer motorcycle, recognised as the first wholly Australian-made motorcycle. David Spencer was a railway engineer who made 10 to 12 motorcycles between 1905 and 1910. The museum’s parts come from different motorcycles and appear to have been retained by David Spencer as spares for servicing other motorcycles in the course of his business after he stopped producing his own. These parts are of national significance by association, yet difficult to interpret as individual items without being reconstituted within the context of their original purpose. The recreated Spencer motorcycle will look like a new machine David Spencer would have wheeled out of his workshop before the First World War. The project shines a spotlight on a nationally significant object, created by a community engagement project involving individuals with specialised knowledge and skills.