Historic Queensland Snaps Go Global in QUT-Google Collaboration

Brisbane’s ANZAC Square, looking towards Central Station, by Jack Bain, circa 1930.
Brisbane’s ANZAC Square, looking towards Central Station, by Jack Bain, circa 1930.

A new collaboration between Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Digital Collections and Google Arts & Culture is set to bring a rich collection of historic Queensland photographs to global audiences. The first instalment features 1851 photos, among them over 400 snapshots of Brisbane spanning more than a century, along with nature, travel, and archival images from QUT’s antecedent institutions.

Prominent among the collection is the Bain-O’Gorman assemblage, which comprises 100,000 donated 35mm slides and 10 early monochrome photo albums. Noteworthy pictures include a 1930 shot of Brisbane’s ANZAC Square by Jack Bain.

Additionally, the collection pays tribute to QUT’s past with images like Dr. Wilton W.R. Love teaching chemistry and pharmacy students in 1894 at the Brisbane Technical College.

Six stories supporting some of the photos have also already been added to the Google platform, with more to come.

They are:

Jill Rogers, a librarian with QUT Digital Collections, envisions around 10,000 historic images from QUT eventually making their way to Google Arts & Culture. She praised the platform for its user-friendly interface and insightful narratives.

The QUT Digital Collections is an assortment of invaluable photographs, many of which were donated in print or slide format before being meticulously digitized for posterity. Emphasizing the importance of this partnership, University Librarian Nicole Clark remarked, “With Google’s unparalleled global presence, our collaboration with Google Arts & Culture is a natural progression to ensure these treasures achieve international recognition.”