Cultures & Histories research

Curators in the Cultures & Histories program research, collect and care for objects that tell significant stories about Queensland's past, present and future.

Archaeology fieldwork X-ray tube Stone axe

Our researchers have specialist knowledge of Queensland histories and cultures, encompassing the continuing histories of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders and more recent stories of colonisation, migration and multiculturalism. Research is published in books, journals, magazines and newspapers, and brought to life through objects in exhibitions and public programs at all four of our museums.

Material culture in the form of collection objects is central to all Museum research. Our research helps to build and understand the State Collection. Using skills in history, archaeology, anthropology and cultural studies we reveal new knowledge about societies and cultures. Through objects we demonstrate and illustrate these important aspects of Queensland’s past.

Research strengths

Our research strengths cover a broad range of time periods from pre-European Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies, through histories of colonisation, migration and Pacific Islander slavery, to contemporary Indigenous and non-Indigenous political and social history. This broad time span includes stories from a diversity of cultures and societies and the interactions between them.

Research strengths of the Cultures & Histories program include:

  • archaeology (Indigenous, historic and maritime)
  • maritime, rail and road transport
  • science and technology
  • fashion and textiles
  • South Sea Islander slavery
  • Aboriginal culture and history
  • Torres Strait Islander material culture.