08 December 2010

Queensland Historical Atlas is Go!

The launch of the online Queensland Historical Atlas.
Last night I attended the launch of the online 'Queensland Historical Atlas' at Customs House in Brisbane. This website has been a long time in the works and is part of an overall grant project of $1M overseen by the University of Queensland and the Queensland Museum.

The QHAtlas combines history, environmental studies, archaeology, anthropology and cultural geography to explore ‘themes in the landscape’, and is intended to "re-comprehend Queensland’s history on a grand scale - spanning historical eras, cultural perspectives and diverse human activities."

I was invited to take part in this project back in 2008, and contributed the page on prison history called 'Stone walls do a prison make'. There are about 100 contributors overall, and the website looks great, containing many articles and thousands of images and maps.

If I had one issue it would be the use of 'conceptual themes' to lay the information out, which I know has caused a couple of non-academic friends to scratch their heads when first looking at the site, but if you just use the in-site 'search' facility you should be able to find a number of links to whatever subject you are after. But then, classification of diverse knowledge is always a challenge, something I learned when creating a new catalogue for the artefact collection at Boggo Road. This little quibble aside, this website is a great new tool for people looking into Queensland history.