Library Special Collections North Queensland Collection

North Queensland Collection

The aim of the North Queensland Collection is to support teaching and research in the University by the collection and preservation of the literature of north Queensland, past and present. The collection is held in the Special Collections area and may not be browsed. In some cases there may be restrictions on the handling, use or copying of material from this collection in the interests of its long-term preservation.


The North Queensland Collection began in the late 1960's as a collection of books about North Queensland or by North Queensland authors, developed in response to University research focused on regional topics. As the collection expanded, a second function emerged: that of preserving the historical and cultural heritage of North Queensland.

The collection has benefitted considerably over the years from donations made by members of the North Queensland community. In 1977 a major endowment was made by Lady Delamothe in memory of her husband Sir Peter Delamothe (1906-1973). Sir Peter, a medical practitioner with a lifelong interest in local history, was Mayor of Bowen 1946-1958; MLA (Qld) 1960-1971; Queensland Minister for Justice and Attorney General 1963-1971; and Agent General for Queensland in London 1971-1973.

What is in the North Queensland Collection?

The North Queensland Collection is primarily a collection of books and serials with a small audiovisual collection. In summary, the collecting guidelines are:

  • North Queensland is defined as the area north of latitude 22.30 including the Barrier Reef, Torres Strait and other islands that are part of the State of Queensland;

  • the University Library attempts to collect comprehensively books which deal in whole or part with north Queensland; the proportion of content dealing with north Queensland will usually be at least 25%;

  • major serials published in the north Queensland area are collected including literary serials; those published by research organisations; major newspapers; annual reports of major cultural and business organisations and substantial newsletters from regional organisations;

  • reports, environmental impact statements and similar 'semi-published' material of relevance to north Queensland is acquired.

The North Queensland Index

Materials held in the North Queensland Collection are entered in the Library catalogue. To enhance access to these important resources, there is an extra subject index, the North Queensland Index. This is also available through the catalogue. Choose the option 'North Queensland Subjects' from the catalogue menu. This index is a natural language index, drawing on terms used in the item being indexed, and typically provides 8 - 10 subject terms for each book in addition to the 3-4 terms provided by standard cataloguing. The terms in the North Queensland Index are chosen to emphasize north Queensland subjects such as personal names, place names and species names.

All items from the North Queensland Collection have entries in this index, as do theses with north Queensland content.

Web Resources about North Queensland

Digitised copies of some resources from the North Queensland Collection can be found in NQHeritage@JCU.

North Queensland newspapers: a finding aid – This will help if you are trying to identify newspapers which have been published in north Queensland, at what dates they were published and where (if anywhere) they can now be located.

Writers of Tropical Queensland – A subset of the Australian literature database AustLit, Writers of Tropical Queensland provides information about writers (including journalists and newspaper columnists) associated with the region north of Capricorn.