Discover new narratives hiding in old archives

State Library of Queensland’s annual research fellowships, featuring seven opportunities totaling $100,000, are now open to applicants as part of the Queensland Memory Awards.
Discover new narratives hiding in old archives

Greer Townshend, 2017 Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation fellow and Captain Andrew Craig RAN (Ret’d), Chair, Queensland Advisory Committee for the Commemoration of the Anzac Centenary.

Every year State Library of Queensland (SLQ) invites a group of chosen fellows to explore and excavate the library’s prolific collection, with the aim of creating new knowledge about Queensland’s past and present.

‘What these fellowships do for us is they bring in a new set of eyes to the collection – people find things we never thought to look for. They bring a new interpretation of the collection and that’s exciting,’ said Gavin Bannerman, Director of Queensland Memory.


SLQ is the primary custodian of Queensland’s cultural history, with the fellowship and residency program aiming to further illuminate the public’s perceptions of Queensland, and Australia more broadly. Celebrated for its unique and diverse acquisitions, SLQ recognises the value of investigating our country’s history to better understand the future.

Learn how to apply for the State Library of Queensland’s fellowship and residency program

Bannerman encourages interested applicants ‘to bring a curiosity and an ability to amplify your research’.

He adds: ‘Connecting the research topic with a broader audience is also really important.’

Fellowships are open to anyone with an investigative nature, and Bannerman noted that you don’t have to have a post-graduate qualification in history to be selected.

‘We encourage applicants that are multi-disciplinary. In the past we have had visual artists, historians and school teachers. We’ve had musicians and we’ve had fashion curators. You can come from a very different background,’ he said.

Fellows will work closely with the library to discover new narratives within the archives. Fellows are also encouraged to explore the state’s documented heritage.

Applicants are asked to demonstrate an awareness of SLQ’s collections, including showing that there is a synergy between the collection and the topic they are looking at.

‘Our collection is a resource for people to generate knowledge. They might even want to really interrogate our collection. They might want to come and look at all the photographs that feature the colour red in our collection – that prompts us and pushes us to find new ways to make our collections available.’


John Oxley Library Fellowship

The recipient is awarded $20,000 and will also be provided with 12 months access to a personal work space. This fellowship focuses on research resourced predominately out of the John Oxley Library.

Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame Fellowship

The recipient is awarded $15,000 and will also be provided 12 month access to a personal work space. This fellowship encourages contributions of new knowledge of Queensland’s economic and business history.

Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation

Four fellowship opportunities (including one digital fellowship) are available. The recipients are awarded $15,000 each and will also be provided with 12 months access to a personal work space. These fellowships encourage new research and interpretations about Queensland’s involvement in the First World War or in any significant military campaign over the last 100 years. The digital applicant will develop a creative digital experience using digital content from SLQ and other collecting institutions.

Letty Katt’s Award

The recipient is awarded $5,000 and will also be provided 12 month access to a personal workspace. The award provides the opportunity for a musician, composer, scholar or researcher to study, experiment and explore new thinking in their art/study, leading to the creation of new knowledge or work/s inspired by Queensland’s music history. 

To learn more about the State Library of Queensland’s research fellowships, visit

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Andrea Simpson

Tuesday 30 January, 2018

About the author

Andrea Simpson is ArtsHub's Feature Writer and Reviews Editor. Andrea is a Filipino-Australian writer with a love for diverse Australian stories. She is curious about all forms of art, though she has an especially keen interest in the publishing sector.

Andrea has had short stories published in various anthologies, and is currently working on her first novel.  

You can follow Andrea on Instagram @andi_jayyy