Marion Stell
Peter Spearritt


The Queensland Historical Atlas is the most significant collection of work to be published on the Queensland landscape that both looks to the future as well as the past. It is envisioned within a new framework – one that speaks to both a specialist and general reader.

Fourteen new themes ranging from conflict to curiosity to pleasure take the reader on a fresh and unpredictable journey through the Queensland landscape. Fourteen evocative fabric designs by artist Olive Ashworth (from the collections of the Queensland museum) illuminate each theme and give each a distinctive colour, tone and texture.

The Atlas is bold in both presentation and conceptualisation. Eschewing new cartography, the Atlas utilises hundreds of maps from Queensland and Australia’s history to anchor the stories, and to examine the importance of spatial resources in the Queensland landscape.

The Queensland Historical Atlas positions Queensland at the forefront of new directions in the atlas form – where new technology facilitates the intimate and convenient examination of maps for the first time. No longer does the map need to be spread out on a table, hung on a wall or condensed and rendered illegible by the printed page. Instead it can be put under the microscope of ‘zoomify’ to reveal new details and nuances.

But more important than examination through technology, this Atlas aims to critically examine maps as constructed documents. Their intrinsic truth relies on the motivations of those who commission, produce and publish them. All maps can be contested. In map-making context is all. Why, by whom and for whom have these maps of Queensland been made? The answers to these questions are part of the purpose of this historical atlas.

For all its size and complexity – the Atlas already features the work of over 100 contributors and over 250,000 words, together with hundreds of maps and images – the Atlas never attempts to be comprehensive, for such a task is an impossibility. Rather it provides a refreshed insight into the central importance of the Queensland landscape in the State’s history.

How to contribute

Each article must demonstrate substantial scholarly activity, as evidenced by discussion of the relevant literature, an awareness of the history and antecedents of work described, and provided in a format that allows readers to trace sources of the work through the References and Further reading section.

To position the Queensland Historical Atlas as a dynamic site for research and publication on the Queensland landscape, and to take advantage of its online presence, the Atlas is a refereed online journal. It is published annually in December, although new articles can be uploaded once they have been peer-reviewed by the editorial committee. The Queensland Historical Atlas Editorial Board is listed at the Editors tab. To contribute please contact the Editorial Board through the Feedback tab. Suggestions for future articles are encouraged, and scholars are most welcome to submit a draft or proposal for comment. Please follow the style guide displayed in current articles.

New 2014/15

For the 2014/15 edition of the Queensland Historical Atlas, the Editorial Board has decided to categorise contributions into two separate tiers.

Full Articles of between 3000-5000 words are encouraged that address an aspect of one of the fourteen landscape themes. Each article should include and foreground at least one historical map and contain suitable images and captions and references which allow the Editorial Board to trace the sources of the work. Once these Full Articles are submitted they will be subject to blind refereeing by the Editorial Board. Endnotes and Further Reading should be provided.

In addition, the Editorial Board invites the submission of map-focused long captions (up to 1000 words) where the circumstances of the commissioning, production and distribution of the maps are dealt with. These will be classified as Research Notes within the online journal. Each submission in this category must also be positioned within one of the fourteen landscape themes and will also be blind refereed by the Editorial Board. Further Reading should be provided.

For advice on any aspect of the submission process please use the Feedback form.

References and Further reading

Please note that due to its online format, the Atlas Editorial Board has decided not to include in-text citations with each published article. The References and Further reading section allows readers to trace sources of the work.


As a refereed online journal the Queensland Historical Atlas has the ISSN number: ISSN 1838-708X

How to cite

To cite essays in the Queensland Historical Atlas please use a standard journal citation together with the system generated permanent URL path setting and the copyright date. For example: Sean Ulm and Geraldine Mate, 'Conflict: how people contest the landscape', Queensland Historical Atlas,, 2010. To cite maps or images use the system generated permanent URL path setting and date.


More than 110 researchers have contributed to this atlas, including scholars from every Queensland university as well as those working on aspects of Queensland both nationally and internationally. Go to the Authors tab for more information.

General Editors are Professor Peter Spearritt and Dr Marion Stell, University of Queensland. For the current Editorial Board see the Editors tab.

Website engineer: Hank Szeto, Thinking Cap Consulting.

Design: Alisa Wortley, Niche Consultants; John Reid, Lovehate Design (adapted logo and banner), Lisa Lam, University of Queensland (original logo).

ARC Linkage Grant 2007-10: the following people comprised the editorial team for the first edition of the Atlas published in December 2010: Professor Peter Spearritt, Dr Marion Stell, Professor David Carter, Assoc-Professor Clive McAlpine, Dr Geraldine Mate, Dr Celmara Pocock, Dr Geoff Ginn, Dr Sean Ulm, Dr Nicole Bordes, Trish Barnard, Luke Keogh, Owen Powell

Origin and funding

The Queensland Historical Atlas project was funded by a three-year grant from the Australian Research Council, 2007-10. It was an ARC Linkage Grant between the University of Queensland and the Queensland Museum. It now receives significant ongoing support from the Centre for the Government of Queensland, at the University of Queensland.