The visual history of the Queensland Government Printing Office will be explored by the winners of the State Library of Queensland award. Louise Martin-Chew and Matthew Wengert were awarded the $20,000 John Oxley Library Fellowship at the Queensland Memory Awards ceremony in Brisbane on 29 May.

Their project, Designs-Details-Devils: A Visual History of Queensland’s Government Printing Office 1862-2013, will document the elaborate decorative printing that took place in the heritage listed-building over its 150 year history. Everything from Hansard, burial regulations, tourism posters, railway timetables, signs and postage stamps were printed there.

The prize was one of seven fellowships and awards, collectively worth $65,000, presented at State Library. Two new fellowships were introduced this year – the Place Making Fellowship (the history of Queensland ice cream making) and the John Oxley Library Honorary Fellowship. The latter was awarded to a cameraman – who rescued 40 years of North Queensland’s news and television history from being lost forever – for his outstanding efforts to document and share Queensland’s history.

The Minister for Arts, Leeanne Enoch, said, “the Queensland Memory Awards celebrate excellence in research and recognise those who are sharing Queensland stories and making new contributions to our heritage. This year’s winners reflect a growing need to fill historical gaps in our understanding of the lives of First Nations Peoples, women and migrants. I congratulate this year’s winners, whose work is certain to uncover rich and important stories from our state’s past to share now and with future generations.”

Vicki McDonald, the State Librarian and Chief Executive Officer, says the new fellowships offer an exciting opportunity to expand the work undertaken by the State Library of Queensland fellowship winners.

“All our fellowships recognise the importance of adding meaning and context to our collections and the state’s continuously evolving narrative,” McDonald said. “The Queensland Memory Awards continue to inspire researchers and extend the boundaries of what is possible in the discovery and documentation of the state’s history.”

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