Schools, hospitals and orphanages

Queensland State Archives (QSA) holds many of the nineteenth and early to mid-twentieth century records on Queensland government schools, hospitals, asylums, medical staff, orphanages and children’s homes.

We also have records relating to buildings constructed by or for the Colonial and State government, for example courthouses and local government buildings owned or occupied by these agencies.

How do I find the records?

You can view our brief guides on schools, hospitals and orphanages, or search our records if you know the name and location of the person you are looking for. For school admission registers, search on the name of the school in ArchivesSearch. For more information on searching indexes, see Start your research.

School records

Hello and welcome to Queensland State Archives.

We hold many records about Queensland state schools from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The most interesting information about individuals are the admission registers, closely followed by the Corporal Punishment registers.

1. To find an individual’s school admission record

To find a person you will need to know the name of the school and an approximate date of admission.

Type the name of the school into the Basic Search box and press enter. A tip is type the place name and the word ‘school’ – I’ll type in Warwick East School

Choose View results for the Series line and choose admission registers

Select View items

Identify the date you are interested in – the list may not be in date order so search until you find the relevant date range

Make a note of the Item ID for your records

Some of our school admission records have been digitised and a scanned copy can be viewed, downloaded and/or printed.  

2. To view digital records

To view the image click on the link

And open the PDF file

3. To view non-digital records

The school records that haven’t been digitised can either

Be viewed at 435 Compton Road Runcorn

Or you can request a quote for a copy of the records to be sent to you

4. To find additional information about schools

In addition to school admission registers we hold a variety of information about state schools. Type the name of the school into the Basic Search box and enter.

Choose ‘View results’ in the Item area

This will show you a list of records associated with the school

You can find information about the administration of the school, the school’s buildings and grounds, statistical information about attendance and sometimes school inspectors’ reports.

If you have any questions or would like to give us some feedback contact us via the ‘Contact the State Archives’ link using our online form

For other videos visit our YouTube channel and subscribe to keep up to date with any new additions.

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Thanks for watching

  • Read Brief guide to school records—referring mainly to state schools (primary and high schools) and state rural schools, and also includes some departmental records about administration of grammar, mission and church or non-vested (private) schools.
  • Search Teachers 1860–1905—Index to records of teachers’ careers and brief information about each teacher compiled from registers of the Board of General Education, and Department of Public Instruction.
  • Read Brief guide to government buildings—Schools—which includes schools.

Hospitals and healthcare

QSA holds limited information about hospital patients, as many of these records are not permanent or haven’t survived. We do not hold any records from private hospitals. Also, many of the records are subject to restricted access periods of 100 years.

  • Search Cases & treatment Moreton Bay Hospital 1830-1862 These registers of cases and treatment kept by the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement Hospital, later Brisbane Hospital, include entries for the patient's name, age, date admitted, disease and treatment. Under the headings for disease and treatment there may be chronological entries relating to the patient's on-going condition and treatment. Dates of discharge or death may also be included.
  • Search Brisbane hospital admissions 1872–1887—Index to registers of personal and medical details of patients admitted to the Brisbane Hospital.
  • Search Brisbane Gaol Hospital Admission registers 1889-1911- Details given varies and may include name of prisoner/patient, date admitted, date discharged, disease and treatment, occupation, ship in which arrived and address.
  • Search Brisbane hospital registers of deaths 1899–1913—Index to registers kept by the Brisbane Hospital recording deaths and special removals between 1899 and 1913.
  • Search Brisbane hospital registers of deaths 1933–1963—Index to registers kept by the Brisbane Hospital recording deaths and special removals between 1933 and 1963.
  • Search Consumptive patients 1897–1902—Index to correspondence and applications regarding patients at Roma and Dalby sanatoriums, including medical assessments, accommodation and travelling allowances for patients with Phthisis (Consumption or Pulmonary Tuberculosis).
  • Search Mackay hospital admissions 1991–1908—Index to registers of patient admissions created by the Mackay District Hospital, later known as the Mackay Base Hospital. The last date of admissions recorded is 31 December 1908 whilst the last date of discharge is recorded as 16 April 1910.
  • Search Brief guide to mental asylum—records providing an overview of the records for mental health patients from 1860 onwards. Some records are subject to restricted access periods.
  • Search Brief guide to Dunwich Benevolent Asylum and Eventide Home records. Many of these records are subject to a 100-year restricted access period.

Records of nurses

Orphanages and children’s homes


Search the catalogue

ArchivesSearch provides access to QSA’s collection of records, including documents, letters, land orders, maps, plans and images. For help searching, read the ArchivesSearch help guide.

Search tips

  1. The name may have been written in the record phonetically as the clerks wrote the names as they heard them. Think about how it could be spelt as it was heard. Also, spelling of all names was not as consistent as it is today.
  2. The name may have been incorrectly indexed as the handwriting is sometimes difficult to read or the ink has faded. The capital letters L, T, F and S are often confused as are lower case letters n, m, u and w. Taylor may be indexed as Laylor or Brum may be indexed as Bruin. Also, the use of double ‘s’ (ss) often looks like fs, so Ross will be indexed as Ross but may appear in the record as Rofs.

Please note: All school admission registers are subject to a 15 year restricted access period and many hospital records are restricted for 100 years.

Why can’t I find what I’m looking for?

There are several reasons why you may not find a record at QSA:

  • There is limited information about patients in state hospitals.
  • Many records have not survived.
  • Some records are restricted or closed to public access and may not be immediately available to view.

Contact us

Contact us if you need further help.