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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

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. 

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 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 a number of 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.

Archival research terms

Record—information of permanent and historic value, often in paper-based form (e.g. a letter, photograph, a map), but can also be a CD, a film or a digital file

Item—a single record or many records, e.g. an item may be a single architectural drawing, a 500-page leather-bound book, or a bundle of correspondence (letters, telegrams, reports)

Series—a group of related items created, received, or used in the same activity

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
25 May 2017
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