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Queensland - Archival Collection

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Records (1880s - )


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Records are the documents created by government departments and other organisations in the course of their involvement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland over time. The records contain a wealth of information about individuals, families, communities and places. This information exists because of the control past Queensland governments had over Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's lives.


Access Conditions

Some records have very personal and sensitive information about people and families. To protect privacy, you may need to ask other family members if it is okay to look at the records.

If you do not need permission from any other people or families, you still need to fill in a form to let staff look up information about you.


In Queensland, policies and legislation (such as the Aboriginal Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act 1897) led to a high volume of records being created about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The information in these records can be helpful in tracing

  • where your family comes from
  • who your family are
  • how you are connected to a certain place.

The records may also help with other information, such as proving a date of birth.

The records in this collection are located in a number of places, such as the State Library of Queensland, within the Department's archives, or the Queensland State Archives.

Related Glossary Terms

Related Organisations


Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: Queensland Government, Family and personal history, State of Queensland, 2014,; Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Multicultural Affairs unpublished report on unlicensed Mission dormitories for the Queensland Redress Scheme (2009).

Prepared by: Cate O'Neill