Museum & Gallery Services Queensland

UNESCO First for State Library of Queensland

For the first time, treasures from the State Library of Queensland’s collections have been recognised by UNESCO’s prestigious Memory of the World Australian Register.
Arts Minister Rod Welford said two important documents from the State Library’s collections had been added to the list – the Manifesto of the Queensland Labour Party to the people of Queensland (dated 9 September 1892) and The Margaret Lawrie Collection of Torres Strait Island Materials.
“These nationally significant items demonstrate the diversity and richness of Queensland’s cultural heritage and the collections of the State Library,” Mr Welford said.
“The only known copy of the Manifesto of the Queensland Labour Party is held at the State Library. Described as the foundation document of the present day Australian Labor Party, it was read out under the Tree of Knowledge at Barcaldine in 1892.
“It prompted the formation of the world’s first labour government – Queensland’s short-lived Anderson Dawson Government in 1899.
“The Margaret Lawrie Collection is the culmination of her extensive and in depth life’s work documenting the history, languages and cultures of the Torres Strait Islander people during the 1950s and 1960s.
“It is the most significant collection relating to the Torres Strait since the United Kingdom’s Haddon Collection from the 1890s.”
State Librarian Lea Giles-Peters said the additions to the Memory of the World Register demonstrate the value of State Library’s collection.
“Through items like these we gain a deeper appreciation of the world we live in and our place on the world stage.”
Find out more information about the Manifesto and Margaret Lawrie Collection at The Manifesto is available to view online at
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) launched the Memory of the World program 15 years ago to preserve and promote the world’s significant and endangered documentary heritage.
Inscription on the International Memory of the World Register is the documentary equivalent of an entry on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Already in the register is The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), the world’s first feature-length film, and The Convict Records of Australia, written accounts of the deportation of 165,000 convicts over 80 years.