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Memories of historic Brisbane art gallery recognised in UNESCO world register

The State Library of Queensland (SLQ) has become home to yet another UNESCO Australian Memory of the World item as the Johnstone Gallery Archive (1948–72) and Arthur Davenport Photographs (1955–92) are now recognised in the UNESCO register.

The addition of the Johnstone Gallery Archive to the UNESCO register will honour the legacy of Brisbane’s Johnstone Gallery and continue to have an impact on future generations.

The Archive documents one of Brisbane’s first commercial art galleries and helps tell the story of the trailblazing owners Brian and Marjorie Johnstone and the many artists who played a role in the evolution of Australia’s contemporary art scene between 1950 and 1972.

The Archive joins other SLQ items also listed on the UNESCO register including the Anzac Day minute book, Margaret Lawrie Torres Strait Island Collection and more, the archive is yet another example of the vast wealth of material held by the library and available for the benefit of all Queenslanders.

The Archive, now acknowledged for its national significance, takes its place alongside other historic documents such as the Mabo Case manuscripts, the first Australian narrative film The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), and the final draft of Dorothea Mackellar’s iconic Core of my Heart (later My Country) poem.