State Library of Queensland (SLQ) has unearthed thousands of never before seen personal photographs, letters and diaries from the First World War.

A State of War is SLQ’s online and onsite portal, showcasing Queensland’s unique stories of the First World War, including personal snapshots depicting experiences at war and at home, key events, portraits of Queensland soldiers, and newspaper clippings from SLQ’s collection.

Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy, Leeanne Enoch says through the use of digital technology, the onsite display at SLQ provides visitors with a hands-on interactive audio-visual experience.

“This is a chance to delve into the stories about Queenslanders, many of which may not have been told before,” she says.

“Through touch, visitors can navigate their way through memories that have passed through generations.”

Ms Enoch says users can also listen to audio of a selection of letters and diaries or browse the digitised original item or its transcript.

“It’s a terrific example of using digital technology to bring to life stories from our past into the present,” she says.

A State of War comprises of two main components, offering an innovative online experience that all Queenslanders can access, as well as an interactive display onsite at SLQ.

In-depth personal timelines help depict the experiences of seven featured Queenslanders. There are first-hand accounts through letters and diaries which can be viewed as originals or transcripts and heard via selected audio tracks.

Acting State Librarian and CEO Sonia Cooper says SLQ plays a leading role in ensuring Queensland’s collective memory is available to be explored and shared.

“State Library has created an opportunity for people to uncover key moments and stories which reveal how Queenslanders experienced the First World War,” she says.

“This portal and onsite display allows us to discover and share the memories of the 57,705 Queenslanders who served Australia in the First World War 100 years ago and create a digital legacy for future generations.”

Queensland newspaper articles from almost every day of the war reveal what was happening at home and overseas and how the Queensland public consumed the war through print media.

Through the image gallery, follow Queensland light horsemen through the desert; infantry battalions through Gallipoli and France; fundraising volunteers and Red Cross workers at home, and discover intimate snapshots of life at the war front and back home during these tumultuous times.

Users can browse the online portal then name and curate their own collections of content, and share it via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and email.

A State of War is part of SLQ’s Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation program proudly supported by the Queensland Government.

For more information visit the online portal at

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