QUT shares historic images with global audience via Google Arts & Culture

QUT is taking Queensland history to the world thanks to a new partnership with Google Arts & Culture.

Global audiences can now view the first batch of 1851 historic photos from the QUT Digital Collections via the Google Arts & Culture platform. They include over 400 images of Brisbane (some of which date back more than 120 years), nature and travel photos, and a small selection of historic images of QUT predecessor institutions.

The Brisbane images uploaded to Google Arts & Culture by QUT librarians include selected images from the university’s Bain-O’Gorman collection – a massive collection of 100,000 donated 35mm slides and 10 early black and white photograph albums. [Photo above: Brisbane’s ANZAC Square, looking towards Central Station, by Jack Bain, circa 1930.]

Old photos from QUT’s Dr Wilton W.R. Love collection are also being shared with an international audience, including photos from the 1890s of Dr Love teaching chemistry and pharmacy students at the Brisbane Technical College (one of QUT’s predecessor institutions).

Dr Wilton W.R. Love teaching a class of chemistry and pharmacy students in Brisbane in 1894. Photo: QUT Digital Collections.

Six stories supporting some of the photos have also already been added to the Google platform, with more to come.

They are:

Brisbane River panorama by Jack Bain, 1965.

Google Arts & Culture is a free public platform that contains digital collections from all over the world, ranging from the Musée d’Orsay in France and The British Museum in England, to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Australia and Shinjuku Golden Gai in Japan, to the Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico and Lagos Fashion Week in Nigeria.

Primarily image-based, users can browse artworks from around the world, get insights into history and culture, and take a virtual travel trip to destinations all over the planet.

Jill Rogers.

QUT Digital Collections librarian Jill Rogers said QUT eventually hoped to share around 10,000 digital images from its historic collection on Google Arts & Culture.

“Our partnership with Google Arts & Culture will give QUT Digital Collections a great place to showcase our exhibitions and stories and curated collections for world-wide access,” Ms Rogers said.

“I really like how this international platform gives users a really attractive and easy to use visual interface. The stories are short and give the reader a glimpse of what else to explore. It’s easy to search and users can view by country, category, popularity and date.”

Nicole Clark.

The QUT Digital Collections includes many historic photos that were donated to university as prints or slides, and have then been carefully digitised to preserve them for future generations.

“QUT Library wants these unique digitisations to shine brightly in the international arena,” University Librarian Nicole Clark said.

“With Google’s massive global reach, working with Google Arts & Culture is a logical step.”

    About Google Arts & Culture

    Google Arts & Culture puts the treasures, stories and knowledge of over 3000 cultural institutions from 80 countries at your fingertips. If Google’s mission is to make the world’s information more accessible, then Arts & Culture’s mission is to make the world’s culture accessible to anyone, anywhere. It’s your doorway to explore art, history, and wonders of the world. Discover stories about cultural heritage ranging from Van Gogh’s bedroom paintings, Puerto Rico’s heritage, Sports in Australia or the women’s right movement to ancient Maya temples, Japanese Food and Indian Railways.

    /University Release. View in full here.