The CHS Archives Collection holds more than 70,000 items, including personal memoirs; family history and reminiscences; academic and Government papers; books; unpublished reports; newspapers; journal articles and maps. Many of these are available digitally. A separate Images Collection holds nearly 40,000 digitised photographs

The collections cover Far North Queensland, from south of Cardwell, north to the Torres Strait and west to Burketown, taking in most of the Wet Tropics, Cape York Peninsula, the Einasleigh Uplands and the Gulf of Carpentaria. Cairns is a particular focus.

Both collections are available for personal or professional research through the CHS Research Centre.

Researchers can book to access the collection in person or submit online requests. The catalogue is not available online but our archive and photographic researchers are available to assist you search and discover the collection.

Email queries are welcome and our researchers can pull together materials from the collection, copy or digitise and send them if you are unable to visit in person.

Copies of items may be purchased, subject to copyright restrictions.


About CHS

Book an appointment to visit the Research Centre – the Collection holds more than 60,000 items covering an area from Cardwell to Bourke Shire.

Photographic Collection

Seeing is believing - the Cairns Historical Society’s collection catalogue has been assessed as nationally significant for its extensive visual record of Far North Queensland.


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Historical Society Memberships