Toowoomba Local History Library

If you're interested in the history of our region or tracing your family tree, visit the local history section at your local library, or at the Toowoomba City Library.

The Local History Library in Toowoomba has a valuable archival collection and is of local, state and national significance. The impressive collection holds records from local identities, businesses and many community organisations. The Robinson Collection holds over 5000 items and has more than 3000 photographs relating to the history of Toowoomba and the Darling Downs. The Toowoomba Chronicle and the Darling Downs Gazette are held on microfilm dating from the 1860s onwards.

The Oakey and Pittsworth local history collections focus on the history of the area and include books, maps, photographs, personal letters, business records, pamphlets and clippings.

Open the Local History picture catalogue

Or

Search our Library Archives

Family history research

familyhistorymissonfamilyThe Local History Library holds a range of material for family historians. The collection concentrates on the Toowoomba and the Darling Downs area with some Queensland and Australian resources available. The information is held in a variety of different formats such as CD's, microfiche and microfilm.  The Local History Library has also compiled a list of useful online genealogy resources and weblinks (below) to assist with your search to trace your family history.

Additionally the library edition of Ancestry.com is available at your local library.

Online genealogy resources and weblinks

Choose from links to International and Australian websites plus links to Cemeteries and Obituary websites.

International

Australian

Cemeteries and Obituaries

Information available on CD

 Microfilm

 Microfiche

Queensland - South

Queensland - General

Parish and Vital Records List (1994)

Queensland – Central and North

Toowoomba

Darling Downs

Other States

Australian 

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History of your house

The local history library holds the rates and valuation registers for Toowoomba City from 1861 - 1977. Useful information to know that will assist you with your search is:

Steps to find the history of your house

1. Search the Toowoomba Regional Library online catalogue for items relating to the house by using keywords such as:Colville House

Staff can assist with retrieving pertinent material from the Local History Library collection.

2. Consult "The Toowoomba House: styles and history" 1999 Robinson Reference by Ballard and Roessler, to determine which era the house originates from, if not already known. Free chapters of this book are available from the Local History section.

3. Browse through old Chronicle newspaper clippings using the pamphlet files located at the Local History Library. Consult the following files:

4. Check the Chronicle and Darling Downs Gazette indexes (located within the Local History Library) for the house name if known (please note that they are not comprehensive in coverage or subject area). Any articles referred to from the indexes may be located using the old Chronicle and Darling Downs Gazette microfilms.

5. Consult the Local History Library's historical maps for information about Toowoomba subdivisions and the 1950s sewerage maps for house or residents' names. 

6. Consult the Local History Library's Post Office Directory records using the country towns microfiche (labelled in yellow).

If former residents' names are not known, it is helpful to start after the 1930s using the house number and then trace the resident's name back through the older microfilms

7. Search the Toowoomba City Council's Historic Rates and Valuation register held on microfilm at the Local History Library. Beware that these films are time consuming to search and a result is not necessarily guaranteed. It is recommended that you phone ahead by contacting us to book a microfilm reader.

Refer to the Local History Library's brochure "Dating your house" for instructions on how to search these registers. We offer a staff search of the Rates and Valuation registers for a fee of $60 for the first hour or part thereof and $40 for every hour thereafter. Please note that a result is not guaranteed and the search may require up to several weeks to be completed.

8. Finally, the Department of Natural Resources & Mines offers title deed searches that may locate beneficial information. Information from a recent rates notice is required.

Useful items to consult in the Library's Robinson collection

Architectural street analysis – Toowoomba by Geoffrey Kirton 1980 ROBINSON Q

Queensland architects of the 19th century : a biographical dictionary by Donald Watson, Judith McKay 1994 ROBINSON 720.9943 WAT

Queensland architects of the 19th century : index to the biographical dictionary compiled by Judith Nissen Judith 1999 ROBINSON 720.9943 QUE

An investigation of the settlement pattern by architectural styles in selected Toowoomba streets by Anne-Maree Roche & Ann Alcock 1978 ROBINSON Q

Dating your house : a guide to establishing the date of construction of your own home by Donald Watson ROBINSON 728.09943 WAT

Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 June 2019 15:34