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60 Smith Street
Qld 4163
07 3286 3494


The Rotary Heritage Library

The Rotary Heritage Library conserves and provides access to a collection of rare and contemporary books, manuscripts, newspapers and periodicals, historical maps and photographs, and ephemera.    

The Library is frequently used by visitors researching their family history and university interns completing research projects.  Items from the Library collection are also used in temporary displays and exhibitions throughout the Museum.

Oral History

Oral History activities are front and centre again in the Museum after Library volunteers attended a workshop run by Dr Robert Mason from Griffith University.

Volunteers are currently undertaking two major projects, recording the reminiscences of the Mt Cotton Drama Group and recording the experiences of local residents during the COVID pandemic under the guidance of Redland City Council Libraries.


Research is an important part of the Museum’s ongoing activities. Sometimes it is a new artefact that becomes a link to finding information about people, buildings or events. In this way, the detailed stories of Redland emerge.

In other circumstances, it is simply a question that starts the research process rolling. This may come from a volunteer, a visitor or family descendants.

For example, a teacher on a school tour asked if the Museum had any information on family members Henry and Louisa Ware, for whom there is a plaque in St Andrew’s Church in Ormiston. Research found that Henry Ware planted the first sugar cane for Louis Hope, and trees at Ormiston House. He was also a pillar of the community in colonial Cleveland.

Photograph Collection

To date 2,390 photograph files had been created for the Redland Museum eHive catalogue.  The process of cataloguing photographs in our online system involves detailed research by a small, dedicated team of volunteers. Many previously unrecorded stories behind the photographs have been unearthed as a result of this work being undertaken.

One interesting example is the story of the family of William Gray, a Cleveland State School Principal from 1887-1899.  Photographs identified in the collection include William Gray, his daughter Nella Watts (nee Gray), grand-daughter Shirley Bryan (nee Watts), and great-grandson Bobby Bryan.  The family’s story has been significantly enhanced due to extensive research carried out by a University of Queensland intern.

Shirley Bryan married a United States serviceman in 1943.  In 1945 she and her son Bobby sailed to the United States along other Australian ‘war brides’.  She lived the remainder of her life in Georgia and Florida.

Many historic photographs are donated to the Museum.  These help us to preserve the rich history of the Redlands Coast region and ensure the fascinating stories from the past are available for future generations.