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Regional Resources

Regional Resources

The Regional Resources Collection is housed at the City Library and contains titles which relate to Cairns and the FNQ area, including information on the history, culture, environment, and the development of the region.

Regional Resources Collection

The Regional Resources Collection is a collection which may not be borrowed, ensuring that items are preserved and always available to the community. The collection includes:

  • Books relating to the history, culture, geography and development of the region, including locally authored and published material.
  • Material published by local organisations
  • Street directories
  • Profiles, reports and studies produced by local government
  • Microfilm of local newspaper including The Cairns Post
  • Maps (including topographical, nautical, cadastral, and aerial)
Genealogy Collection

The Genealogy Collection, housed in the City Reference Room, also contains local information such as:

  • Cemetery indexes
  • Phone books
  • School year books
  • Electoral rolls
  • The Cairns Family History Society newsletter

Local Resources

The Cairns Post

The Cairns Post (1884-1893, 1909-present) is available at the City Library on microfilm (our films arrive every three months). You can view/print/scan this newspaper on our microfilm reader.


A number of photographs of Cairns can be found online courtesy of the State Archives of Queensland to search visit-

Cairns Historical Society & Museum carries an extensive range of photographs.

School of Arts Building, Cnr Lake & Shields Street, City Place

p:  (07) 40 515 582; w:

Life in Australia: Cairns (short film)

This short film was made in 1964 and is now held by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. Part of the Life In Australia series, it was made for the Department of Immigration, to entice immigrants from Europe. It provides a wonderful look at life in Cairns in the past, where people ‘like to take life at an easy pace, enjoying the sun and the tropical climate, and living in homes built to be cool in the heat of the day’.

Queensland Resources

Text Queensland - Queensland's Past Online

Text Queensland is a free website that presents a unique and dynamic collection of full-text, searchable, digitised sources on Queensland's colonial and state history.

eBook - Queensland and Queenslanders

Incorporating 'Prominent Queenslanders' / compiled by Australian History Publishing Co. (1936)

Cairns Regional Council Publications

Council meetings

You can access Cairns Regional Council meeting minutes online. Council is streaming live video and audio of Council Meetings and Special Council Meetings. Recently recorded meetings can be accessed via the archived webcasts page.

Interested in the history of Cairns?

The Cairns Regional Council website has a Cairns Heritage page which includes information about the history of Cairns suburbs and streets, Neighbourhood Character Studies, and a historical chronology. Information includes:

Map of Queensland

Need maps?

We hold a map collection in the Reference Room at the City Library, including topographical, nautical, cadastral, and aerial. We do not hold any early maps of the region.

Cairns Historical Society & Museum carries around 950 maps.


Staff cannot conduct original or extensive research, the amount of staff time available to individual enquiries is limited. For extensive support we recommend you seek help from a local genealogy group for example the Cairns Family History Society.

Last updated: 30 Jan 2020