Explore heritage materials this World Environment Day

Sunday 5 June is World Environment Day. This year’s theme 'Only One Earth' calls for collective, transformative action on a global scale to celebrate, protect and restore our planet.

Celebrate World Environment Day by exploring a selection of heritage materials from the Fryer Library. UQ students and staff can also access up-to-date scholarship on the environment.

For workshops, talks and more, check out UQ Sustainability events.


Father Leo Hayes

We acquired the remarkable collection of Father Leo Hayes, a dedicated book collector, back in 1967. He participated in the Royal Geographical Society’s first expedition to the Carnarvon Ranges in 1937 and a silent film of their expedition to Carnarvon National Park was preserved by him. He collected many books and other objects on the Australian flora and fauna as part of his wide interests. The treasures that Father Hayes collected have contributed to the reputation of the Fryer Library as a pre-eminent research collection.

Jim Gasteen

Jim Gasteen was a dedicated environmentalist who advocated for the establishment of several national parks throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales. His family’s property was donated to the Queensland Government to become part of Thrushton National Park.

Gasteen’s papers were donated to the Fryer Library and include his research and communications proposing the creation of areas which would become Expedition, Nuga Nuga, New England, Lakefield, Boodjamulla, Northern Rivers and Border Ranges National Parks. His book Under the mulga records his life and work.

Australian Conservation Foundation

The Fryer Library collection also has an extensive collection of ephemera—flyers, leaflets and more—from various organisations recording the political, literary and social history of Queensland and Brisbane. This includes many flyers of the Australian Conservation Foundation, recording the history of the environmental movement in the 1970s and 1980s.


The Library has digitised many resources reflecting the history of the University, its academics, and other rare materials.

You can access these via the UQ eSpace collection to search by keyword.

Wiley Digital Archives

The Library also holds historical materials collected from several British scientific bodies which have been digitised in the Wiley Digital Archives.

You can search for:

  • The medical and social records of the Royal College of Physicians
  • Records of the Royal Anthropological Institute
  • Records of the Royal Geographical Society
  • Records of the British Association for the Advancement of Science

While some papers in the archive may be uncomfortable to read because they record colonial attitudes and observations, they also provide access to:

  • Documents showing local and Indigenous expert knowledge
  • The presence of women’s voices
  • Records of the revolution of science and medicine in the last two centuries.


Gasteen, Jim, 1922-2017
Cattle in field, Marine Plains. Jim Gasteen Papers, UQFL510, Album 1, item 436.

Last updated:
6 June 2022