If you grew up in Brisbane, it’s likely you’ve paid a visit to the Queensland Museum. It’s a world of wonder and discovery, where each exhibit takes you to another time or place.

Jorja McDonnell reports.


While visitors walk among dinosaurs, or explore the tombs of Egypt, the real magic is happening upstairs.

The rooms and laboratories above the museum hold millions of treasures, and most of them hang out among the shelves.

This guy, he doesn’t get out much.

Those who make it on display are thoroughly enjoyed by visitors, but who knows what they get up to when the lights go out.

Behind the scenes, there are scores of cupboards, shelves and special rooms for storing everything in the museum’s collection.

There’s also plenty of space for scientists, whose research is essential not just for the museum, but all of Queensland.

Much of their job is preserving these pieces of history, so we have a record of a certain animal, plant, fish or object.

Dr Rob Adlard, Queensland Museum: “This is the beating heart of the museum, if you like. We have one point two million er specimens, biological specimens, about four, that’s in the state collection itself, and about fourteen million research er specimens.”

Most of them are biological, meaning they’re animals, or bones, specially preserved to keep them in good condition.

Birds and butterflies mix with fish and shells, all living together under one roof with the scientists.

Jorja Mcdonnell, Reporter: “Do you ever get the feeling they come alive at night?”

Dr Rob Adlard, Queensland Museum: “Well sometimes you wonder when you’re working late at night. It gets a bit spooky.”

Jorja McDonnell, QUT News.