The Geographical Journal, Vol. 126, No. 1 (March, 1960), pp. 49-51.

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The professional historians in the Brisbane Southside History Network are seeking to revive the old discipline of historical geography as a refreshed tool in local history. This is being achieved in the Mapping Brisbane History Project ( The forum held on 27 April 1959 in the premises of the Royal Geographical Society shows that analysing local history through mapping is not a new concept. It is with some strange coincidence that Hebert Finberg’s opening comment at the forum was that Yates’ paper was “by dint of such detailed local investigations as this that the history of the English landscape eventually get written.” Hoskins had published The Making of the English Landscape in 1955, four years before. However, Finberg’s point was that “documents will not get us very far historically without the additional use of maps.” The point being that as much as Hoskins’ work became a classic in local environment history, the absence of mapping creates a severe limitation in our understanding of cultural and social issues in the past. Note Finberg’s point about correlating geographical with demographic findings together. Reading the discussions of the forum a reader gets the view about the importance of boundaries in interpreting the historical mapping data. These are not necessarily only physical boundaries but boundaries in social groupings, and thus, open up understandings of conflict and discrimination.

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Neville Buch (Pronounced Book) Ph.D. is a certified member of the Professional Historians Association (Queensland). Since 2010 he has operated a sole trade business in history consultancy. He was a Q ANZAC 100 Fellow 2014-2015 at the State Library of Queensland. Dr Buch was the PHA (Qld) e-Bulletin, the monthly state association’s electronic publication, and was a member of its Management Committee. He is the Managing Director of the Brisbane Southside History Network.

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