Local History Collection

The Local History collection is housed at Mossman Library and contains titles that relate to the Douglas Shire and areas to the north of the Shire. The collection includes:

  • Books, photographs and general information on the history, culture, environment and development of the Shire as well as locally authored and published material.
  • A limited range of microfiche available
  • The National Library of Australia’s Trove website allows you to view and search full text articles from many Australian newspapers, mostly 1803 to 1954, and including the Cairns Post from 1909 to 1954.

For more information on the history of the Douglas Shire visit the Douglas Shire Historical Society website.

If you should require further information about the Library’s historical resources please contact Library staff on 4099 9496.

How to Join

  • Membership is Free and open to all residents.
  • Visit the Mossman or Port Douglas Libraries to complete your membership application and collect your Library Card.
  • Adults are required to have photo identification and proof of residential address.
  • Under 18’s require a parent or guardian to sign this form on their behalf and show identification.
  • We reserve the right to request responsible conduct and to determine inappropriate behaviour which may offend, injure or disturb other Library users, staff, facilities, or items.
  • Borrowing period – four (4) weeks with twenty (20) items per membership—note membership cards must be presented when borrowing items or utilising multi media services.
  • Renewal of borrowed items is available via the on-line catalogue, telephone or in person, except when reservations have been placed on an item.
  • Returns – Return borrowed items to either Mossman or Port Douglas Libraries or via After Hours Returns Chutes

Free Wi-Fi

Mossman and Port Douglas libraries have FREE WiFi during library opening hours.

You will be prompted to enter your library card number and to read and agree to the Terms & Conditions of use.

Computers and PC Bookings

Mossman and Port Douglas Libraries have computer and internet access. Computers are free of charge to all library members. Visitors may use the computers at a charge.

  • Members will need their library card to access all computers.
  • Internet use: Up to 1 hour/day at Mossman and Port Douglas.
  • Printing: Available at Mossman and Port Douglas Libraries. Fees apply.
  • Photocopying: Available at Mossman and Port Douglas Library. Fees apply.
  • Scanning: Available at Mossman and Port Douglas Library
  • Book a PC: Click HERE to make a booking.


The first five years last a lifetime – up to 90 per cent of a child’s brain development happens in the first five years. First5forever is an initiative of the State Library of Queensland, and is a universal family literacy program aimed at supporting stronger language and literacy environments for children before they start kindergarten or school.

First5forever is about working together to spend time with our babies and children, talking, playing, reading and singing. It aims to support parents and primary caregivers to be confident as the child’s first and most important teacher. For more information please contact library staff or visit the first5forever website.

You can stay up to date with all out First5Forever events on the Events page.

Inter-Library Loans

Inter-Library loans is a service for members that obtains materials that is not available from the Rural Libraries Queensland catalogue. The item may be held at other libraries in Australia and the item is sourced on your behalf. Before requesting an inter-library loan please check our online catalogue to make sure that we don’t already have the item you require.

Inter-library loans requests can be completed by contacting staff at Mossman or Port Douglas Libraries. Members are required to have accurate information regarding titles and authors/artists.

If the item has only recently been published (in the last 3 years) you can place a “suggestion” via the online catalogue.


Queensland Museum Kits and Local History posters

The Mossman Library have Queensland Museum Kits and The Douglas Shire Historical Society Local History Posters, available for loan.

QM Loans kits contain museum specimens and artefacts with resources that support:

  • the Australian curriculum;
  • early years learning;
  • aged care; and
  • community displays.

Some of the kits have links that allow you to see exactly what you can expect to find in them. If you would like to reserve any of the kits please call Mossman Library on 4099 9496.

Kits and Posters can be borrowed for a month and must be returned a week before the end of term. Your school is responsible for collecting and returning the kits and posters to the library.

View the 2021 Museum kits available for Douglas Shire here

Douglas Shire Historical Society Local History Posters For Loan


A set of six posters tracing the history of the district’s sugar industry.


A set of six posters with brief photo stories of seven residents of the Douglas district who came from overseas.


A set of six posters showing early images of the district’s schools and then some of the features of early school days.


A set of six posters beginning with trade in the very early days by the original occupiers (Kuku Yalanji) and early trade in Port Douglas and Mossman. It then looks at travel on land and water and by air.


This set of five posters introduces Mulligan, the gold discoverer and Palmerston who found a way from the gold fields to the coast; leading to the sudden growth of Port Douglas. Then the story moves to the start of Mossman by cedar cutters and the decline and eventual regeneration of Port Douglas.


A photo-story about people who have come to the Douglas district from many places over a long period of time.


Three posters depicting the contributions of Douglas district men and women to the wars that Australia has fought for the defence of this country and the freedom of others.


Need a Meeting Room

The Meeting Room hire is currently unavailable due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

The Mossman Library has a meeting room (approx. 5m x 5m) that is available for hire during Library opening hours. Full details are provided in the Information Sheet below along with the Terms and Conditions of Meeting Room hire. For further information please contact the Library on 4099 9496