Queensland prisons kept records of prisoners' admissions, criminal history and physical descriptions, either separately or combined in the same register. This series consists of pro forma sheets of photographic records (portraits) and descriptions of male Queensland criminals.
As well as a photograph, details recorded on the sheet for each convicted criminal include: personal and physical details: number, name, native place, birth year, year of arrival in colony, ship, trade/occupation, religion, education, height, weight, colour of hair, eyes, marks or special features; conviction details: where and when tried, offence, sentence, remarks, number of previous portrait, date when portrait was taken. Some sheets also contain details of previous convictions.
Copies of these sheets were forwarded to Police Inspectors' Districts by the Police Commissioner's Office, and included amongst the sheets in this series are covering letters to the Inspector of Police, Cooktown, from the Commissioner of Police, advising that (various) numbers of portraits and descriptions of criminals are enclosed. At some time, these sheets were forwarded from Cooktown to HM Gaol, Townsville. Since the exact date when these sheets were forwarded to Townsville prison is not known, and, to assist researchers, who may otherwise conclude that these records relate only to North Queensland prisoners, the Prisons Department has been chosen as the Creating Agency.
Sheets 299 - 317 are portraits and descriptions of prisoners convicted of offences in relation to the shearers' strike, 1891.