In 1957, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Queensland, Professor James Douglas Story, proposed a regional university college be established. This desire came to fruition on 27 February 1961 when the University College of Townsville was opened. This college became the James Cook University of North Queensland on 29 April 1970 and is now known as James Cook University.
In 1965 430 acres of bushland was set aside for a new campus in Brisbane's south in the suburb Nathan. Initially this was to be a University college of the University of Queensland but by September 1971 it was established as Griffith University.
Birrell was asked by the Co-Ordinator General of the Public Works to draw up plans for both colleges. The majority of these plans have the title block for the University of Queensland and James Birrell as the UQ Architect. This subseries contains plans for the University Colleges, Townsville (22 plans) and Mt Gravatt (23 plans).