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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



Welcome to Collection Explorer

Welcome to the National Museum of Australia’s new Collection Explorer. This site is part of our commitment to increasing access to our collections. We hope you enjoy browsing and discovering more rich imagery and information about our collections online.

National Historical Collection

At the core of the National Museum and its exhibitions is the National Historical Collection, more than 200,000 objects which represent Australia's history and cultural heritage. Collection Explorer provides digital access to a subset of the collection – almost half – and growing. This includes objects that are on display and many more in storage. New collection records and images are being added continuously and the information on existing records is being enhanced.

From paper to digital

This website represents the efforts of many collectors and institutions over many decades. Since the National Museum was established in 1980, it has inherited and acquired collections and their associated documentation, largely held as paper records. As a result, the extent and quality of the data and images contained in the records varies. While we make every reasonable effort to add to and improve these records prior to publication, this is an ongoing process.

Your feedback

We are interested and excited to hear what you know about our collection. If you have additional information or believe there is an error, please let us know via our online feedback form. Please provide the object number or URL to help identify the object.

A note on sources

Records may contain images and terms that reflect the attitude and circumstances of the original source and the period in which they were created and could be considered inappropriate. These do not reflect the views of the National Museum of Australia.


Visitors should be aware that Collection Explorer includes images and names of deceased people that may cause sadness or distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Authorised uses

The material available through Collection Explorer is for your general use and information. Your use of copyright material is subject to the National Museum’s Copyright notice and its website’s Conditions of use.

The Museum does not own the copyright in all the material on Collection Explorer. Although we generally own the copyright in website content that the Museum has developed, a third party may also have rights in regards to an object. Unless otherwise indicated you may copy, distribute, display, download or print the material from Collection Explorer, whether accessed directly from Collection Explorer or via other sites, for your own personal use, for non-commercial educational purposes or for non-commercial use within your organisation, provided that you attribute the National Museum of Australia.

If you are the copyright holder for any featured material and would like the image removed from display on Collection Explorer please send an email to collectionsearch [at]

Seeking permission to use images

A request button is located with each object or image in Collection Explorer enabling users to request permission for image use, to seek one at a higher resolution or to request new photography. If you are unsure who owns the copyright, please make a request via this button for image use.

Privacy notice

The personal information which we collect and hold about you will only be used for the purpose of responding to your questions or feedback in relation to Collection Explorer. If we do not collect this information, we will not be able to reply to your correspondence. Each time we contact you, you will be able to opt out of future communications. We will not disclose your personal information to anyone unless you consent, or we are required or authorised by law (including the Privacy Act 1988) to do so. The Museum’s privacy policy explains how you may access or seek correction of your personal information and how we will deal with privacy complaints.  Our privacy policy is available at

We take your privacy very seriously. If you have any questions about this please send an email to collectionsearch [at]