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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7550)

    Ferns, with a fence in the foreground.
    Boat travelling along a river bordered by farms
    Aboriginal in Devils Mask
    Group of Aboriginal men sitting and standing around a campfire, wearing European clothing.
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3502)

    Envelope addressed to Miss Faithfull Springfield Goulburn containing a card
    Envelope addressed to P Faithfull, Springfield, Goulburn
    Print - Repose in the Mail
    Extract from Mr Charles Matcham's letters to a relative in England 1834

    The Springfield Collection comprises about 1550 artefacts from Springfield station, south of Goulburn. It includes colonial era costume, a bushranger medal, surveying instruments, a late-19th century landau, firearms and edged weapons, wool samples and Joseph Foveaux's pocket watch and bible. The objects are complemented by over 400 photographs. This diverse collection reflects the growth and economic success of the property, responses to changes in the wool market and the daily lives of the people who have lived on Springfield.

    Springfield has grown from a 518-hectare land grant given to William Pitt Faithfull in 1828 to the current 3183 hectares with ownership remaining in the one family. William Pitt Faithfull established the Springfield Merino Stud in 1838 with ten rams selected from the Macarthur Camden Park stud. The stud evolved slowly over the years until the early 1950s when, under the management of Jim Maple-Brown, a scientific approach to wool-growing was adopted and the stud's name was changed to Fonthill to reflect this.

  • Sotheby's collection no. 1(6)

    Convict's parti-coloured black and yellow woollen work jacket, from Campbell Street Goal, Hobart, late 1850s
    Prison door lock
    Prison door lock
    Manacles from Campbell Street Gaol, Hobart

    The Sotheby's Collection: Convict and Gaol Memorabilia, Van Diemen's Land consists of textiles, documents, photographs and objects from Campbell Street Goal, Hobart, and relate to the Imperial convict and colonial and state penal system from 1837 to 1960.

    The features of the collection are a convict, black and yellow ' chain gang' jacket, leather convict side cap, a pair ofleg irons, a pair of screw lock handcuffs, a black rubber truncheon c1940, as well as 19th century booklets and documents from the gaol.

    The experiences of the transported Imperial convicts are part of our history and our folklore, but real objects that allow us an insight into the day-to-day lives of the Imperial convicts transported to the Australian colonies are extremely rare. Very few known examples of Imperial convict clothing and head dress exist and even the much more robust items like shackles and leg irons are scarce . The significance of this collection, therefore cannot be understated.

  • Canning Stock Route collection(125)

    Fibre basket by Rosie Williams, 2008
    Fibre basket by Rosie Williams, 2008
    'Kumpupirntily Cannibal Story' by Billy Atkins, 2008
    'Puntawarri, Jilakurru and Kumpupirntily' by Dadda Samson and Judith Samson, 2008

    The Canning Stock Route collection is comprised of 125 works and includes paintings, drawings, baskets, boomerangs, coolamons, headdresses, carved figures and shields.

    The Canning Stock Route is a no-longer-used cattle droving route that traverses the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts of central Western Australia. Comprised of 48 wells along an 1800 kilometres stretch of track, the route links Wiluna in the south with Sturt Creek in the north and traverses the traditional lands of nine Aboriginal language groups. The route was founded in 1905 when Alfred Canning was commissioned to investigate a route suitable for the droving of 500 head of cattle, with water sources spaced at intervals of no more than one day's walk apart. Although Canning's map records observations of the land and water resources, it makes no mention of Indigenous places and their associated meanings which the route traversed. This collection, composed of 'painting stories', sculptural works and oral histories, re-dresses Canning's omission and records the impact of the stock route on Indigenous lives and country. A six week journey with traditional owners held in July and August of 2007 inspired the artworks, many of which were produced during the journey, and provided an opportunity for more than 70 senior and emerging artists to reconnect with traditional lands..

  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(975)

    Spearthrower made by Erlikilyika (Jim Kite) and collected by Herbert Basedow in 1913
    Film negative - Mustering yards, Oenpelli, Northern Territory,  photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1928
    Glass plate negative - Deception Creek, Red Gorge, Flinders Ranges, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, between 1905 and 1914
    Glass plate negative - Ploughing with camels, Fowlers Bay station north of the Great Australian Bight, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1920
  • Aboriginal Arts Board collection no. 2(4598)

    Child's drawing
    Painting depicts two fish side by side & alimentary tract
    Child's drawing
  • Dr Helen M Wurm collection no. 6(44)

    The Story of Neminyaniawja The Long  Arm Man.
    The crab
  • Tayenebe collection(33)

    Artist's journal of Tayenebe project, created by Vicki West
    String bag made from unknown fibre, by Verna Nicholls
    'Parrot basket' made from white flag iris fibre and rosella feathers, by Patsy Cameron
    Open weave basket made from white flag iris, by Zoe Rimmer

    The Tayenebe collection of Tasmanian Aboriginal women's fibre work consists of twenty nine containers - baskets made from fibre and water carriers made from kelp. It also includes three woven fibre specimens and an artist's journal documenting the Tayenebe weaving project that took place from 2006 to 2009.

    Eighteen Tasmanian Aboriginal women and girls who took part in the Tayenebe weaving project are represented in the collection, with examples from up to four generations of the same family. The project, both provided creative and professional opportunities for Tasmanian Aboriginal women and was a journey of discovery for them. They analysed the historical baskets held in Tasmanian museums and galleries, learning from these and from each other, about how to reproduce fibre techniques employed by their ancestors. The Tayenebe project provided a structure of collaborative workshops where women from all parts of the state and from a variety of families met at seven locations to attend workshops and to examine the fibre resources of the area. The baskets, containers, string samples and the journal were begun at these workshops and continued at home.