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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Dr Karel Kupka collection(71)

    Painting depicts a mirror image of a partially submerged cave
    Bark painting 'Couple of Mimi Spirits' by Paddy Compass Namatbara, Croker Island, 1963
    Bark painting titled Snakes and Lizards by Mithinarri Gurruwiwi, Yirrkala, 1963
  • Timothy Millett collection(313)

    Convict love token from John Woodfield, 1831
    Convict love token captioned
    Convict love token from I.W.B., 1832
    Convict love token from W. Williams, 1832

    The Timothy Millett collection comprises 307 convict love tokens dating from 1762 to 1856, and seven contemporary documents relating to the criminal justice system including: recommendations to commute the death sentences of Hester Sampson and Thomas Hayes to life transportation; a calendar of prisoners awaiting trial in the goals of Durham, Newcastle and Northumberland; a request to the Middlesex assizes for rewards to be paid; a printed copy of George Skene's last speech prior to execution; a printed broadside listing prisoners in Dorchester jail awaiting transportation; and a 60 page handwritten account of the life of Thomas Jones, who was transported twice and finally hanged at Winchester Prison in 1856.

    Convict love tokens, typically made from smoothed-down coins and engraved or stippled with a message, derive from traditional sailors' farewells. The production of these 'leaden hearts' rose as criminal indictments increased in Britain, with the majority produced during the 1820s and 1830s. As mementos made by or for convicts facing transportation (or death) to leave behind for their loved ones, the tokens provide a poignant, personal insight into the transportation system.

  • Springfield Merino Stud collection(166)

    Two rams facing each other in front of a rail fence
    Certificate awarded at the Murrumbidgee Annual Show, 1887, First Prize
    Special Prize card awarded at the Murrumbidgee Annual Show, Wagga Wagga, 1887
  • Lisa Milner collection(2)

    Row of padded cinema seats
    Wooden cinema seats

    The Lisa Milner collection consists of a set of five wooden cinema seats and a set of three plush cinema seats, which were installed in the Ray-Mond Theatre, Bowraville NSW in 1940. The wooden seats were used by Aboriginal patrons and the plush seats were used by non-Aboriginal patrons from 1940 until the closure of the theatre in the late 1960s. After its closure the seats were removed and stored under the theatre.

    The seats represent the history of segregation in cinemas in Australian rural towns. At Bowraville, Aboriginal patrons were required to enter the theatre by a particular door, after the film had started, and sit on wooden seats, such as these, at the front of the theatre. Non-Aboriginal patrons sat in the back half of the theatre, on plush seats. Similar segregation occurred in many country cinemas at this time. These seats are also linked to the history of racial relations in a particular country town - Bowraville NSW. The theatre in Bowraville was one of the sites targeted by the 1965 'Freedom Ride', undertaken by Indigenous and non-Indigenous student activists. Bowraville was also one of the few places in Australia which voted 'No' in the 1967 Referendum. However these seats also connect with more recent reconcilation activities in Bowraville. In 2004, the Bowra Theatre re-opened with a smoking ceremony by the local Gumbangir people and a speech by Adam Perkins, the son of Charles Perkins - a prominent Indigenous participant in the 1965 Freedom Ride. The seats therefore represent not only a history of a community divided by racial tension, but a of community that has attempted to resolve that tension.

  • Department of Defence collection(118)

    John Poole Marine Chronometer No 2659, with accessories in a wooden case
    Pyott Marine Chronometer, in a wooden case
    Morris Tobias Marine Chronometer No 695, with accessories in a wooden case
    John Rodgers Marine Chronometer No 1/1853, with accessories in a wooden case
  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    Postcard featuring a comic pen and ink sketch of a soldier shaving in a trench while shells explode close by
    Princess Street, Edimbourg
    Government House, Sydney
    The Bondman - Fairbrother Farm Act II
  • Coles-Myer collection(23)

    Australian bicentennial commemorative medal depicting explorers Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson
    Australian bicentennial commemorative medal depicting Phar Lap

    Australian bicentennial commemorative medal depicting the Eureka Stockade

    Australian bicentennial commemorative medal depicting 'Australia II'

  • E Redlich collection(24)

    Price list from Hermannsburg Mission, 1961
    An undated invoice addressed to W Redlich