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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Kaffir Beauty - epicts an African mother and child
    Pencil sketch depicting Little Bo Peep
    A terrier with ribbon collar, sitting on a cushion

    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.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Good-bye to Potty
    Postcard featuring a coloured illustration of an angel holding a white dove
    Lady Martin Beach, Double Bay, NSW
    Commercial Street looking west, Mt Gambier, SA
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art (ATSIAA) collection(2104)

    Osmund Creek, Texas Downs
    Barama by Waturr Gumana,
    Manytjimi Berries, a dot painting depicting three cross shapes
    Malo-Bomai by Noel Zaro, 1999

    The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art collection comprises 2050 artworks and other objects. The artworks - which numerically dominate the collection - were produced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Australia. The accumulation of these artworks into a single collection has resulted from the choices and selections made during a 38 year period by a variety of staff working for the Council for Aboriginal Affairs (CAA), the Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA), the Aboriginal Development Commission (ADC) and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) at the national, regional and local levels.

    The collection spans the years following the 1967 referendum, when dramatic changes in the governance of Aboriginal people took place, up to 2005 when the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission was dissolved. It provides a snapshot of the diversity and changes in Indigenous art and its representation which occurred during the period of its formation. The small number of 'non-art' objects in the collection is also significant in providing insights into the working of the various Commonwealth bodies involved in Indigenous affairs. As well as the significance of many of the individual pieces, the collection is also significant as a whole, as a complex artefact stemming from Australia's history of governance of Australian Indigenous peoples.

  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from Issac Farrow, 1841
    Convict love token from I.B., 1843
    Convict love token from S. P[almer?], 1841
    Convict love token from A.B.

    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.

  • Neville Locker collection(29)

    Bullion box with waterproof cover
    Police baton
    British Pattern 1842 .75 smooth bore percussion musket used by the 12th Foot (East Suffolk Regiment) with bayonet
    Lithographic print titled Lieut. King, depicting Philip Gidley King

    This collection comprises objects relating to the colonial period of Australian history, particularly the convict era, the gold rush, and nineteenth-century policing. They include a record of punishments meted out to the inmates of the Point Puer Boys' Prison, the Empire's first juvenile detention centre; a waistcoat worn by a convict assigned to work at a Hobart inn; a bullion box used to transport gold from the diggings to the Sydney Mint; a musket belonging to a soldier of a regiment deployed to quell miners at the Eureka Stockade and Lambing Flat riots; and a spring gun of the kind used to kill thylacines (Tasmanian tigers).

    These and the other objects in this collection help to tell stories of the development of wider colonial and post-colonial Australian society, including the emergence of Australia's financial sector, transport networks, representational structures and police services. The convict-era objects also help chart how successive systems of discipline, influenced by the latest concepts in penal reform, transformed the convict experience over the years. The collection documents the changing way in which Australians and others regard this nation's convict heritage, and how this heritage has been represented in museums and the media. It also demonstrates the often misguided approaches used by settlers to manage Australia's natural heritage.

  • Snowy Scheme Tunnelling Medal collection(1)

    World Tunnel Record Holder medallion awarded to A S Novikov 1956

    The Snowy Scheme Tunnelling Medal collection consists of a medal awarded to Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme worker A.S.Novikov in 1956.

    World tunnelling records were repeatedly made and broken during construction of the Snowy Scheme, particularly in the Eucumbene-Tumut tunnel. Medals were one reward offered by companies whose workers set new records. This medal, given by the American consortium Kaiser-Walsh-Perini-Raymond when a tunnelling team made 474 feet in a week, reflects the engineering advances made during construction of the Scheme and the competitive nature of work on the Scheme. Australia's industrial, technical and engineering capacities were greatly enhanced by the Snowy. Further, the Scheme played a major role in the development of a multi-cultural Australia. Mr Novikov was one of the tens of thousands of overseas workers - people particularly from war-torn Europe - who made a new life for themselves in Australia and helped make the Snowy the world-renowned success it was.

  • Elsie Gare collection no. 1(156)

    Anti-Warism at a University: suggestions for Change

    'Note to Sisters and Friends on Women's Liberation and Fighting Imperialism', a paper presente...

    Racism and the anti-war movement

    Guns, Butler and the Christian Failure

  • Jean Galbraith collection(37)

    Victorian ferns
    Contributions to Australian Orchidology
    Excursion to the National Park, Wilson's Promontory

    Handmade toasting fork