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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



  • Ben Chifley collection no. 3(76)

    Bereavement card, newspaper clippings and four telegrams
    Four letters of condolence to Mrs Clark and two photographs
    Six letters to Mrs Chifley
    Black bible associated with Ben Chifley

    The objects in the Ben Chifley Collection refer to the lives of Ben and Elizabeth Chifley, primarily from the Chifleys' days as Prime Minister and Prime Minister's wife, but stretching beyond Ben's death in 1951 until Elizabeth's death in 1962. Significant objects include a letter of condolence to Elizabeth Chifley from Elsie Curtin (former PM John Curtin's wife) on the death of Ben Chifley (above), photos of Chifley as a young boy and a bible on which Chifley was sworn in as minister in the short-lived Scullin government of 1931.

    Joseph Benedict Chifley was Australia's sixteenth Prime Minister, leading the Australian government between 1945 and 1949. This period was one of particular importance in Australian history, being the time during which many of the contours of post-War Australian social and economic development were established. Chifley also articulated the values of the reforming Labor Party in his "Light on the Hill" speech of 1949. However, the election of December that year saw the beginning of a drastic re-alignment of political allegiances in voting behaviour, leading to over twenty years of conservative dominance in Australian politics. An understanding of Ben Chifley, in both his private and public guises, illustrates much about this crucial era in post-War Australian history.

  • Bert Wright collection(7)

    Terry Bambling with 400 rabbit pairs at the Yelarbon Freezing Works, Queensland, about 1932
    Engine room and condensors at the Yelarbon Freezing Works, Queensland, 1926-1955
    Yelarbon Freezing Works, Queensland, about 1956
    Bert Wright and Bill Winterbottom with 600 rabbit pairs for the Yelarbon Freezing Works, Queensland
  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7550)

    A merry Christmas
    Bridge, Terry's Creek, Epping
    Washing day in camp
    Australia greets America
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3502)

    Envelope addressed to Miss Faithfull, October 1886
    The Tourist.
    Tirranna Committee about 1908

    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.

  • Dick Roughsey Rainbow Serpent collection(16)

    Painting no. 10, Rainbow Serpent story by Dick Roughsey - Goorialla swallows the Bil-bil brothers
    Painting no. 9, Rainbow Serpent story by Dick Roughsey - No-one has any room - the Rainbow lorikeet boys ask Goorialla for shelter
    Painting no. 12, Rainbow Serpent story by Dick Roughsey - The Tree-goanna brothers, the Wangoo, climbed after Goorialla
    Painting no. 4, Rainbow Serpent story by Dick Roughsey - Goorialla making Minalinka lagoon

    The Dick Roughsey Rainbow Serpent collection consists of 16 works produced for the children's book 'The Rainbow Serpent' (1975) by Lardil artist Dick Roughsey (Goobalathaldin).

    The rainbow serpent is an important ancestral being in Indigenous communities and emerged in ancestral stories and related manifestations for the first time some 3,000 to 6,000 years ago. 'The Rainbow Serpent' won a Children's Picture Book of the Year Award in 1976 and was one of seven successful children's books produced by Dick Roughsey in collaboration with his colleague and friend Percy Tresize.

  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Film negative - Moving horses across the crossing near Victoria River Downs station, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1922
    Glass plate negative - Frank Feast, wearing a World War I uniform, walking beside the expedition buggy, central Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1920
    Glass plate negative - Men and horses pulling the expedition car up a sandy stream bank, Victoria River district, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1922
    Film negative - The expedition camp, Oodnadatta, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1903
  • Aunty Tammy Tidmarsh collection(1)

    Pair of black, yellow and red bead earrings

    The collection consists of a pair of handmade beaded earrings. The beads are various sizes stringed together with a silver coloured metal hook at one end of each earing.

    Aunty Tammy Tidmarsh is a Wiradjuri elder, Brungle community leader, artist, storyteller and long-time community advocate for ?building youth education?. Aunty Tammy grew up in Brungle and moved to Blacktown, Sydney in the late seventies, where she began her 25 year career in Education. While working as a Student Councillor, at Evans State High School, Aunty Tammy started student craft workshops that included jewellery making. The workshops created a forum for Aunty Tammy to teach Aboriginal students about Wiradjuri history and culture. The classes were held as part of the ASSPA (Aboriginal Student Support and Parent Awareness) program intended to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students? participation in school.

  • Everitt and George Family collection(911)

    Photographic print depicting the toy theatre
    Photographic prints depicting the toy theatre
    Photographic print depicting Mr George with a toy theatre
    Photographic print depicting the toy theatre

    The Everitt and George Family collection consists of over 800 objects including a Toy Theatre with a 'Redington' proscenium and a second back stage, play booklets and associated scenery, photographs of the Toy Theatre, and documents and working notes related to the collection. The collection is in good condition.

    The Toy Theatre was invented in England around 1811, reflecting the popularity of pantomimes and plays performed in the leading theatres around London in the same period. They soon became a favourite pastime for teenage boys and adult collectors alike, with a long list of publishers producing a wealth of material. B Pollock was one of the most famous of these publishers and the earliest pieces in this collection have been attributed to Pollock. Though this was largely an English tradition the collection reflects the first owner Edward Everitt's heritage, who migrated to Australia in the 19th century bringing parts of the Toy Theatre with him.