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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    The beautiful Blue Lake, Mt Gambier, SA
    Letter on brown paper with blue printing, addressed to Keith Mens from G. Douglas Brown, 4DB
    Bondi Baths, Sydney, NSW
    The Windsor, Spring Street, Melbourne, Vic
  • Timothy Millett collection(313)

    Convict love token engraved with initials S.P. and T.G., 1817
    Convict love token from John Woodfield, 1831
    Convict love token from George Paine, 1830
    Convict love token from Elizabeth Catchpole, 1830

    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 - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Photograph album
    Constance Faithfull
    A man and a woman on a park bench with a cow in the background.
    Two Christmas/NewYear greeting cards for 1917 with a verse written by Frances Lilian Anderson

    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.

  • Gweneth Meyers collection(424)

    Card with text
    The Kostules Rule
    Handwritten note regarding the fitting of new frames
    Handwritten letter to Arthur Cocks & Co Ltd, with stamps from W R Williams, Chemist, Manly

    The Gweneth Meyers collection consists of material from the radio communications interests of the donor's husband Morris Henry Meyers OBE, and optometrist equipment and a telescope used by Gweneth Meyers' grandfather, Llewellyn Preston Williams, a pharmacist who migrated to Australia from England in 1890. The collection includes a wireless transmitter and receiver used by Meyers in his ham radio work, QSL cards from his radio communications, and photographs of Meyers with the equipment.

    Interested in electronics and communications from an early age, Morris 'Morrie' Meyers was licenced as an amateur radio operator from the early 1930s. Meyers' skill and interests lead to his election to the Fine Operators Club and the AI Operators Club, and membership with the Institution of Radio and Electronics Engineers Australia and the Wireless Institute of Australia, in which he also served as president and executive member. He served with the RAAF Wireless Reserve, and was sent to Borneo, New Guinea and other sites in the Pacific region, being commissioned in 1941 and after rising to the rank of Wing Commander was awarded the Order of the British Empire. After the war, Meyers began a career with Qantas as Communications and Electronics Manager.

  • David Westcott collection no. 6(22)

    Second World War Prisoner of War Banknote
    Second World War Prisoner of War Banknote
    Embroidered silk postcard from World War One

    The Bradman, World War One and agricultural collection (David Westcott) consists of five World War One silk postcards; six 19th century agricultural show prizes; eight "Japanese invasion money" notes from the Netherlands East Indies; one book on Donald Bradman (1948).

    With the separation caused by overseas service during World War One, postcards became an important way to reduce the pain of absence for those at the front and those at home. Silk postcards, initially hand-made in France but later mass produced, were a popular souvenir to send home. The Japanese Government authorised various printings of so-called "invasion money" to equate approximately with each occupied country's pre-war currency. After Japanese forces were defeated, the Allies destroyed all known "invasion money" issues, but many examples were souvenired by servicemen. The agricultural show certificates provide and important link into the agricultural economy of Federation-era Australia (in particularly the Victoria-New South Wales border). The book on Donald Bradman was written by journalist and selector AG Moyes. Moyes was a State selector who helped bring Bradman into top class cricket. He was clearly a great admirer of Bradman, as well as a friend. The book is an example of the development of the Bradman legend at a key moment in "The Don's" career.

  • Warakurna Tjanpi collection no.2(5)

    Helicopter (Flat Chopper) by Polly Pawuya Jackson
    Yilkaringkatjanyayi Pitja (Has the Plane Come?) by Dianne Ungukalpi Golding
    Untitled basket by Nancy Nyanyarna Jackson
    Y'iwarra Kultu Warakurnala Kutu (The Road to Warakurna) by Jean Burke

    The Warakurna Tjanpi Collection No. 2 consists of five woven fibre art pieces produced by artists from the Warakurna Aboriginal community. The three individual works and two collaborative works were made by Dianne Ungukalpi Golding, Jean Burke, Polly Pawuya Jackson, Nancy Nyanyarna Jackson, Nora Holland and Eunice Yunurupa Porter during the period 2011 to 2012.

    These objects reflect the dynamism of the art movement in the Western Desert and are closely related to the narrative style paintings being produced at Warakurna. Like other Western Desert artworks and artefacts adapted for sale, woven fibre objects had their origins in traditional forms. A shift in recent years has seen artists produce woven sculptural objects which reference a range of historical and contemporary themes, in addition to the Tjukurrpa (creation) stories for which Western Desert artists are well-known.

  • Canning Stock Route collection(125)

    'Kinyu' by Eubena Nampitjin and Jane Gimme, 2007
    'Warla' by Billy Thomas, 2008
    'Wantili to Wuranu' by Lily Long and Sarah Brooks, 2007
    'Ngurti' by George Tuckerbox, 2007

    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..

  • Papuan Official collection(1043)

    Dance wand
    Canoe paddle
    Wooden shield
    Carved human figure