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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Bairnsdale district hospital, Bairnsdale, Vic
    Australian porcupine [echidna]
    Robbery Under Arms, No. 4
    Mt Kosciusko
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Light fawn felt high-crowned top hat
    Pencil sketch depicting two sheep
    Handwritten note of sections of the bible
    Pencil sketch depicting the ruins of a church

    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.

  • Springfield Merino Stud collection(166)

    The Springfield Stud Goulburn. New South Wales
    Certificate awarded at the Murrumbidgee Annual Show, 1884, Second Prize.
    Hon. Certificate awarded at the Murrumbidgee Annual Show, Wagga Wagga, 1887
    Special Prize card awarded at the Murrumbidgee Annual Show, Wagga Wagga, 1887
  • King Nobby of Widgee Widgee collection(1)

    King Nobby of Widgee Widgee

    This collection consists of a crescentric brass breastplate with the inscription 'WIDGEE / KING NOBBY / WIDGEE' and a regardant kangaroo and emu. The breastplate was preserved by James John Goode Caulfield, who was the head stockman on Widgee Widgee Station, west of Gympie.

    Widgee Widgee was one of the first and largest pastoral properties to be established along the Mary River. Settled in 1849 the station was a site of conflict between settlers and the Gubbi Gubbi people throughout the 1850s and into the 1860s. It is unknown who 'Nobby' was, but it is likely that he was a Gubbi Gubbi man employed on the station as a stockman. Breastplates are a tangible record of relationships between individual settlers and Aboriginal people around mainland Australia. They were frequently presented to recognise the 'Chief' or 'King' of a 'tribe', which was often an attempt to aid peaceable settlement. They also often recognise service, such as on a pastoral property. The National Museum holds the largest collection of breastplates in the world, most of which are the only known record of the life of the recipient.

  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Film negative - To keep flies away an old man fans himself with a immejet (fan), Liverpool River, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1928
    Glass plate negative - An episode in the great fire ceremony, Forrest River mission, Western Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1916
    Film negative - Entrance to Wangalinnya caves, Limestone caves in the Napier Range, Western Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1916
    Lantern slide - Herbert Basedow interviewing Danbidelli (Jim Mariner), photographer unknown, Innamincka, South Australia, 1919
  • J Davidson collection no. 3(319)

    Bark painting 'Water lily bulbs' by Mithinarri Gurruwiwi, Yirrkala, 1965
    Painting depicts humped rocks, a snake and three human figures
    Bark painting 'Totems of the Manarrngu Mortuary Rites' by David Malangi, Milingimbi, 1966
    Painting depicts four frogs
  • Aboriginal Arts Board collection no. 2(561)

    Goanna droppings by Shorty Lungkata, 1981
    'Trial by Fire', painted by Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri, 1975
    Bark painting 'Three Rainbow Serpents' by Fred Didjbaralkka Narroldol
  • Donovan Family collection(5)

    Telegram addressed to Lieutenant Commodore J Donovan regarding the birth of his son, 1942
    Sterling silver cigarette box presented to Lieutenant Commander Jack Donovan, RAN
    Bassinette and stand
    St. Andrew's Church Wahroonga Parish News

    The Donovan Collection No. 2 comprises a silver cigarette box, bassinette, telegram and parish newsletter. The cigarette box was a gift for the donor's parents, Lieutenant Commander Jack Donovan and Dr Ella Donovan on the occasion of their wedding in 1941. The bassinette, telegram and parish newsletter relate to the birth of their first son John in 1942. The National Museum of Australia already holds Mrs Donovan's wedding dress which was donated in 1990.

    The set of items on offer relate the experiences of one family during the Second World War: to wider issues surrounding war-time marriage, population growth, infant welfare groups and rationing. Jack and Ella married in 1941, and their first child John was born in February 1942, in the period before war time rationing was enforced in Australia. During the war, the birth rate in Australia rose significantly encouraged by policies of population growth, Ella's experiences of motherhood would have been inflected by her own medical training as an obstetrician and gynaecologist and by a wider social emphasis on mothercraft and child welfare.