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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    Once on a huge Dragon-Fly
    Village Fountain, Port Sunlight
    Aboriginally Yours, Go-won-go Mohawk
    Manual work public school, Colo Vale, 1911
  • Canning Stock Route collection(125)

    Fibre basket by Rosie Williams, 2008
    'Kaningarra' by Manmarr Daisy Andrews, 2007
    'Kalyuyangku' by Richard Yukenbarri (Yugumbari), 2007
    'Mungily' by Veronica Lulu, 2008

    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..

  • American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land (AASEAL) collection(218)

    Cylindrical basket
    Childbirth Scene, work on paper, Yirrkala, 1948
    South East Wind and Hammer-headed Shark
    Message stick
  • Diana Boyer collection(137)

    'Time Change'
    'CROPPING Bobbara' postcard pack, by Diana Boyer
    'Time Change'
    'Time Change'

    The Diana Boyer collection comprises artworks, annotated sketches and other recordings of life on 'Bobbara Creek', a rural property in the Binalong district of southern NSW, between 1981 and 2007. There are twenty eight items and groups of items in the collection. All are in good condition.

    This collection records the imaginative and emotional processes by which Diana Boyer, a migrant from Argentina, settled in an Australian place. The artworks, sketchbooks and other items show Diana's engagement with the ecological particularities of the Binalong district, and with significant issues arising from the social and economic dynamics of colonial history and the present. The items record Diana's exploration of a range of topics related to her life and work on 'Bobbara Creek', including Aboriginal dispossession, the representation of rural women, the value of biological diversity, the broader implications of introducing genetically modified canola to Australia, and the possible consequences of global warming for Australian agriculture.

  • Horne-Bowie collection(720)

    Glass spearhead
    Glass spearhead
    Glass spearhead
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Mounted copy of William Pitt Faithfull and Mary Deane's marriage certificate
    Mustard-coloured leather wedge-shaped case for spectacles
    Lilian Hazel Faithfull on her wedding day to Henry Yorke Graham Henderson on 11 July 1922
    Kaffir Beauty - depicts an African mother and child

    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.

  • Healesville Travel Poster collection(1)

    The Animals that Noah Forgot...

    The Healesville Travel Poster Collection comprises of a poster published by Victoria Railways. It is an advertisement for the Sir Colin MacKenzie Sanctuary at Healesville, and reads, "The Animals Noah forgot, including the Platypuses which are fed at three-thirty, are at The Sir Colin MacKenzie Sanctuary, HEALESVILLE, to which you, Go By Train, and Local Bus".

    The sanctuary was initially established by Sir Colin MacKenzie as the Institute of Anatomical Research in 1920, and was the site upon which MacKenzie bred many of the native animals which he dissected for anatomical study. In 1923 he offered the assorted wet specimens to the nation, which in 1924 became the founding collection of the National Museum of Australian Zoology. This institution was renamed the Australian Institute of Anatomy in 1931. In 1985 the Institute closed and its collection, including the original Mackenzie specimens, became the founding collection of the National Museum of Australia. The Sanctuary meanwhile passed to the Healesville Council in 1927. It opened as the Sir Colin MacKenzie Sanctuary in 1934, and is known for having the first platypus successfully bred in captivity (born in 1943).

  • Banks Florilegium collection(2476)

    Cochlospermum gillivraei
    Xanthorrhoea resinosa supsp. Resinosa
    Tetragonia trigyna Tetragoniaceae
    Banksia serrata

    The Banks' Florilegium was published by Alecto Historical Editions (London) in association with the British Museum (Natural History) between 1980 and 1990. Each of the 100 sets that comprise the edition consists of seven hundred and forty three botanical line engravings, after the watercolours drawn from nature by Sydney Parkinson recording the plants collected by Joseph Banks and Dr Daniel Carl Solander during their voyage round the world on HMB 'Endeavour' with Lieutenant James Cook, 1768-1771. Each set is divided into 35 parts and housed in Solander Boxes. Each print or sheet within the set is identified by a blind embossed stamp on the recto, recording the publisher's and printer's chops (ie: their signatures), the copyright symbol and date. The initials of the individual printer, the plate number and the edition number are recorded in pencil. The plate-marks are virtually uniform in size: 18 x 12 inches (457 x 305 mm), and the paper is Somerset mould-made 300gsm, each sheet watermarked 'AHE' and produced specially for this edition by the Inveresk Paper Company. The sheet of paper on which the image is printed measures 28 �½ x 21 inches (724 x 556 mm), and each of the engravings is protected within a double-fold sheet of the same acid free paper which has been cut to form a window mount. Every print includes watercolour embellishments added by artists working directly from Banks' own notes. The condition of the Museum's set, No 5/100, is excellent.

    The Banks' Florilegium records and celebrates the botanical discoveries made during the first voyage of scientific discovery undertaken by Britain's Royal Navy. In addition to the vast collections of botanical and zoological specimens created, astronomical observations made and accurate maps compiled during HMB Endeavour's voyage to the Pacific, the east coast of Australia was mapped and claimed for the British Crown, leading 18 years later to the establishment of a colony in New South Wales. Joseph Banks, who financed and led the natural history contingent onboard the Endeavour, planned to publish the botanical results of the voyage in a 14 volume folio work. He hired artists to complete Sydney Parkinson's drawings and engaged a team of 18 engravers to create the copperplates. The project took 12 years and was then put aside by Banks who was by now President of the Royal Society and closely involved with the Royal Horticultural Society, Kew Gardens, the British Museum and was a friend of and unofficial advisor to the King. Sir Joseph, as he became in 1781, would go on to serve as a member of the Board of Longitude, the Coin Committe and the Privy Council's Committee for Trade, and Plantations, and his wealth, social position and extraordinary range of contacts within the political, scientific, manufacturing and diplomatic spheres made him one of the most influential figures of his day. Although the Florilegium was not published during his lifetime, he took steps for its preservation and made the drawings, notes and specimens upon which it is based available to interested visitors to the Herbarium he maintained at his home.