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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Post and Telegraph Office in Cumnock, N.S.W
    Clifton Gardens, Sydney NSW
    CANBERRA Sing the Old Hundredth Hymn 12.3.13 H&S
    QSL card for VK6 - MW
  • John and Jan Wilson collection(1)

    Souvenir mug - Australia a nation, May 1927, To commemorate the opening of the Federal Parliament House Canberra

    John and Jan Wilson Collection - Souvenir Cup and Saucer of the Opening of Parliament House in 1927

    The Wilson collection consists of a cup produced by John Aynsley & Sons, England, as a souvenir of the opening of Parliament House, Canberra in 1927.The cup features two transfer images: a kangaroo surrounded by the Union Jack and Australian flag on one side with an image of Parliament House on the other. The text printed on the cup indicates it was made for the opening of Parliament House in May 1927.

    The 9 May 1927 marked the opening of the Provisional Parliament. Provisional Parliament House, or Old Parliament House as it is known today, was to remain the seat of government until 1988. The cup is a good example of the types of souvenirs produced for the 1927opening. They cup specifically mentions the Duke and Duchess of York, reflecting the prominent role played by the Royals in the opening.

  • Canning Stock Route collection(124)

    Fibre basket by Janice Nixon, 2008
    Fibre basket by Rosie Williams, 2008
    'Ngapawarla Jila' by Nyuju Stumpy Brown, 2007
    'Kartamarti' by Jukuja Dolly Snell, 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..

  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    The Tourist.
    Pencil sketch depicting two sheep
    Early farm buildings including the mill at Springfield
    Unfinished pencil sketch

    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.

  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Film negative - Bert Oliffe and pack-camel, central Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1926
    Glass plate negative - Rock engravings, Deception Creek, Red Gorge, Flinders Ranges, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, between 1905 and 1914
    Film negative - Aboriginal children bathing, Sunday Island, Western Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1916
    Glass plate negative - Man stalking  kangaroo, central Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1920
  • Thelma Jean Smith collection(1)

    Rabbit skin rug

    The Thelma Jean Smith Collection consists of a rug made from pelts of the European Rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus. The patchwork rug comprises 40 full and 8 part pelts collected about 1946 near Coolamon, 41kms from Wagga Wagga, NSW. The rug is backed by doubled green felt with a scalloped edge and is in very good condition.

    Introduction of the rabbit to Australia ranks as one of the most significant human interventions in this country's environmental history. Yet while the species has caused ecological and agricultural devastation, it has also secured a central place in the country's collective memory. Indigenous and non-Indigenous people have hunted rabbits for meat and hides, especially in times of hardship and distress. Rabbit skins have been used for felt-making, and in patchwork quilts and coats. Frequently, small rural businesses such as tanneries and furriers have relied on the relative abundance of rabbits to sustain production. The rug in this collection is an excellent example of the way in which rabbits have been valued and incorporated into the national story.

  • Aboriginal Arts Board collection no. 2(561)

    Goanna droppings by Shorty Lungkata, 1981
    Bark painting 'Female spirit figure'
    ' Kampurrarrpa', painted by Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula, 1975
    Bark painting 'Two Hunters' by John Namerredje Guymala, Gunbalanya, 1974
  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from John Giddens
    Convict love token from J.B.H.
    Convict love token from J. Stoneham, 1823
    Convict love token from R. James, Nottingham, 1790

    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.