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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Dr Alex Van der Leeden collection(14)

    Painting on masonite by Mindjugak,1965 - depicts eight groper fish.
    Painting on masonite by Madi, 1964 -  depicts five sharks
    Bark painting by Ginjuwai , 1964 - depicts two women on either side of white fire, surrounded by heaps of flour (red circles)
    Painting on masonite  by Gurangi, 1964 -  depicting six goannas.
  • Nettie McColive collection(189)


    Needlework has been an important creative outlet for women throughout Australian history. This work has often been denigrated due to the (gendered) divide between high and low culture which regards domestic work as trivial, feminine and unworthy of the title "Art". A reassessment of history informed by womens' history and feminism has led to domestic needlework being acknowledged as more than simply functional labour. The social role of this type of work is now better appreciated making it a vital aspect of domestic material culture.

    This collection consists of objects relating to the life of Minetta (Nettie) McColive (nee Huppatz). Mrs McColive's quilts form the centre piece of the collection. Three of these were made in the 1930's, the Farm Life Quilt, Wildflowers Quilt and the International Quilt. Also featured in the collection are certificates, photographs and d'oyleys. This collection helps to document issues such as women in rural Australia, quilting and needlework, education in the outback, community or commemorative quilting, shows and competitions.

    Mrs McColive's work has been the subject of considerable interest both in South Australia as well as in the general quilting community. Her work is featured in two books, Jennifer Isaac's The Gentle Arts and Margaret Rolfe's Patchwork Quilts in Australia. Her work has also featured in exhibitions such as the Quilt Australia '88 exhibition as well as an exhibition held in Prospect showcasing the work of local artists.

  • Robert Darby collection no. 2(3)

    Land Rights Not Uranium
    Ned Kelly kneeling talking to group
    Ned Kelly with group of children
  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Postcard depicting Miss Vera Pearce
    Postcard of Edward Henty
    Barren Jack, The Valve Pipes
    No.2 Ward. Dilke Hospital, Nr Cinderford
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Graham Henderson Florence Faithfull - Yorke Hazel'
    School report
    Lady Dilke (nee Pearl Faithfull) and a young boy standing in a garden
    Transport by the Camel in Australia

    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)

    Glass plate negative - Men catching a horse, Innamincka station, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1919
    Glass plate negative - The old battery,  Arltunga, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1923
    Film negative - Members of the Mackay Exploring Expedition, central Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1926
    Film negative - Red Lily Lagoon, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1928
  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from J.J. or T.T. 1832
    Convict love token from Joseph Hemming, 1833
    Convict love token captioned
    Convict love token to Sarah Wassell, 1841

    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 in the John Dixon case; a printed copy of George Skene's last speech prior to execution; a printed broadside of the names of prisoners in Dorchester jail awaiting transportation and a 60 page handwritten manuscript account of the life of Thomas Jones, who was transported on two occasions 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.

  • Ruby Lee collection(134)

    Handwritten poem by Keith Dodd
    Certificate of thanks to Ruby Lee for donating $1 to the Australian Olympic Team, 1984
    Handwritten poem
    Handwritten note about friendship