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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



  • Betty Hall collection(58)

    Invitation 'To have the honour of meeting Her Excellency, the Viscountess Galway...', 1938
    Letter to The Manager, Parliament House Dining Room, Canberra, ACT, from H Grattan Guinness, Managing Editor, 20th Century Fox Movietone News
    Menu for a Luncheon on the 7th of July 1942 at Parliament House Canberra
    Menu for a luncheon on the 22nd August 1945 at Parliament House, Canberra

    The Betty Hall Collection represents a unique collection of material relating to the history of the Parliamentary Dining Rooms in the Provisional Parliament House.

    This collection was put together by Mr H L Napthali who worked as the Chief Steward in the Parliamentary Refreshment Rooms from 1939 - 1945. He moved to Canberra in 1939 after having worked in the NSW Parliamentary Refreshment Rooms. While at Provisional Parliament House Mr Napthali supervised a staff of fifty people and was responsible for purchasing as well as servicing the various bars and dining rooms within the House. He was also responsible for organising special dinners for commemorative occasions and for overseas visitors. Mr Napthali accumulated material relating to the history of the Federal Parliament both when worked in the NSW Parliament and in the Federal Parliament.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    Oval, Manly, near Sydney
    A Wrecked Cottage. North Sydney Tornado'
    White Horse Point & Drummoyne from Balmain
    Adelaide from the hill
  • Enid Treadgold collection(375)

    Diary of the voyage of SS Ormonde, Orient Line, from Australia to England, during March and April 1928
    Envelope for letter from 'Nephew & Cousin George' to 'Aunty, Uncle & Enid'
    Offer of Engagement for Enid Glover to play the piano accordion on an Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) programme, Monday 24th August, 1953
    Photograph - Sesquicentenary parade, Sydney, 1938.
  • Professor Peter Spearritt collection no. 2(185)

    The Princess of Wales Fashion Handbook
    Opening of Parliament by Her Majesty The Queen in the Legislative Council Chamber, Adelaide, on Tuesday 23 March 1954
    Ayers Rock bread
    The Royal Family Pop-Up Book

    The Professor Peter Spearritt collection No. 2 is divided into four categories; British Royal Family memorabilia, Australian Republic Movement material, T-shirts with Indigenous motifs and anti-logging material. The British Royal Family memorabilia category predominantly relates to Queen Elizabeth II's 1954 tour of Australia. The items were specifically collected by the vendor for the 1993 exhibition entitled Australians and the Monarchy. The Australian Republic Movement material was also featured in this exhibition. The Indigenous motifs T-shirts and the anti-logging material were collected for the 1992 exhibition Lie of the Land. Both exhibitions were jointly created by the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney and the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash University. Professor Spearritt was the head curator of both exhibitions.

  • Captain Cook Plane Table Frame collection(3)

    Exhibition loan receipt for Captain Cook's Chart Rule, 1905
    Plane table frame used by Captain James Cook
    Letter of thanks from London Exhibitions Ltd, 1905

    The Captain Cook Plane Table Frame Collection consists of a boxwood surveyor's plane table frame and a letter and receipt relating to the frame's display at the 1905 London Naval, Shipping and Fisheries exhibition. The plane table frame and associated documentation are good condition.

    Captain Cook's voyages of discovery between 1768 and 1780 produced accurate maps, extensive collections of natural history specimens and ethnographic objects, and advances in navigation which revolutionised European understanding of the Pacific, and led to British colonisation of Australia and New Zealand. The plane table frame is believed to have been used by Cook on these voyages to map of the coasts of New Zealand, the east coast of Australia, and a number of other Pacific islands and their anchorages. The frame's associated documentation also attests to the passion for Cook relics which begins with the sale of his effects before HMS 'Resolution's' mast in 1779 and continues to the present day.

  • George W Barber collection(47)

    Discussion poster No.20 - Fuel and Power plans - October 18, 1948'
    Discussion Poster No.49, Choosing her Job, 28 November 1949
    Discussion poster No.61 - Can we develop our empty north? - May 15, 1950
    Discussion Poster No.42 - Trusteeship, UN stands guard over the rights of primitive people - August 22, 1949

    This collection consists of forty-six colour paper wall posters and one A5 paperback booklet, 'This Changing World: An Atlas of Current Events - No. 1: The Pacific', issued by the Commonwealth Office of Education between 1948 and 1950. The heavily-illustrated posters present simplified viewpoints about world and national events and were designed for group discussion in schools, adult education organisations, community organisations and private enterprise. The booklet is a ready reference to post-war social, political, economic and geographic data on nations in the Asia-Pacific region and Antarctica. The objects were salvaged from the Maryborough Technical School, Victoria, which provided classes for ex-service personnel under the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme (1944-1950) as well as general vocational training.

    The Commonwealth Office of Education was created in 1945 under the Chifley Government as an agency of the Department of Post-War Reconstruction. The posters and booklet provide insight into a society undergoing profound change and embody official efforts to explain Australians' socio-economic and political position. Imaging an increasingly independent Australia forging a new role in the global and regional community, the collection documents the nation's industrial expansion and social restructuring at a time of full employment, a booming population and an increasingly sophisticated urban society. It also represents the Chifley Government's drive to stimulate post-war intellectual life and to reassert the concepts of democracy, egalitarianism and social justice. The posters additionally demonstrate contemporary ideas and techniques in pedagogy and graphic design.

  • E Milne collection(652)

    Top grinding stone [stone implement]
    Aboriginal breastplate for 'King John Cry, Chief of the Duedolgong Tribe, Argyle'
    Aboriginal breastplate for Sawyer, King of Wickham Hill
    Aboriginal breastplate for Jemmy, King of Bolara Maneroo
  • Springfield Merino Stud collection(166)

    Second prize card awarded at the Yass Spring Show, 1906
    Yass Spring Show, 1906, Second Prize
    Certificate awarded at the Murrumbidgee Annual Show, 1890, Hon.