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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Barry Christophers collection(9)

    Stethoscope belonging to Dr Barry Christophers
    Prescription pad belonging to Dr Barry Christophers
    The day of the Hall Bubbler

    Glass syringe belonging to Dr Barry Christophers

    The Barry Christophers collection consists of a glass hypodermic syringe, stethoscope, prescription pad, photograph and five newspaper clippings. These personal items belonged to Barry Christophers and are in good condition.

    Trained as a medical doctor, from 1963 to 1973 Dr Barry Christophers (born 1922) was secretary of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI) Equal Wages Committee. During the 1940s Christophers had been a student of Frederick Wood Jones (1879-1954), a scientist with a humanitarian regard for Aboriginal Australians and later Professor of Anatomy at Melbourne University. Christophers' activism was inspired by reading Woods' article 'Claims of the Australian Aborigine'. Christophers led several FCAATSI campaigns to overturn discrimination towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, such as the withholding of wages and the exclusion of Aboriginal people from the tuberculosis allowance in Queensland. Christophers lifelong friendship and collaboration with Aboriginal activist Joe McGinness (1914 - 2003) was crucial in many of these campaigns. These medical instruments, a stethoscope, prescription pad and syringe, assist to elaborate on the intertwined themes of Christophers' medical education and its impact on his activism in campaigning for equal rights for all Australians. The newspaper clippings and photograph highlight the personal friendship between Barry Christophers and Joe McGinness that sustained their professional work.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Traffic Bridge, Sydney Road, Granville
    The Observatory, Sydney
    Queen Elizabeth Park, Mt Gambier, SA
  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Glass plate negative - Bumerangi, an old Arrernte woman, suffering from senility and blindness, Bloods Creek, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1920
    Glass plate negative - Sand deposited between kitchen and meat house during a single sandstorm, Miranda Station, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1919
    Glass plate negative - Fish-tail bark and dug-out canoes, Melville Island, Northern Territory, in the background, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1911
  • Canning Stock Route collection(124)

    'Tapu Country' by Jukuna Mona Chuguna, 2008
    'Kalyuyangku' by Richard Yukenbarri (Yugumbari), 2007
    'Mangarri' by Elizabeth Nyumi, 2007
    'Lake Disappointment' by Yanjimi Peter Rowlands, 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..

  • Charles Kingsford-Smith collection(1)

    Rectangular nine carat gold-plated metal cigarette case engraved with 'SMITHY OLD SON WE MADE IT. CHARLES'

    The item is a gold cigarette case that was a gift to Charles Kingsford Smith from Charles Thomas Phillippe Ulm. It is in fair condition with a well-worn patina and was seemingly given to the father of the vendor by Smithy. The case is inscribed "Smithy Old Son / We made it / Charles". According to the auctioneers, the gift marked the occasion of the successful inaugural flight across the Pacific Ocean in the three engine Fokker, the Southern Cross. The four man crew, including Americans Harry Lyon and Jim Warner, departed Oakland on 31 May and landed at Eagle Farm Aerodrome in Brisbane on 8 June 1928. Kingsford Smith was the main pilot and Ulm the co-pilot. The partnership between the two prospered for a number of years. They circumnavigated Australia in 1927 and survived a crash landing in the Kimberley in 1929 amid a controversy known as the Coffee Royale Affair. In the emergency two other fliers, Keith Anderson and Robert Hitchcock, attempted a rescue in the Kookaburra only to crash-land in the Tanami Desert where they perished. Later in 1929 Smithy and Ulm flew from Australia to England. The following year, 1930, Ulm was Kingsford Smith's Best Man at his wedding. Smithy and Ulm established Australian National Airlines in 1928. The friends fell-out in 1931 over the perceived lack of recognition for Ulm in Kingsford Smith's Autobiography. They never flew again together and Kingsford Smith may have given away the gift with the rift in the friendship. ANA folded in 1933. Ulm was lost with his crew in December 1934 flying between California and Hawaii. Kingsford Smith, distraught at the loss of his erstwhile friend, was himself lost without trace in 1935 off the coast of Burma.

    Kingsford Smith was Australia's pre-eminent pioneer aviator and with others in the heroic age of aviation was world-famous. In the late 1920s and 1930s Smithy was grouped with Bradman and PharLap as icons of the nation. The Southern Cross (housed at Brisbane Airport) remains a national symbol. The figure of Smithy is captured in contemporary press photographs, newsreel film and popular song. Ulm, while now less well known, was vital to Smithy's aviation success.

  • Australia Post Historical collection(120)

    New South Wales Postal Service red painted metal pillar box with an arched top
    Rectangular enamelled metal sign
    Poster titled 'Telephone services link together the people of all nations'
    Poster titled 'The Australian Post Office still pioneers new and dependable methods of communication'

    This collection consists of 87 items from the New South Wales historical section of Australia Post. The items range from furnishings that were used for the opening of the Sydney GPO in 1874 to telephones, signs, posters, and postal boxes. The material covers a period of over one hundred years of postal service in Australia.

  • David Westcott collection no. 6(22)

    Embroidered silk postcard from World War One
    Certificate for First Prize awarded to A M Gordon for cut and finish Ladys Costume
    Embroidered silk postcard from World War One

    The Bradman, World War One and agricultural collection (David Westcott) consists of five World War One silk postcards; six 19th century agricultural show prizes; eight "Japanese invasion money" notes from the Netherlands East Indies; one book on Donald Bradman (1948).

    With the separation caused by overseas service during World War One, postcards became an important way to reduce the pain of absence for those at the front and those at home. Silk postcards, initially hand-made in France but later mass produced, were a popular souvenir to send home. The Japanese Government authorised various printings of so-called "invasion money" to equate approximately with each occupied country's pre-war currency. After Japanese forces were defeated, the Allies destroyed all known "invasion money" issues, but many examples were souvenired by servicemen. The agricultural show certificates provide and important link into the agricultural economy of Federation-era Australia (in particularly the Victoria-New South Wales border). The book on Donald Bradman was written by journalist and selector AG Moyes. Moyes was a State selector who helped bring Bradman into top class cricket. He was clearly a great admirer of Bradman, as well as a friend. The book is an example of the development of the Bradman legend at a key moment in "The Don's" career.

  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Galanthus Nivalis
    Pencil sketch depicting a bridge and a lake, signed
    Pen sketch of a woman milking cows
    School report

    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.