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National Museum of Australia

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Collection Explorer



  • Ben Chifley collection no.3(3)

    Bathurst City Croquet Club
    Bathurst District R.S.L. Band
    New South Wales Ambulance Transport Service Bathurst District

    The objects in the Ben Chifley Collection refer to the lives of Ben and Elizabeth Chifley, primarily from the Chifleys' days as Prime Minister and Prime Minister's wife, but stretching beyond Ben's death in 1951 until Elizabeth's death in 1962. Significant objects include a letter of condolence to Elizabeth Chifley from Elsie Curtin (former PM John Curtin's wife) on the death of Ben Chifley (above), photos of Chifley as a young boy and a bible on which Chifley was sworn in as minister in the short-lived Scullin government of 1931.

    Joseph Benedict Chifley was Australia's sixteenth Prime Minister, leading the Australian government between 1945 and 1949. This period was one of particular importance in Australian history, being the time during which many of the contours of post-War Australian social and economic development were established. Chifley also articulated the values of the reforming Labor Party in his "Light on the Hill" speech of 1949. However, the election of December that year saw the beginning of a drastic re-alignment of political allegiances in voting behaviour, leading to over twenty years of conservative dominance in Australian politics. An understanding of Ben Chifley, in both his private and public guises, illustrates much about this crucial era in post-War Australian history.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    Australian National Band (World Tour) Concert Position
    Bondi Beach, NSW
    Ernest Bosch, consulting optician
    The hospital buildings, Melbourne, Vic
  • ET Fealy collection(252)

    Breadcarters Award (Northumberland), 12 November 1943
    National Security (Man Power) Regulations 1943
    Letter that deals with the sale of the Fealy business to Fielder's Bakery, 1968
    Box for Padlock Brand-reliable, Australian ADFA Dried Fruits, The Mildura Co-op. Fruit..
  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Glass plate negative - Women's camp fight, photographed by Herbert Basedow
    Glass plate negative - Expedition party crossing a clay flat, north-west of Gill's Bluff, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1919
    Glass plate negative - Balami and his wife Indamun, Western Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1916
    Glass plate negative - Branding horses in stockyard, Innamincka station, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1919
  • Elizabeth Kay collection no. 2(19)

    Supper card for the 1934 State Ball at Old Parliament House
    Dance card from the Eighth Annual Ball of the Commonwealth Forestry Bureau, 1934
    Sepia photograph the Coolgardie Farm and Dairy Produce Action Auction Mart
    Photograph of Harry Hawker and his Sopwith aircraft at Caulfield Racecourse 1914

    The Elizabeth Kay Collection consists primarily of early Canberra tourist ephemera, dance cards and invitations for Canberra events during the 1930s, and a variety of other items dating from the 1920s and 1930s related to aviation, Boy Scouts, Commonwealth Railways and anthropological research. The material relates to Kay, her family and their interests.

    Mrs Kay (nee Moss) moved to Canberra in 1926, after completing her education in Melbourne, joining her father Mr HP Moss who had been working in the position of Chief Electrical Engineer in Canberra since 1912. The objects relating to aviation, the Commonwealth Railways and anthropological research came into Mrs Kay's possession through her father, who collected Aboriginal artefacts from a number of sites in the Canberra area. A program from the 1934 Australian Scout Jamboree Sunday service was given to Kay's brother, John Maxwell Moss, who attended the event. Kay's aunt, Hilda Maxwell (later Lyall) and eldest brother, James Maxwell Moss, are pirctured among the crowd watching Harry Hawker flying over Caulfield Racecourse in 1914. The invitations and dance cards for balls held at Old Parliament House and at the Forestry Commission during 1933, 1934 and 1936, relate directly to Mrs Kay and her husband, Cecil Kay, dating from before their marriage with 'Miss Elizabeth Moss' favoured for numerous dances on Mr Kay's dance cards. The Canberra tourist ephemera belonged to Cecil Kay and were likely purchased in 1932. The open letter written to Prince Edward of Wales on his Royal Tour in 1920 expressing the importance of patriotism towards the British Empire was given to Mrs Kay at her primary school in Melbourne.

  • E Milne collection(652)

    Kimberley point
    Aboriginal breastplate for 'King John Cry, Chief of the Duedolgong Tribe, Argyle'
    Top grinding stone [stone implement]
  • Convict Love Token collection no. 1(3)

    Convict love token for James Godfrey
    Convict love token for Thomas Lock
    Convict love token for Abraham Lawley

    This collection is comprised of three convict love tokens, made from stiple-engraved, shaved down 1797 pennies: The first (circa 1830) has the words "Thomas/Lock/aged 22/Transptd/10 Years" on the front and "When/ This You/ See/ Remember/ Me When/ Far/ From The(e)" on the reverse. The second, has the words "James/Godfrey/ Hannah/ Jones, T.Boulton, S.Stevens" on the front and "When in/ Captivity/ Time/Goeth/ Very Slow But/ Free As Air/ to roan now/ Quick the/ time/Doth/ Go" on the reverse.. The final token is engraved with "A/L A/P" either side of a balloon and on the reverse "Abraham Law/ In Y 20. Transporte/d Agakeep/ Ann Pemb/uttom 1828".

    Convict love tokens, typically made of smoothed down coins and engraved or stippled with a message, provide a poignant, personal insight into the transportation system, as well as its transnational character. Also known as 'leaden hearts', the tokens stem from traditional sailors' farewells. Convict tokens were made for the whole of the Transportation period in New South Wales and Tasmania, with the majority produced during the 1820s and 1830s. As objects purposely made by or for convicts to give as mementoes, to be left behind when the prisoner was transported, the tokens are a unique part of the record of a convict's transportation experience.

  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Handmade greeting card
    Embroidery patterns
    List of Photographs to be mounted and bound

    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.