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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • North Head Quarantine Station collection(130)

    Photograph of face of smallpox patient
    Round copper plaque
    Photograph of group of timber buildings on coastline
    Photograph of group of men inside and around a tent
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Handwritten text entitled
    Constance Faithfull seated in a garden wearing riding dress
    Cream-coloured dance program with 'Wm Percy Faithfull' and 'TIRRANNA, 13th January 1870' on the front
    Two-piece [skirt and bodice] black and pink striped dress

    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.

  • L Richard Smith breastplate collection(20)

    Jimmy (King), Brisbane Water
    Billy, King of Bonnie Doon, Lorne
    Tommy, King of Connai
    King Mallee of the Nyungar Danoo Outstation 1881

    This collection is comprised of seventeen Australian Indigenous breastplates (also known as king plates or gorgets). They come from a collection accumulated by L. Richard Smith, a noted collector of medals and porcelain. The breastplates are associated with Indigenous people from Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. The breastplates are all metal, of varying size, and are generally crescent shaped. Each is inscribed with the recipient's name, and many include an associated region and an honorary title such as 'king', 'queen' or 'chief'.

    During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, government authorities and settlers gave breastplates to Indigenous people for a variety of reasons. They were used as a way of selecting and identifying local elders to act as intermediaries between settlers and local Indigenous people. They were also given out in recognition of service and/or assistance (for example to Aboriginal stockmen or for saving people from ship wrecks). As such, they are significant cross-cultural objects that document early interaction between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in different regions of Australia. They often record the names of Indigenous people, and the station or region with which they are associated; people who are not otherwise represented in historical records. The collection is also significant in expanding the geographical scope of the National Museum's existing breastplate collection.

  • Fred Daly collection(476)

    Ben Chifley and the First Holden
    Album containing 109 pages photographs of Fred Daly with various people at a variety of events and places
    Photograph of Bill Hayden and Fred Daly outside Parliament House
    Photograph of Bill Hayden and Fred Daly
  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Ostrich Chick Hatching
    Interior of Steel Foundry. Port Kembla Steell Mills
    Sydney Hospital, N.S.W
    Young duck to sell
  • People's Paraphernalia collection no. 4(2)

    Liberal Party leaflet for the 1975 federal election: Gough a Bigger Mouth than Jaws!

    Guide book produced by the Commonwealth of Australia for Parliament House, Canberra

  • Maningrida Arts and Crafts 1982 collection(22)

    Bark painting depicting two birds and three bottle-shaped objects
    Yarrpany - Dhuwa Honey.
    Bark painting depicts four fish
    Bark painting depicting a centre rectangular pole, probably a log coffin, and includes fish and a bird
  • Royal Society Cook Medal collection(2)

    Royal Society of London Cook Medal
    Royal Society of London Cook Medal

    The Royal Society Cook Medal Collection consists of one silver and one bronzed-copper Royal Society Cook Medal c.1784-85. Both medals are in excellent condition.

    Captain Cook's three voyages of discovery between 1768 and 1780 produced accurate maps, extensive collections of natural history specimens and ethnographic materials, and major advances in navigation and hydrography which revolutionised scientific knowledge and documentation of the Pacific, and led to the colonisation of Australia and New Zealand. As Britain's principle scientific body at the time, the Royal Society played a significant role in Cook's career: his observations of an eclipse were read to the Society in April, 1767, their petition to the King resulted in the 'Endeavour' voyage in 1768, for which they outlined the scientific program; they made Cook a Fellow and awarded him the Copley medal in 1776; and they commissioned a commemorative medal after his death, the inscription on which claimed him as their own.