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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • 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.

  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from H.V., 1842
    Convict love token from Ed Bowen, 1836
    Convict love token from I.W.B., 1832
    Convict love token from 1830

    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; a printed copy of George Skene's last speech prior to execution; a printed broadside listing prisoners in Dorchester jail awaiting transportation; and a 60 page handwritten account of the life of Thomas Jones, who was transported twice 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.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    A Beautiful Home in the Mountains, Mount Lofty, SA
    QSL card for Radio 2UE Sydney Ltd. Studios: 296 Pitt St., Sydney, N.S.W.
    Greeetings from Bowral - Bowral in snowtime
    Sketches of Tommy's life - At the Base - No 1
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Lychins Flos Jovis
    Lady Dilke (nee Pearl Faithfull) and Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke
    The Tourist.

    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.

  • I Dowdle collection(8)

    Permission for convict Edward Evans to pass from Launceston to Campbell Town Police Office
    Record of Sessions House, Old Bailey
    Document relating to the pardon of convict Thomas Jacques of Van Diemen's Land
    Document about the conviction and incarceration of convict Josiah Halton
  • Chris Grady collection(30)

    Unissued invitation to the opening of Parliament House, Canberra, 9 May 1988

    The opening of Australia's Parliament House by Her Majesty the Queen, 9 May 1988

    Entree card for admission to the Reception in the evening at Parliament House, Canberra, Monda...

    Parking permit sticker for the Parliament House Opening Ceremony 9 May 1988

  • Dr Karel Kupka collection(71)

    Bark painting 'Tortoises and fresh water crocodiles' by Birrikidji Gumana, Yirrkala, 1963
    Ancestral hero of the Yirritya moiety: Banaitja (Lanytjung) and Yirritya animals.
    Painting depicts three figures in canoe, each with a fish on the end of a line.
    Painting depicts bird on tree and goanna
  • Joan Richmond collection(50)

    Letter and envelope from Joan Richmond - London
    Third of a set of three postcards from Joan Richmond - England
    Letter and envelope from Kathleen Howell - Italy
    Second of a set of three postcards from Joan Richmond - England

    The Joan Richmond collection consists of items related to the motor racing career of Joan Richmond. These include a racing suit, goggles, a trophy, number plates, a personal journal, letters, photographs and newspaper clippings.

    Joan Richmond (1905-1999) was a successful racing car driver at a time when women racing drivers were not only a rarity, but competed in the same events as men. Richmond's first major event was the 1931 Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island in which she drove a Riley and placed a creditable fifth. Shortly after, Richmond and four friends embarked on an overland journey from Australia to Europe in order to compete in the Monte Carlo rally. This journey is credited as the first international overland tour to have originated from Australia. Following the group's successful completion of the rally, Victor Riley offerd to sponsor Richmond and in 1932, she supported the English racing car driver, Elsie Wisdom, to win the 1000 Mile Race at Brooklands. Throughout the 1930s, Richmond stayed in England and competed in more motor racing events, including several Monte Carlo rallies and the Le Mans 24 Hour race. She returned to Australia in the 1940s but was unable to continue her motor racing career due to a lack of money and sponsorship. Joan Richmond died in Melbourne in 1999.