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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Hungarian Lilliputians Midget City
    Gardens by the River Torrens, Adelaide, SA
    Australian Palace, New South Wales, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908
    Sundowners at a Homestead
  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Glass plate negative - Sub-manager's children, Cadelga station, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1919
    Glass plate negative - Luritja men demonstrating use of weapons, central Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1920
    Glass plate negative - Branding horses in stockyard, Innamincka station, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1919
    Glass plate negative - Man stalking  kangaroo, central Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1920
  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from John Bournes, 1831
    Convict love token from T. Rea, 1829
    Convict love token from Charles Lamb, 1826
    Convict love token from D. Frazier, 1835

    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.

  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    School report
    Envelope addressed to
    Cream-coloured partial dance program titled 'Exchange, 3rd March 1868'
    Drawing room at Fonthill between 1905 and 1920

    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.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art (ATSIAA) collection(2104)

    Plaster bust
    Canadian Mask
    Risk Management Track, by Joolama, Paddy Gwambany Carlton
    Silk batik by Nyukana Baker

    The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art collection comprises 2050 artworks and other objects. The artworks - which numerically dominate the collection - were produced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Australia. The accumulation of these artworks into a single collection has resulted from the choices and selections made during a 38 year period by a variety of staff working for the Council for Aboriginal Affairs (CAA), the Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA), the Aboriginal Development Commission (ADC) and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) at the national, regional and local levels.

    The collection spans the years following the 1967 referendum, when dramatic changes in the governance of Aboriginal people took place, up to 2005 when the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission was dissolved. It provides a snapshot of the diversity and changes in Indigenous art and its representation which occurred during the period of its formation. The small number of 'non-art' objects in the collection is also significant in providing insights into the working of the various Commonwealth bodies involved in Indigenous affairs. As well as the significance of many of the individual pieces, the collection is also significant as a whole, as a complex artefact stemming from Australia's history of governance of Australian Indigenous peoples.

  • Ainslie Primary School Collection no 1(1)

    Jungle Gym presented to Ainslie Primary School by Prime Minister James Scullin in 1930

    The collection contains one jungle gym, which when constructed, was a cubed shaped piece of play equipment concreted into the ground. The multiple cubes were made by round metal bars. The equipment held 100 children and was 4.8 metres long, 2.4 metres wide and 3.2 metres high. It is currently dismantled and in good condition.

    The jungle gym is representative of the playground movement which advocated supervised play as a way to foster children's physical, social and cognitive development. Playgrounds were also seen as an antidote to the conditions of city slums. Playgrounds were first built in the late 19th century with significant growth in the numbers of playgrounds at schools and on public land in the early 20th century. However by the 1980s and 1990s many jungle gyms and other climbing equipment were removed. Heightened public awareness of the injuries caused by falls from climbing equipment lead many schools and councils across Australia to remove jungle gyms.

  • Robert and Irene Goard collection(43)

    Stereograph box with 200 stereo-photographs
    Half plate field camera
    Circular metal film canister used by Frank Hurley
    Circular metal film canister

    The Robert and Irene Goard collection comprises cameras and other photographic equipment owned and used by prominent Australian photographers and businessmen Charles Kerry, George Rose and Frank Hurley and amateur photographer and engineer Ernest Macartney de Burgh. The collection includes a dry whole plate field camera and a wet plate sliding box camera used by Kerry, a Lizars Challenge stereo camera owned by George Rose and a 35mm Debrie Parvo cine-camera acquired by Frank Hurley for the 1929-30 British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expeditions. It also includes a Sanderson folding plate camera awarded to de Burgh by the Institute of Engineers to recognise his securing the prestigious Telford Premium award in 1903-04.

    From the 1880s to the 1920s, professional Australian photographers such as Kerry, Rose and Hurley created an extensive record of urban and rural life in eastern Australia and developed highly successful businesses producing and selling portraits, landscape views and news and event photographs as prints, postcards and stereocards. These photographers also exhibited overseas and imported views of the world, including, for Hurley, of Antarctica, for Australian consumption. Through these practices, photographers such as Kerry, Rose and Hurley shaped both Australians' understanding of and interest in their own social and natural environments and Australians' perception of their place in the world.

  • Adrian Luck collection no. 1(56)

    Malta-Maltese Cab (Carrozin)
    Cairo - The Tombs of Mamelouks
    Fez Djedid - Rue du Marche (Souk)
    Postcard featuring a black and white image of Cairo