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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • The Christensen Fund collection no. 2(6)

    A Corrobirree or Dance of the Natives of Australia
    Les marins de l'Astrolabe partagent leur peche avec les naturels.
    Sauvage de la Nouvelle-hollande venant de combattre. (Port Jackson)
    The Aboriginal Inhabitants
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Pencil sketch depicting a Georgian style colonial house with a veranda around the ground floor and set among trees
    Lilian Faithfull
    Dining room at Camelot, home of Lilian Faithfull after her marriage to William Hugh Anderson
    A young girl

    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.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    Man, (the local policeman), standing within a eucalypt and holding an axe
    Melbourne from the Shrine of Remembrance, Vic
    A two storey brick and timber house under construction
    Now we're married oft' I think of 'Jim' boys, sleeping in the Church yard by the sea ...
  • Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) collection - Play School(10)

    Rocket Clock from Play School with dioramas and their components
    Flower clock from Play School
    Butcher's Shop
    Snowy landscape

    The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) transmitted the first episode of Play School in 1966, largely based on the format of the BBC production of the same name which had begun in 1964. For the first series, the set for the Australian show was copied from the British set, however it was soon revised and re-built. The sets on offer to the Museum includes the first and subsequent sets of 'magic windows' - which on the show offer glimpses of the outside world, short pre-taped pieces - as well as the two clocks used to accompany storytelling ('rocket clock' and 'flower clock') and a number of the dioramas used to dress each clock.

    The props used on the set of Play School, like the toys who regularly appear on the show, are instantly recognisable to viewers past and present. Play School itself has always maintained a fixed format and has sought to reflect Australian culture through the themes of the episodes, stories and activities.

  • Igor Zorich collection(32)

    Kimberley point
    Kimberley point
    Kimberley point - glass
  • Timothy Millett collection(313)

    Convict love token from Thomas Barnes, born October 8 1805
    Convict love token from J. Fletcher
    Convict love token from W. Williams, 1832
    Convict love token from Ned Sims, 1856

    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.

  • Dick Roughsey Rainbow Serpent collection(16)

    Goorialla flees towards the only great mountain, Borabunaru - Rainbow serpent story painting by Dick Roughsey
    Goorialla swallows the Bil-bil brothers - Rainbow serpent story painting by Dick Roughsey
    The Tree-goanna brothers, the Wangoo, climbed after Goorialla - Rainbow serpent story painting by Dick Roughsey
    The Wangoo flee the mountain and Goorilla awakens - Rainbow serpent story painting by Dick Roughsey

    The Dick Roughsey Rainbow Serpent collection consists of 16 works produced for the children's book 'The Rainbow Serpent' (1975) by Lardil artist Dick Roughsey (Goobalathaldin).

    The rainbow serpent is an important ancestral being in Indigenous communities and emerged in ancestral stories and related manifestations for the first time some 3,000 to 6,000 years ago. 'The Rainbow Serpent' won a Children's Picture Book of the Year Award in 1976 and was one of seven successful children's books produced by Dick Roughsey in collaboration with his colleague and friend Percy Tresize.

  • Nettie McColive collection(189)

    Correspondence School Super Primary Department Progress Certificate for Literature, Drawing and Applied art

    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.