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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    Arrival of Part of Wirth's Circus at Ipswich
    Watson's Bay, Sydney N.S.W
    The surfing beach, Coogee
    Double storey house and a garden
  • Dr Helen M Wurm collection no. 2(85)

    Bark painting divided into two panels by a band of white lines with circle in centre
    Painting depicts fourteen small rectangles between band of pigment rendered across the top and the bottom
    Bark painting depicts a rounded frame in four different rings of decoration
    Bark painting divided into 16 panels by three horizontal white bands with red outlines
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Graham Henderson Florence Faithfull - Yorke Hazel'
    Extract from Mr Charles Matcham's letters to a relative in England 1834
    Sympathy card
    Tirranna Picnic Races 15 January 1875

    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.

  • 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.

  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Black and white negative glass lantern slide - Strawbridge Springs, eastern Tomkinson Ranges, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1903
    Glass plate negative - Bumerangi, an old Arrernte woman, suffering from senility and blindness, Bloods Creek, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1920
    Film negative - Weakottu, Western Petermann Ranges, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1926
    Film negative - Morning reflections on a billabong off the Wilton River, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1928
  • Enid Treadgold collection(375)

    Letter from Nephew & Cousin / George to Aunty, Uncle & Enid, written at sea on 28 November 1941
    Letter from Phillips Electrical Industries about the company's EIIR electric light decoration for the royal visit in 1954
    Envelope for a Christmas card type-addressed to Mr W Glover
    Souvenir leaflet from the Australian Gas Light Company's 'Travel with Music' session from 2GB
  • Aboriginal Arts Board collection no. 2(561)

    'Yawalurra', painted by Dinny Nolan Tjampitjinpa, 1975
    Ceramic wall tile of Alipurra (Pelican) by Eddie Puruntatameri, Bathurst Island, 1978
    'Travels of Mala the Hare Wallaby', painted by Timmy Tjugudai Tjungurrayi, 1981
  • Timothy Millett collection(313)

    Convict love token from Thomas Freeman, 1843
    Convict love token from I.W.B., 1832
    Convict love token from J.J. or T.T. 1832
    Convict love token from John Woodfield, 1831

    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.