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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Breaksea Lighthouses, Albany WA, Souvenir of Albany, Kaglan River, Albany WA
    A street with a cart and a double storey brick building
    A rustic bridge, Botanical Gardens, Melbourne, Vic
    Rose Bay, from Steel Pt., Sydney
  • Jonathan Dickson collection(1)

    Baby shoes with shell decoration, La Perouse, Sydney

    The Johnathan Dickson collection consists of a pair of shellwork 'baby shoes', thought to have been made and sold as souvenirs by Aboriginal women from the La Perouse community in NSW. The absence of gilt and glitter between the shells and the level of care with the placement of the shells suggests an origin during or before the 1950s.

    Since the late nineteenth century the Aboriginal community at La Perouse has not only maintained a unique cultural identity but developed this identity in response to, and in tandem with, the city of Sydney growing up around it. The range of tourist art and artefacts produced by members of the La Perouse community provides a lens through which to view these histories. Their artistic traditions continue to contribute to the strength of their cultural integrity. The making and selling of shell-work artefacts, such as these baby shoes, has involved the handing down from generation to generation of both the technical knowledge necessary to the craft and the design, and the local knowledge of the bush, the beaches and seasonal cycles.

  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    The Tourist.
    Chateau de Chillon, Switzerland
    Lilium Bulbiferum
    Photograph showing Constance Faithfull sitting side-saddle on a horse

    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.

  • Woodleigh Shorthorn Stud collection(85)


    The Woodleigh Shorthorn Stud Collection is an extensive collection of trophies, ribbons, medals, badges, prize certificates, showing equipment and stud cattle photographs. The items are associated with a beef shorthorn stud established by the Davis family of the Corowa district in the early 1950s, and are in good condition.

    These objects record a recent expression of a long tradition of showing stud livestock at agricultural shows in Australia and Britain. Stud competitions at annual shows in Australian cities and regional centres enabled the gradual improvement of sheep and cattle herds. Shorthorn cattle proved adaptable and hardy in Australia, and became one of the dominant breeds. The Woodleigh Shorthorn Stud Collection helps to record the successful establishment of the shorthorn breed in Australia and the role of agricultural shows in enabling the improvement of cattle breeds. The collection also reflects the dramatic changes experienced by the rural sector in the second half of the twentieth century as tightening economic conditions forced many rural families, including the Davis family, to sell their properties.

  • J B Young Ltd collection(228)

    Programme Official Opening J. B. Young Limited, Queanbeyan, 23 May 1956
    Telegram sent to J B Young Limited for the attention of J Colman
    Letter to the National Retail Merchants Association declining the Association's invitation to an Awards Luncheon
    Copy of the chairman's address to the 1981 Annual General Meeting of Grace Bros Holdings Limited
  • 19th Century NSW Aboriginal Artefacts collection(7)

    Lil-lil club
    Elongated diamond-shaped burnished wooden parrying shield decorated with blue pigment

    The collection of 19th century north-west NSW Aboriginal artefacts consists of one unusual shield, one rare lil-lil club, three incised boomerangs and two fluted fighting clubs. The collection is in excellent condition.

    Aboriginal groups across Australia have designs that are uniquely theirs and which, when presented in particular orders, make strong statements about group and personal identities. These 19th century artefacts-with their high degree of intricate decoration particular to south-east Australia-are an important acquisition in for this reason and because they originate from a region notoriously difficult to document with Indigenous material.

  • William Beausang collection(24)

    Photograph album containing historic aviation photographs
    The Sky's the Limit by J.M. Spaight
    Miniature medals of William Beausang
    Story of the Southern Cross Transpacific Flight 1928

    The collection consists of approximately 140 items relating to Australian aviation, war service, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. The items were collected by Mr William Beausang during his life and formed part of his wife's estate. The collection includes a painting of the Southern Cross by John Allcot, photographs of Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, early aviators and planes, signed photographs of concert musicians and conductors, newspaper articles, miniatures of Beausang's World War One medals, a strip map and several books.

    William (Bill or Liam) Beausang was born in Youghal, County Cork, Ireland on 22 May 1900. He travelled to Australia in 1924 after distinguished military service and began working with Kingsford-Smith as an engineer in the late 1920s. The large amount of aviation-related material in the collection reveals Beausang's engagement with the celebrity, memorialisation and commemoration of Kingsford-Smith and other aviators, with Beausang's own contribution in the form of articles and photographs a significant part of the collection. The material related to the ABC and Sydney Symphony Orchestra also highlights the place of classical music in wartime Australia and the cultural importance of visits by celebrated musicians to Australia in the 1940s and 1950s.

  • Pfrunder Women collection(6)

    Manuscript journal 'Oct 11th 1912, Baden Journal', written by the Pfrunder sisters
    Manuscript journal 'Febuary [sic] 1913, Baden Journal, 5th Number', written by the Pfrunder sisters
    Manuscript journal '1913 Baden Journal, January 11th, A HAPPY NEW YEAR', written by the Pfrunder sisters
    Manuscript journal 'Baden Journal, April and May Nos', written by the Pfrunder sisters

    This collection consists of six manuscript journals kept by daughters of the Pfrunder family in around 1912-1913. Although the journals were part of a longer series kept by the girls, family tradition associates them with the period when the girls' parents travelled to Germany before the First World War. Their father, Johannes Adolph Pfrunder, a German-born Swiss, took their mother there for a medical procedure. Pfrunder came to Australia in 1880, married, raised a large family and established a farm called Baden, near Grong Grong in rural New South Wales. Adolph is said to have charged the girls with having something to show for the time they were alone and encouraged them to maintain these journals, which they may have begun before their parents left Australia. Each manuscript is called a 'Baden Journal' and is filled with coloured illustrations, poems, tongue-twisters, letters and stories. The girls have contributed to the journals under pen-names and acknowledged their sources.

    The journals give a rich insight into the girls' worldviews and the books that captured their imaginations. They also show how the girls' heritage informed this outlook and what life was like for rural children prior to the First World War. In this way, the journals provide a snapshot of the lives of a Swiss-German Australian family on the eve of the First World War.