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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7550)

    S.S. Sydney
    Emden's Gun
    Cotter River Gorge 20/10/13
    Group of Gins
  • Timothy Millett collection(313)

    Convict love token from J.M., 1838
    Convict love token from W. Taylor, 1834
    Convict love token from Noah Minns, 1832
    Convict love token from J. Bailey, 1842

    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.

  • Jon Lewis collection(653)

    Portrait photograph of Charles Perkins
    Portrait photograph of Charles Waterstreet
    Portrait photograph of Maisy Middleton
    Portrait photograph of Fiona Waterstreet

    The exhibition 'Face to Face - 200 Portraits 1986 - 1988' created by Jon Lewis is a map of the face of Australia during the Bicentennial year, 1988. The striking images have become a signature piece of the National Museum of Australia's permanent Eternity gallery, having been purchased by the Museum in 2001.

    Jon Lewis is an internationally recognised photographer who is renowned for depicting snapshots of everyday life with warmth and humanity. The photographs were all taken in Lewis' Sydney studio. The portraits are in black and white and are a mixture of notable Australians and unknown members of the general public, of varying ages and backgrounds.

  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Glass plate negative - Katherine River, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1922
    Glass plate negative - His excellency Sir Tom Bridges, Governor of South Australia, planting a tree at Arltunga, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1923
    Glass plate negative - Munjinna Bill, who accompanied the explorer R. F. Maurice on all his expeditions, at Maurice's grave, Yalata station, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1920
    Glass plate negative - An episode in the great fire ceremony, Forrest River mission, Western Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1916
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3502)

    Four horses and a carriage in front of Camelot
    Handwritten note with a recipe
    Josephina Wilkey wearing a white bonnet.

    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 Arts Board collection no. 2(3156)

    Child's drawing
    Green Frog
    Child's drawing
    Child's drawing
  • Lionel Rose collection no. 1(1)

    Pair of cream coloured 'silk' boxer shorts with a gold coloured waistband and side bands

    The Lionel Rose Collection (1) relates to the boxing career of Lionel Rose, and consists of a single pair of cream and gold coloured silk Rider boxing trunks once belonging to the famous Aboriginal boxer.

    Lionel Rose is perhaps best recognised as the first Aboriginal person to become a boxing world champion after he defeated Masahiko 'Fighting' Harada in Tokyo in 1968. However Lionel Rose is also recognised as being the first Aboriginal to become the Australian of the Year in 1968. Awarded with the Order of the British Empire for his contribution to sport, Rose proved his ability to rise from the obscurity of an impoverished and remote Aboriginal settlement to World Bantamweight Champion and is regarded as an Aboriginal sporting hero.

  • Veronica O'Leary collection no. 1(183)

    Courtroom sketch 'Cross examination of Rex Harold Kuchel, consultant botanist.' by Veronica O'Leary, 23 September 1982
    Courtroom sketch of the Chamberlain trial by Veronica O'Leary, 1982.
    Courtroom sketch 'Michael Chamberlain giving evidence...' by Veronica O'Leary, 1982.
    Courtroom sketch 'Trial Judge. Mr. Justice Muirhead.' by Veronica O'Leary, 1982.

    The Veronica O'Leary collection consists of drawings made during the criminal trial of Lindy and Michael Chamberlain in Darwin in 1982. Veronica O'Leary was an artist and teacher living in Darwin who applied for the position of courtroom artist for the Australian Broadcasting Commission (now the Australian Broadcasting Corporation). The ABC paid for the rights to broadcast the drawings as part of the television news coverage of the events in court.

    The disappearance of Azaria Chantel Loren Chamberlain (11 June - 17 August 1980) has become one of the most infamous events in contemporary Australian history. The explanation of her disappearance, that she was prey to a dingo at Ayers Rock (now Uluru), was soon treated with suspicion by the general public. After two coronial inquests, Lindy Chamberlain was convicted of murder and imprisoned for over three years, until mounting evidence forced a royal commission that ultimately resulted in the exoneration of Lindy and Michael Chamberlain by the Supreme Court of Darwin. The National Museum holds the largest public collection of material culture relating to the case.