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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Christmas card with message from Governor-General William Slim, 1959
    Hazel & Florence Faithfull & their nurse (English) circa 1903
    Matthew Arnold
    Diseases of Sheep Act, Amendment Act of 1878

    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.

  • J Davidson collection no. 3(319)

    Painting depicts 11 human figures and 2 wallabies
    Split cane circular basket
    Bark painting depicting sacred waterhole at Bilipinya by Wandjuk Marika, Yirrkala, 1966
    Painting depicts a large serpent coiled around 7 white eggs, surrounded by several figures
  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    Mr. Harrold F. Allert - The Society Entertainer and Drawing Room Humourist
    Hyde park, Sydney, N.S.W in 1942
    Group of nurses, with an ambulance and two men
    King parrot
  • National Sports Information Centre collection(37)

    Black and white photograph of US swimmers Leslie Bunyan, Charlotte Boyle, Alice Lord and Ethelda Bleibtrey
    Australian swimmers Fanny Durack and Mina Wylie with British swimmer Jennie Fletcher
    Souvenir miniature cricket bat, signed by the 1987 Australian and English women's cricket teams
    Black and white photograph of US swimmer Dorothy Burns
  • Canning Stock Route collection(125)

    'Canning Stock Route and Surrounding Country', 2008
    'Kiriwirri' by Jan Billycan, 2008
    Fibre basket by Rosie Williams, 2008
    'Kumpupirntily' by Jakayu Biljabu and Dadda Samson, 2007

    The Canning Stock Route collection is comprised of 125 works and includes paintings, drawings, baskets, boomerangs, coolamons, headdresses, carved figures and shields.

    The Canning Stock Route is a no-longer-used cattle droving route that traverses the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts of central Western Australia. Comprised of 48 wells along an 1800 kilometres stretch of track, the route links Wiluna in the south with Sturt Creek in the north and traverses the traditional lands of nine Aboriginal language groups. The route was founded in 1905 when Alfred Canning was commissioned to investigate a route suitable for the droving of 500 head of cattle, with water sources spaced at intervals of no more than one day's walk apart. Although Canning's map records observations of the land and water resources, it makes no mention of Indigenous places and their associated meanings which the route traversed. This collection, composed of 'painting stories', sculptural works and oral histories, re-dresses Canning's omission and records the impact of the stock route on Indigenous lives and country. A six week journey with traditional owners held in July and August of 2007 inspired the artworks, many of which were produced during the journey, and provided an opportunity for more than 70 senior and emerging artists to reconnect with traditional lands..

  • History of Netball - Margaret Pewtress collection(68)

    VWBBA A Grade Premiership 1958 - Melbourne Blue
    Victoria versus Tasmania 1 Sept 1964
    VWBBA A Grade Runners- Up 1959 won by Melbourne Blue
    WNBBAV A Grade Runners- Up, Autumn 1960 won by Aberfeldie

    The History of Netball collection consists of material relating to the history of national and international level netball in Australia from the 1930s to the present day. The collection of thirty three objects has been formed through donations by seven separate donors representing different eras and roles in netball history.

    Sport has always been a large part of Australian life and Australians have always enjoyed success on the international sporting arena. Australian women in particular have consistently been high achievers in international sporting events and netball is one sport where this has been proven repeatedly. The sport evolved and developed in Commonwealth Countries in the early 1900s. In Australia this resulted in a unique local style and a strong Australian contribution to international rules and standards of play. Netball enjoys the third highest participant rate among all sports played in Australia, is the most popular women's sport and is enjoyed both in the country and the city.

  • Neville Locker collection(29)

    British Pattern 1842 .75 smooth bore percussion musket used by the 12th Foot (East Suffolk Regiment)
    Police baton
    Convict leg irons
    Bullion box with waterproof cover

    This collection comprises objects relating to the colonial period of Australian history, particularly the convict era, the gold rush, and nineteenth-century policing. They include a record of punishments meted out to the inmates of the Point Puer Boys' Prison, the Empire's first juvenile detention centre; a waistcoat worn by a convict assigned to work at a Hobart inn; a bullion box used to transport gold from the diggings to the Sydney Mint; a musket belonging to a soldier of a regiment deployed to quell miners at the Eureka Stockade and Lambing Flat riots; and a spring gun of the kind used to kill thylacines (Tasmanian tigers).

    These and the other objects in this collection help to tell stories of the development of wider colonial and post-colonial Australian society, including the emergence of Australia's financial sector, transport networks, representational structures and police services. The convict-era objects also help chart how successive systems of discipline, influenced by the latest concepts in penal reform, transformed the convict experience over the years. The collection documents the changing way in which Australians and others regard this nation's convict heritage, and how this heritage has been represented in museums and the media. It also demonstrates the often misguided approaches used by settlers to manage Australia's natural heritage.

  • Daryl Blaxland collection No 2(2)

    Brick from Fordwich House
    Brick from Fordwich House

    The Daryl Blaxland collection No 2 comprises two convict bricks from the foundations of Fordwich House near Broke, NSW. Each brick measures 220mm x 70mm x 105mm, weighs about 2.2kg and features a diamond-shaped depression to one of the large faces. Daryl Blaxland (b1925) - a scion of pioneer John Blaxland (1769-1845) of Fordwich, Kent - collected the bricks from a pile of the Fordwich home's half-buried foundations on a walk through the then deserted property in the late 1960s.

    John Blaxland was a captain in the Duke of York's Cavalry until he resigned to manage the family estates at Newington in Kent, England. Promised many 'indulgences' in the colony of New South Wales - including land, free passage and convicts - his brother Gregory arrived in Sydney with his family in 1806, while John stayed on to sell their English estates and arrived on 3 April 1807. John had agreed to invest �£6000 in the colony and arrived with his wife and children, household staff, supplies and equipment. Considered difficult men by successive governors, the brothers shared close business interests in New South Wales and both contributed significantly to the life of the colony. They encouraged the cattle industry and produced some of NSW's earliest wine, while John also held a prominent place in colonial politics. An early supporter of trial by jury, he was a non-official member of the Legislative Council from 1829 to 1843. In 1843, he was reappointed to the partly-elective council and served until his retirement in 1844. He died at the family's NSW 'Newington' property on 5 August 1845.