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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Bridge Family collection no. 4(31)

    First prize certificate awarded to Miss E Denny by Goulburn and District Horticultural Society
    Needlework pattern
    Needlework pattern for 'Table Centre Design 2171'

    Cream cotton vest

  • Bernard Freedman collection no. 1(28)

    Letter from James Turner, dated 24 March 1864.
    Letter from James Turner, headed 'Ballarat, Feb 1869', and begins 'Dear Sister and Brother...'
    Letter from James Turner, dated 23 December 1864.
    Australia Unlimited - Immigration Builds a Nation
  • History of Netball - Margaret Pewtress collection(68)

    Umpire's Examination Report
    Victoria versus Tasmania 1 Sept 1964
    British Columbia Netball Clinic
    Victoria versus South Australia 5 Sept 1964

    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.

  • Convict Era Shirt collection(6)

    Metal candle holder comprising metal dish with looped handle at edge and vertical cylinder at centre
    Handstitched leather shoe with iron nails in sole and heel [punishment shoe]
    Axe with iron head and wooden shaft
    Convict hand-stitched shift shirt of woven fabric of white and blue stripes

    The Convict Era Shirt collection comprises six convict era artefacts found at the Commandant's Cottage in Granton, Tasmania during renovations in the 1960s.The collection includes a convict era shirt c.1830, a convict punishment shoe, a Government-issue metal candle holder impressed with a broad arrow mark, a whale oil burning lamp with original convex magnifying lens, a waisted iron axe with an impressed crown over a broad arrow, and a pair of handcuffs marked 'Froggatt Warrented Wrought Iron'.

    A secondary punishment station was established at Bridgewater in 1829 to build a causeway across the Derwent. Approximately 200 convicts were employed, in chains, to erect the Commandant's cottage, convict barracks, the Black Snake inn and to break stones to form the foundation of the causeway. This was a difficault and punishing task, and the project was abandoned seven years later uncompleted. The significance of the shirt, as one of only two surviving examples of such a ubiquitous article of clothing, is given added importance due to the circumstances that led to its and the shoe's preservation. The shirt had been placed into a wall cavity and the shoe was placed under the floor. Both items appear to have been deliberately concealed in the cottage by its convict builders as a 'house sacrifice', a folk practice common in England from the 1400s.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    A woman standing behind a barrier, with a cave in the background.
    Soldiers Memorial, Court House, Gundagai, NSW, Aus.
    Circular Quay, Sydney, N.S.W. in 1788
    Harnessing in dogs and preparing to start - Captain's sledge party
  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from 1832
    Convict love token from J.J. or T.T. 1832
    Convict love token from James Brecknell, 1846
    Convict love token from W.R. McKay, 1835

    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.

  • Ernabella Arts Inc. collection no. 7(103)

    Batik practice piece showing design in progress on fabric, attributed to Nyukana 'Daisy' Baker, 1975
    Blue and white terracotta vase made by Nyukana 'Daisy' Baker at Ernabella in 2003
    Untittled, square, batik silk scarf in blue, green and gold colours, by Nyukana Baker
    Blue and white batik silk scarf by [Kunmanara] Tapaya

    The Ernabella Collection No. 7 consists of a wide variety of material dating from the early 1990s to early 2005. The collection includes baskets, seed body ornaments, paintings on silk and canvas, some prints, batiks and an important group of ceramics that were produced between 1997 and 2005.

    These objects represent the continuing dynamism of cultural practices at Ernabella, and the manner in which the communities at Ernabella have responded to change in the region. They attest to the desire within the community to maintain cultural practices while developing commercial enterprises that provide an economic base for the community. The collection demonstrates the Ernabella community's continuing expression of cultural heritage through the production of new forms and provides direct links to earlier cultural practices and iconography.

  • J Davidson collection no. 3(319)

    Bark painting 'The butterflies who sustain the 'shades' with nectar' by Binyinyuwuy, Milingimbi, 1967
    Bark painting depicting sacred waterhole at Bilipinya by Wandjuk Marika, Yirrkala, 1966
    Bark painting depicting a dilly bag fish trap made by the Wawilak sisters by Dawidi Djuwarak, Milingimbi, 1966
    Bayini at Wapilinya Island, 1965