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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Broad leaf wattle honey flower
    Girl sitting in a hammock
    Photographic postcard of Gerald Patterson, Captain of the Davis Cup tennis team
    Church of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Randwick, Sydney, N.S.W
  • Betty Hall collection(58)

    Invitation 'To welcome the Rt Hon H.V Evatt upon his return to Australia', 1942

    The Betty Hall Collection represents a unique collection of material relating to the history of the Parliamentary Dining Rooms in the Provisional Parliament House.

    This collection was put together by Mr H L Napthali who worked as the Chief Steward in the Parliamentary Refreshment Rooms from 1939 - 1945. He moved to Canberra in 1939 after having worked in the NSW Parliamentary Refreshment Rooms. While at Provisional Parliament House Mr Napthali supervised a staff of fifty people and was responsible for purchasing as well as servicing the various bars and dining rooms within the House. He was also responsible for organising special dinners for commemorative occasions and for overseas visitors. Mr Napthali accumulated material relating to the history of the Federal Parliament both when worked in the NSW Parliament and in the Federal Parliament.

  • Dr Karel Kupka collection(71)

    Bark painting titled Djalambu Emu Dance by Djawa, Milingimbi, Northern Territory
    Bark painting 'Two Mimi Spirits (males) dancing' by Paddy Compass Namatbara, Croker Island, 1963
    Bark painting titled Salmons and Turtles Fishing by Lipundja, Milingimbi, Northern Territory
    Painting depicts the creation of the constellation,
  • Ben Chifley collection no. 3(53)

    Map of Orient line routes
    Bathurst & District Police Sub-normal Children's Appeal
    Bathurst Lions Club
    Six documents, and a lace sample

    The objects in the Ben Chifley Collection refer to the lives of Ben and Elizabeth Chifley, primarily from the Chifleys' days as Prime Minister and Prime Minister's wife, but stretching beyond Ben's death in 1951 until Elizabeth's death in 1962. Significant objects include a letter of condolence to Elizabeth Chifley from Elsie Curtin (former PM John Curtin's wife) on the death of Ben Chifley (above), photos of Chifley as a young boy and a bible on which Chifley was sworn in as minister in the short-lived Scullin government of 1931.

    Joseph Benedict Chifley was Australia's sixteenth Prime Minister, leading the Australian government between 1945 and 1949. This period was one of particular importance in Australian history, being the time during which many of the contours of post-War Australian social and economic development were established. Chifley also articulated the values of the reforming Labor Party in his "Light on the Hill" speech of 1949. However, the election of December that year saw the beginning of a drastic re-alignment of political allegiances in voting behaviour, leading to over twenty years of conservative dominance in Australian politics. An understanding of Ben Chifley, in both his private and public guises, illustrates much about this crucial era in post-War Australian history.

  • Australian Institute of Anatomy collection(163)

    Aboriginal breastplate for Bulgra, King of Arremutta 1920
    Aboriginal breastplate for Dick, King of Evesham, Darr River
  • Joan Richmond collection(50)

    Envelope to Mrs John Richmond
    Rally car competitor's number plate 93 RALLYE MONTE-CARLO
    Car driving goggles and tin relating to Joan Richmond
    Handwritten letter from Joan Richmond - London

    The Joan Richmond collection consists of items related to the motor racing career of Joan Richmond. These include a racing suit, goggles, a trophy, number plates, a personal journal, letters, photographs and newspaper clippings.

    Joan Richmond (1905-1999) was a successful racing car driver at a time when women racing drivers were not only a rarity, but competed in the same events as men. Richmond's first major event was the 1931 Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island in which she drove a Riley and placed a creditable fifth. Shortly after, Richmond and four friends embarked on an overland journey from Australia to Europe in order to compete in the Monte Carlo rally. This journey is credited as the first international overland tour to have originated from Australia. Following the group's successful completion of the rally, Victor Riley offerd to sponsor Richmond and in 1932, she supported the English racing car driver, Elsie Wisdom, to win the 1000 Mile Race at Brooklands. Throughout the 1930s, Richmond stayed in England and competed in more motor racing events, including several Monte Carlo rallies and the Le Mans 24 Hour race. She returned to Australia in the 1940s but was unable to continue her motor racing career due to a lack of money and sponsorship. Joan Richmond died in Melbourne in 1999.

  • Terence Lane collection(138)

    Fob medallion awarded to Corporal M O'Toole
    Clear glass plate marked Advance Australia, to commemorate Australia's centenary in 1888
    Souvenir banner commemorating the visit to Australia by the Duke and Duchess of York to mark the Federation of Australia in 1901
    The Age Centenary Test Lift Out Friday

    This collection consists of approximately 180 objects of Australiana, predominantly featuring the kangaroo. It encompasses a wide range of styles produced in Australia and overseas over a period of 150 years. The collection is diverse and includes decorative art objects, such as a Doulton umbrella stand, as well as an assortment of ephemera from several postcards to a matchbox.

    This collection has been amassed by Terence Lane, a former Senior Curator of Australian Art at the National Gallery of Victoria over a period of 20 years. During this period, many of the items collected were not in high demand. However, they have since become eagerly sought and the result is a collection which has increased in cultural value. It is considered the best collection of kangaroo theme items in Australia.

  • North Austral collection(1)

    Bare knuckle boxing trophy presented to Australian boxer William Sparkes in England in 1847

    The North Austral collection includes the Sparkes Cup, a mid-nineteenth century engraved silver goblet awarded to Australian bare-knuckle fighter, William Sparkes. Sparkes was given the cup in recognition of his valour and good sportsmanship on the occasion of his defeat by Nat Langham at Richmond, United Kingdom in 1847. The cup is 13.1 cm high and quite deeply tarnished, although the inscription on the cartouche is still readable.

    The North Austral Collection is a significant in that it highlights the way in which bare knuckle boxing contributed to the development of Australia's sporting culture and illustrates the close association that boxing has with gambling and the significant amounts of money to be made in the ring, even during periods of national economic hardship. It also attests to the burgeoning competitive sporting relationship between England and Australia. Sparkes was one of the first Australian sportsmen to pursue a career overseas and can be seen as a significant figure in the history of the development of Australian boxing from an underground bare knuckle league to the multimillion dollar enterprise that it is today.