page loading
Menu toggle

National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Hon Lance Barnard collection(2)

    Letter from Gough Whitlam asking Minister L Barnard to Act as Prime Minister from 25 October to 5 November 1973 during Whitlam's absence in China

    Holy Bible on which Lance Barnard took the oath of office of Deputy Prime Minister of Australi...

    The Lance Barnard collection consists of certificates and ephemera which relate to Barnard's political career in the years 1972-1973.

    The collection documents:
    Lance Barnard's ministerial career betweemn 1972-1973
    the early years of the Whitlam government and the atmosphere of the 1972 election win.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Greeetings from Bowral - Bowral in snowtime
    Young Women's Christian Association
    Girl standing beside a tree, with a fence in the background
    The Snowy Mountains from 'King's Cross'
  • Horne-Bowie collection(720)

    Kimberley point
  • Australia Post Historical collection(120)

    Rectangular enamelled metal sign
    New South Wales Postal Service red painted metal pillar box with an arched top
    Poster titled 'It's the speedy airmail that conquers distance and saves time'
    Poster titled 'The Australian Post Office still pioneers new and dependable methods of communication'

    This collection consists of 87 items from the New South Wales historical section of Australia Post. The items range from furnishings that were used for the opening of the Sydney GPO in 1874 to telephones, signs, posters, and postal boxes. The material covers a period of over one hundred years of postal service in Australia.

  • Canning Stock Route collection(124)

    'Tiwa' by Lily Long, 2008
    'Kurrkumalu' by Mayapu Elsie Thomas, 2007
    'Nyilangkurr' by Donald Moko, 2007
    Fibre basket by Rosie Williams, 2008

    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..

  • School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine collection(121)

    Zeiss binocular microscope and case
    Zeiss 188014 binocular microscope and box
    Carl Zeiss F14471 monocular microscope and accessories
    Leitz Wetzlar dissecting light monocular microscope
  • Macleay Museum collection(4)

    Patrol Box No.1 used by anthropologist Ian Hogbin in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea, 1933-1935
    Phonograph used by anthropologist AP Elkin on his first expedition in 1927 to the Kimberley
    Wooden box containing phonograph attachments used by anthropologist AP Elkin in 1927
    Circular black metal hat box used by anthropologist Olive Pink

    The Macleay Museum collection comprises four objects associated with Australian anthropologists and their fieldwork expeditions in the first half of the twentieth century. These objects include a painted wooden supply box belonging to Ian Hogbin, circa 1933-1935, black metal hatbox used by Olive Pink (1884-1975) and a 1906 Edison Standard Phonograph recorder and wooden box containing phonograph attachments used by A P (Adolphus Peter) Elkin (1891-1979) in 1927.

    Unconventional Â? often controversial - artist, Aboriginal-rights activist, anthropologist and gardener, Olive Pink lived and worked among the eastern Arrernte of Alice Springs and the Warlpiri of the Tanami region. Olive Pink's extraordinary life was marked by her passionate advocacy for Aboriginal rights, and for her constant scrutiny of the actions of governments, civil servants, missionaries, academics, pastoralists, the courts and police. Shunning traditional anthropological practices, Olive Pink lived with Walpiri people at ThompsonÂ?s Rockhole in the Tanami Desert for several years, before "retiring" to Alice Springs in 1946 where she continued to fight for social justice, autonomy and dignity of Aboriginal people. The arid-zone flora reserve which she established Altjere-Tjukurpa (Dreaming) Reserve , has been renamed the "Olive Pink Botanical Garden" in honour of this remarkable woman. Olive PinkÂ?s hatbox serves to remind us of her exceptional life and her eccentricities, such as the hats she was known always to wear, with long, white, high-collared Edwardian dress and gloves, regardless of heat. Anthropologist, Herbert Ian Priestley Hogbin (1904-1989) conducted a series of field studies in Melanesia in 1933-1934, first in Guadalcanal and Malaita in the British Solomon Islands Protectorate, and then in Wogeo in the Mandated Territory of New Guinea. He was appointed to a permanent position in the anthropology department at the University of Sydney in 1936 by its new head A P Elkin, holding the position until his retirement in 1969. According to anthropologist Jeremy Beckett, Ian Hogbin loved the isolation and deprivation which fieldwork in his day had entailed. He is remembered for his pioneering research in the Pacific Islands and his influence on the formative development of anthropology in Australia. Appointed as professor in 1933, Elkin remained in charge of the anthropology department at Sydney University until 1956, during which time he was virtually in total charge of anthropology in Australia. According to biographical notes, the Edison phonograph recorder in this collection had been picked up by Elkin for three pounds at a shop near Central Railway in preparation for his first field trip to the Kimberley in 1927, and was probably transported by donkey wagon during the expedition. The recorder would have been profoundly strange to the remote Aboriginal people whose music he intended to record, but is a reminder of the meticulous observation and recording practices for which Elkin was well known. Elkin later said the recorder had proved unsatisfactory.

  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from Thomas Burbury, 1832
    Convict love token engraved with the initials J.T. and S.B., 1827
    Convict love token from Henry Bidulph, 1827
    Convict love token from G. Emms, 1828

    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 in the John Dixon case; a printed copy of George Skene's last speech prior to execution; a printed broadside of the names of prisoners in Dorchester jail awaiting transportation and a 60 page handwritten manuscript account of the life of Thomas Jones, who was transported on two occasions 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.