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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    Argyle Cut, Sydney
    Four women walking down a bush road
    The U.S.A. Battleship Massachusetts
    Postcard featuring printed composite black and white photographs of fisherman William Ferrier, 1905.
  • Timothy Millett collection(313)

    Convict love token from H.V., 1842
    Convict love token with a cross on a stand
    Convict love token from James Pratt, 1836
    Convict love token from 1830

    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.

  • American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land (AASEAL) collection(218)

    Message stick
    Weapon - Spearthrower
    The Man, Galdar
  • Ellen Rogers collection(15)

    Silver plated metal and horse-hair hair brush
    Silver plated metal and horse-hair hair brush
    Framed composite picture dedicated to Miss N Rogers from CTP and MJU in appreciation of loyalty and friendship
    Souvenir half main bearing of the Central Engine from the Southern Cross used on Pacific, Australian, Tasman and English flights 1928-1929

    The Ellen Rogers collection consists of fifteen items of memorabilia associated with Australian aviation pioneers, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm. The collection consist of a half-size bronze life-mask of Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith; full-size bronze life-mask of Charles Ulm; propeller hub of an Australian National Airways Ltd (ANA) Avro X Lynx engine; half-main bearing removed from the central engine of the 'Southern Cross' aircraft after the 1928 trans-Pacific flight; Charles Ulm's attache case; framed composite photograph with dedication; black and white photograph of 'Faith in Australia'; commemorative wall clock mounted in a propeller; and a velvet lined timber dressing case containing silver plated brushes, comb and mirror. The objects in this collection, many of them presented as gifts to Rogers, reflect the respect and affection Kingsford Smith and Ulm held for their secretary whom they referred to as 'Rog'.

    In 1928, Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm became the first aviators to cross the Pacific Ocean by air in the 'Southern Cross'. With two American crewmembers, they took off from Oakland, California, on 31 May 1928 and flew via Hawaii and Suva to Brisbane, completing the historic 11,585 kilometre crossing in 83 hours, 38 minutes, of flying time. Kingsford Smith and Ulm were awarded the Air Force Cross and given honorary commissions in the Royal Australian Air Force. In December 1928, they founded Australian National Airways Ltd (ANA) as a passenger, mail and freight service between cities and towns in eastern Australia. Mounting financial difficulties forced ANA to suspend all passenger services in June 1931, and the company entered voluntary liquidation in February 1933. The two aviators died tragically while pursing their interests - Ulm disappearing in December 1934 flying between California and Hawaii, and Kingsford Smith lost without trace in 1935 off the coast of Burma. Ellen Rogers was employed as secretary to Kingsford Smith and Ulm following the trans-Pacific flight, during the establishment and operation of ANA, and continued working as private secretary to Charles Ulm until his death.

  • University of Sydney collection(74)

    Fibre basket with strands of fabric
    Digging stick

    Plaited fibre armband decorated with pigments

  • Tanya McIntyre collection(1)

    Silkscreen print poster 'Stop the Miss Victoria Quest'

    The Tanya McIntyre collection consists of a screenprinted poster titled Stop the Miss Victoria Quest, 1984. This poster was created by Tanya McIntyre, probably while working as artist-in-residence at Redletter studios - one of Melbourne's earliest community screenprinting workshops. The poster is representative of the social protests held against the Miss Australia Quest (of which the Miss Victoria Quest was part) by feminist and activist groups for the disabled during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

    The Miss Australia Quest (from 1992 known as the Miss Australia Awards) ran continuously from 1953 to 2000 and was arguably the longest running, most popular and most successful charitable enterprise in Australia's history. The first documented nationwide contest to identify Australia's ideal woman was held in 1907, however the first official use of the title 'Miss Australia' is more generally thought to have been used in relation to 'Miss Australia 1926' - Beryl Mills from Western Australia. Further contests were held in 1927, 1937, and from 1945 until 1950. It was in 1953 when Bernard Dowd (manufacturer of Hickory USA lingerie in Australia) and his company Dowd Associates took over running of the competition that the Quest became a registered business enterprise, and the 'search for Miss Australia' gained momentum. From 1954 until 2000 the Quest ran primarily as a fundraising event for the Australian Cerebral Palsy Association (ACPA), and is estimated to have raised over $90 million for people with cerebral palsy. Over its lifetime, the Quest reflected many of the changes that took place in Australian society and culture: the changing role and perceptions of women; changing perceptions of people with disabilities; the influence of migrants and 'New Australians'; and the presentation of Australia and Australians overseas.

  • Tayenebe collection(33)

    Artist's journal of Tayenebe project, created by Vicki West
    Bull kelp and river reed container, made by Leonie Dickson

    Container made from bull kelp, river reed and echidna quills, by Verna Nichols

    String sample made from river reed, by Leonie Dickson

    The Tayenebe collection of Tasmanian Aboriginal women's fibre work consists of twenty nine containers - baskets made from fibre and water carriers made from kelp. It also includes three woven fibre specimens and an artist's journal documenting the Tayenebe weaving project that took place from 2006 to 2009.

    Eighteen Tasmanian Aboriginal women and girls who took part in the Tayenebe weaving project are represented in the collection, with examples from up to four generations of the same family. The project, both provided creative and professional opportunities for Tasmanian Aboriginal women and was a journey of discovery for them. They analysed the historical baskets held in Tasmanian museums and galleries, learning from these and from each other, about how to reproduce fibre techniques employed by their ancestors. The Tayenebe project provided a structure of collaborative workshops where women from all parts of the state and from a variety of families met at seven locations to attend workshops and to examine the fibre resources of the area. The baskets, containers, string samples and the journal were begun at these workshops and continued at home.

  • J Davidson collection no. 3(319)

    Bark painting depicting a dilly bag fish trap made by the Wawilak sisters by Dawidi Djuwarak, Milingimbi, 1966
    Opossum tree story.
    Painting depicts a large serpent coiled around 7 white eggs, surrounded by several figures
    Bark painting depicting pike, file snake, diver bird, water goanna and kangaroo by David Malangi, Milingimbi, 1965