page loading
Menu toggle

National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Woman sitting outside a house
    QSL card for VK5 SU F.M. Gray, Toorak, South Australia
    Postcard - Father, teacher says I've gotter bring a penny wi' me to school termorrer
    Sargents Bakery
  • Horse Era Museum collection no. 2(19)

    Double Abbot buggy used around Boorowa in the 1870s
    Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies 4 NHP portable steam engine, Serial No 18053
    National Cash Register
    Saddle from a dress horse harness set
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Envelope addressed to Mrs I. A.(sic) Maple Brown / Fonthill / Lake Bathurst / via Goulburn / NSW
    Springfield parasol
    Page two of Jim Maple Brown's speech at his wedding
    Design pattern

    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.

  • L Richard Smith breastplate collection(20)

    Bob Wheelpoolee, King of Boulia, 1930
    Nugget, Billee-ling-oo, Queen of Boulia, 1930
    Jimmy (King), Brisbane Water
    Dawalla, King of Wgga[sic] Wagga

    This collection is comprised of seventeen Australian Indigenous breastplates (also known as king plates or gorgets). They come from a collection accumulated by L. Richard Smith, a noted collector of medals and porcelain. The breastplates are associated with Indigenous people from Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. The breastplates are all metal, of varying size, and are generally crescent shaped. Each is inscribed with the recipient's name, and many include an associated region and an honorary title such as 'king', 'queen' or 'chief'.

    During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, government authorities and settlers gave breastplates to Indigenous people for a variety of reasons. They were used as a way of selecting and identifying local elders to act as intermediaries between settlers and local Indigenous people. They were also given out in recognition of service and/or assistance (for example to Aboriginal stockmen or for saving people from ship wrecks). As such, they are significant cross-cultural objects that document early interaction between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in different regions of Australia. They often record the names of Indigenous people, and the station or region with which they are associated; people who are not otherwise represented in historical records. The collection is also significant in expanding the geographical scope of the National Museum's existing breastplate collection.

  • Peter Nicholson collection no. 3B(8)

    Retreat from Kirribilli
    Kerry Packer
    Mixed media construction or installation titled 'Anybank'
    Sculptural bronze bust caricature of Malcolm Fraser
  • Canning Stock Route collection(124)

    'Mungily' by Veronica Lulu, 2008
    'Marapinti' by Josephine Nangala, 2008
    'Wantili to Wuranu' by Lily Long and Sarah Brooks, 2007
    'Lake Disappointment' by Clifford Brooks, 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..

  • Fran Johnson collection(1)

    Mary Gilmore's typewriter

    The Fran Johnston collection consists of a black, manual typewriter used by Gilmore during her time in Paraguay and upon her return home to Australia.

    Dame Mary Gilmore's body of work includes prose, essays, newspaper columns and social commentary. When looked at as a whole, it provides the reader with not only an in-depth look at the issues facing Australia during Gilmore's lifetime, but also a glimpse of her personality and life history, since the majority of topics she wrote about were written from first-hand experience.

  • John McNally collection(1)

    Little Grey Fergie toy tractor handcrafted from salvaged box timber and wire by 10 year old Brian Burns in 1943.

    The John McNally collection comprises a homemade toy tractor constructed during World War II in south-east New South Wales.

    The toy tractor made by Brian Burns is illustrative of a "make-do" response to wartime conditions and offers us an insight into what life might have been like for a young boy living on a farm in 1943. World War II was a time of enormous change for primary producers and their families, at work and at home. The official message promulgated by government was that military victory would inevitably be linked to civilian deprivation and self sacrifice. Rural families like the Burns' would have experienced this aspect of the war directly through supply shortages and rationing.