Due to the sheer size of our collection, only a fraction of the Australian National Maritime Museum’s objects can be on display at any one time. 

Don't let our lack of physical space get in the way of making new discoveries. You can explore a rich and diverse collection of artefacts online ranging from rocket boats to gold buttons, and discover a wealth of remarkable stories.

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Colonial Wallpapers - Pacific Encounters

 

Based on the conventions and elements of early European sea charts, the painting 'Colonial Wallpapers - Pacific Encounters' incorporates a central compass rose, rumb lines and wind gods in a reconstruction of the Pacific.

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From the collection

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Illustrated log of the whaling barque TERROR

Illustrated log of the Terror

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HMT Queen Mary assisted by a tug

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Hobart Town 1856

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Arch in the Sky

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Emeret Nar: ghost net canoe

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The Charlotte Medal

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Two women and a baby. Photo: Samuel J Hood. ANMMCollection 00034602

Remembering the marvelous maritime mothers

10 May 2019

As Mother’s Day approaches a maritime museum is not usually a place one would look for motherly sentiment. Yet here at the museum and the Vaughan Evans Library there are small yet extraordinary reminders of what motherhood can mean.

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Gervaise Purcell, 1954 hats

Hats off to Gervaise Purcell

07 May 2019

Most lovers of Australian photography will be familiar with the iconic images of Max Dupain. However, they may not be as familiar with the work of one of his extraordinary contemporaries - Gervaise Purcell.

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Japanned papier-mâché tea tray bearing the patent mark of Henry Clay and painted with a scene of the death of Captain Cook. Image Andrew Frolows/ANMM

Anyone for tea?

15 Apr 2019

The death of Captain Cook may seem a bizarre scene for a tea tray, but such an item was the perfect gift for wealthy industrialist Henry Bolckow.

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Australian nurses preparing to depart Sydney, May 1940. Photographer: Samuel J Hood Studio, ANMM Collection 00020450

In celebration of military nurses

10 Apr 2019

With the continued public interest in medical-based period dramas thanks to the wildly popular BBC series Call The Midwife, we thought it would be a great time to showcase some fabulous images of wartime military nurses from our collection. 

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Sailors' weather lore - myth or meterology? Image: moisseyev/istock.

Red sky at night, sailor's delight?

23 Mar 2019

Sailors' weather lore  myth or meteorology? When European sailors began arriving on Australian shores, they brought with them a host of sayings about the weather. What truth was there in these, and were any of them relevant to conditions in the southern hemisphere?

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When going to the beach required pyjamas

11 Mar 2019

There's a reason people are still so fascinated with the art deco style of the 1920s and 1930s...  Take these stylish 'beach pyjamas' from the museum's archives, for example. Why make a trip to the seaside looking drab when you could look fabulous?

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Scott Gustetter, swimmer, at the 2002 Gay Games. © Paul Freeman Reproduced courtesy of Paul Freeman.

Sea of Rainbow

19 Feb 2019

Black and white photographs from the 2002 Gay Games have been found hiding away in the museum closet, and now we are raising the flag for queer stories of the sea.

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