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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A woolie mermaid

04 Aug 2015

Last week I started exploring the fascinating intersection between needlework, craft and maritime history in the museum’s collection, examining an embroidered sampler made by young British migrant Julia Donovan in 1879. Today I will be looking at the sampler’s first cousin – the sailor’s woolwork picture or embroidered ship portrait, affectionately known as a ‘woolie’.

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Needlework sampler made by Julia Donovan on board Carnatic en route to Australia, 1879

A migration story in stitch

28 Jul 2015

One of my favourite objects in the museum’s collection is a charming needlework sampler made by 19-year-old assisted immigrant Julia Donovan on board the Carnatic in January 1879. Immigration records show that Julia arrived in Rockhampton, Queensland, from England on 5 February 1879, and presumably went into domestic service in the growing port town.

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Being a hero is all about timing: Oskar Speck's kayak voyage

28 May 2015

As I was examining the letters, journals, photographs and reports of Oskar Speck, as though they were parts of a giant jigsaw puzzle, I started piecing together the life and the incredible voyage of this intrepid German, who spent seven years and four months paddling a collapsible kayak from his native town of Altona in Hamburg all the way to Thursday Island in the Torres Strait.

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Lynton Lamb's Orient Line designs

21 May 2015

It is so often the way that in the name of progress, much of what once was is now lost. So it was with great fortune that in 1988 Australian National Maritime Museum staff were able to work together with developers to salvage part of Sydney’s rich maritime history. 

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Commemoration and contestation at Kurnell

11 May 2015

Last week was the 245th anniversary of the arrival of Captain James Cook and HMB Endeavour at Botany Bay, just south of Sydney. Cook and his crew spent 8 days here from 29 April 1770, their first landfall on the Australian coast.

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Anzacs and surf lifesavers

28 Apr 2015

A few weeks ago we installed a series of murals in the museum that were painted by David Henry Souter for the Bondi Surf Bathers’ Lifesaving Club (BSBLC). In January 1921 a ceremony was held to unveil an honour roll listing the names of the club members who had served during World War I and died far from their beloved Bondi.

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