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.

Main image: Dock workers and floating crane / Titan Darling Harbour / c. 1947. David Moore. ANMM Collection 00030758

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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


HMT Queen Mary assisted by a tug


Hobart Town 1856


Arch in the Sky


Emeret Nar: ghost net canoe


The Charlotte Medal


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The sinking of TAHITI - a disaster captured on film

24 Aug 2012

Passengers peer through windows on the deck of the liner VENTURA and hang over the ship’s railings, completely engrossed in the scene in front of them. Some are still climbing ladders up the side of the vessel, while others wait in lifeboats below.

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It’s a curator’s life

21 Aug 2012

Way back in 1986 I joined the museum as the first of the curatorial staff – and 26 years later I’m still here and enjoying it as much as ever! Why? That’s easy – there’s something new to learn everyday and maritime matters cover such a wide sphere that there’s just never any time to be bored. My first big job was the curation and installation of the Commerce gallery – one of the opening exhibitions of the museum in 1991.

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A pocket with no jacket – can you help?

20 Aug 2012

Moving objects around the collection stores sometimes turns up interesting discoveries. I made one such discovery that requires a bit of detective work to solve. While searching through a textile box in storage I came across a lonely black fabric pocket. The pocket logically seemed to have come loose from a jacket or blazer and this makes sense as the rest of the material in the box were in fact jackets and blazers.

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Commerce exhibition redevelopment

16 Aug 2012

During the coming months the permanent exhibition Commerce – The working sea is being removed from display and a new temporary exhibition space developed. The Commerce gallery is the only long term display that has not significantly changed since it was installed at the opening of the museum in 1991.

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Heroic deeds and the humble lighthouse keeper

15 Aug 2012

What was life like for a lighthouse keeper? I spotted this engraving, ‘The Lighthouse-Keeper’, which was published in the Australasian Sketcher in the 1880s. The sense of solitude and contemplation is striking and it occurred to me that there is often much emphasis on the lighthouse as a sturdy, dependable symbol of navigational safety, but less on the figure of the lighthouse keeper.

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Shaping the unknown land to the South

07 Aug 2012

Maps are fantastic storytellers. At first glance they provide a collection of scientific data, information to be read like a coded book, a tool for guidance. However as they evolve into historical items and beyond their practical use, maps offer additional and unique dimensions to historical narratives.

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