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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Ron and Valerie Taylor and their quest to protect

12 Sep 2012

Three days ago, we lost one of the most highly regarded marine conservationists this country as ever produced – shark expert and underwater filmmaker Ron Taylor. Since the 1960s, Ron and his wife Valerie pioneered underwater photography and rigorously campaigned for marine conservation.

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King Neptune, his wife, a surgeon, a barber and - some bears

07 Sep 2012

The danger of sea travel and the mysteries of the ocean have produced some elaborate and fascinating mythology over the thousands of years humans have been at sea. At the whims of weather and water, the rough and adventurous lives of sailors and seafarers led to the creation of a wide variety of superstitions, omens and rituals.

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A Sterling day out with the family

30 Aug 2012

My latest research efforts have been focussed on an American shipping family, headed by shipowner and master, Captain Edward Robert Sterling. During the 1900s to the 1920s, Samuel J Hood would take his trusty Folmer & Schwing Graflex camera to Sydney Harbour to photograph vessels and their crew and passengers.

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Vivienne T

25 Aug 2012

The Commerce gallery, one of our oldest galleries at the museum, is currently being dismantled to make way for a new temporary exhibition space. Installed before the museum opened to the public in 1991, all of the objects that were on display are being lovingly taken out of their showcases and moved to collection stores.

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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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lighthouse

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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