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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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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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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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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Remembering Adam Cullen

01 Aug 2012

Adam Cullen, well-known Australian artist, worked at the Australian National Maritime Museum for six years from 1994 and all his friends and colleagues here would like to say how saddened we were to hear of his death.

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The Lady Rowers of the YWCA

25 Jul 2012

In case you hadn’t yet heard, the Olympics are just about to roll around again. As July comes to a close the Olympics will commence, captivating the world as it showcases the physical heights of human potential and creates history in its wake. Clearly this is an excellent opportunity for museums such as ours to combine a very Australian love of sports with a little history.

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The lone fisherman

16 Jul 2012

There’s something ambient about Kenneth Macqueen’s The Beach Fisherman, 1934. A man stands barefoot on a beach, fishing line in tow, with the shore stretching out further than the eye can see and the clouds threatening rain in a decidedly gloomy way.

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Black cats on Friday 13th

13 Jul 2012

Who is superstitious about Friday the 13th? Personally I am not, well, I can’t be – I was born on the 13th and lived a good 13 years in house number 13 (which we do think was haunted by a friendly protective ghost!). I decided long ago that 13 is my lucky number.

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Eighteen months on a leaky boat

11 Jul 2012

There is something intriguing about natural history illustrations. The plants look as though they are sprouting from the page but the animals appear slightly on the edge of reality, with blankly staring eyes and stiffly posed limbs. Perhaps this is because the immobility of plants permit them to be drawn from life whereas animals do not generally allow the painter that luxury unless they are in a more, well, deceased state.

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