Discover stories behind the latest exhibitions, fascinating explorations into maritime science and archaeology, and the surprising details of what happens inside (and outside) a modern working museum.

A day in the life of a cruise ship

06 Dec 2012

Like nocturnal animals, they come home as dawn breaks, find their haven to sit out the heat of the day, and then head back out as the day cools into the evening. That’s one day’s pattern in the life of a cruise ship that comes to Sydney.

Read more

Walking in Hall’s footsteps

30 Nov 2012

Ever since the museum joined Flickr Commons in 2008, we have gleaned a wealth of invaluable information related to photographic items from the collection. Flickr users have scanned images noticing the tiniest details, such as barely discernible ship names and locations.

Read more

The Prince of Pickpockets who stole our imagination with a swagger

16 Nov 2012

Everyone loves a good convict story, and George Barrington’s chequered life of misdeeds, ‘dissipation and licentiousness’ fails to disappoint. A real life ‘Artful Dodger’, Barrington remains one of the most notorious convicts in history. He also played a role in one of the greatest literary frauds, a myth that perpetuates to this day.

Read more

A Special Kind of Bluebird

09 Nov 2012

With these words Lieutenant Colonel A. B. Brockway of the Army Medical Corps heralded the start of WW1 service for a group of exceptional Australian nurses.

Read more

The three Mysteries: the Island, the Star and the disappearance

05 Nov 2012

On 5 September 1936, crowds gathered at wharf 10 in Walsh Bay, Sydney to farewell the cast and crew of a new Australian ‘talkie’, Mystery Island. Among those at the wharf about to board SS Morinda was actor Brian Abbot who was photographed, by Samuel J Hood, farewelling his wife Grace Rikard Bell.

Read more

From Brunswick to Bullecourt

25 Oct 2012

In a sea of faces, some worried, some jubilant, Private John Michael Hassett poses for a picture. It is October 1916, Melbourne, and Hassett and other members of his battalion are just about to board the troopship Nestor to leave for war.

Read more

The ‘indescribable horror’

19 Oct 2012

On 3 November 1927, the Union Steamship Company’s RMS Tahiti collided with the Watsons Bay ferry Greycliffe off Bradley’s Head. It became known as Sydney’s worst maritime disaster and etched itself into the minds of those who witnessed scenes of ‘indescribable horror’ on the harbour on that sunny afternoon.

Read more