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.

Japanned papier-mâché tea tray bearing the patent mark of Henry Clay and painted with a scene of the death of Captain Cook. Image Andrew Frolows/ANMM

Anyone for tea?

15 Apr 2019

The death of Captain Cook may seem a bizarre scene for a tea tray, but such an item was the perfect gift for wealthy industrialist Henry Bolckow.

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Australian nurses preparing to depart Sydney, May 1940. Photographer: Samuel J Hood Studio, ANMM Collection 00020450

In celebration of military nurses

10 Apr 2019

With the continued public interest in medical-based period dramas thanks to the wildly popular BBC series Call The Midwife, we thought it would be a great time to showcase some fabulous images of wartime military nurses from our collection. 

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Sailors' weather lore - myth or meterology? Image: moisseyev/istock.

Red sky at night, sailor's delight?

23 Mar 2019

Sailors' weather lore  myth or meteorology? When European sailors began arriving on Australian shores, they brought with them a host of sayings about the weather. What truth was there in these, and were any of them relevant to conditions in the southern hemisphere?

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When going to the beach required pyjamas

11 Mar 2019

There's a reason people are still so fascinated with the art deco style of the 1920s and 1930s...  Take these stylish 'beach pyjamas' from the museum's archives, for example. Why make a trip to the seaside looking drab when you could look fabulous?

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Scott Gustetter, swimmer, at the 2002 Gay Games. © Paul Freeman Reproduced courtesy of Paul Freeman.

Sea of Rainbow

19 Feb 2019

Black and white photographs from the 2002 Gay Games have been found hiding away in the museum closet, and now we are raising the flag for queer stories of the sea.

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Bligh hero

Bligh and the Rum Rebellion

26 Jan 2019

Now known as the Rum Rebellion, on 26 January 1808, the soldiers of the New South Wales Corps marched with fixed bayonets through the streets of Sydney under the command of Major George Johnston to Government House where they arrested Governor William Bligh. 

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Threads of migration roof projection in 2019. Image: ANMM.

Threads of migration

26 Jan 2019

Textiles are an evocative symbol of migration, memory and cultural identity. Our new roof projection, Threads of migration, illuminates the museum’s rooftop with a rich patchwork of immigrant stories.

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Passengers watch from the deck of City of Sydney as Skaubryn burns in the Indian Ocean, 1958. ANMM Collection Gift from Barbara Alysen ANMS0214[005]. Reproduced courtesy International Organisation for Migration

Four ships, one lifeboat

15 Jan 2019

The Norwegian liner Skaubryn was the only vessel lost at sea during the era of post-war migration to Australia, when it caught fire in 1958 with 1,288 people on board, including more than 200 children.

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Passengers become amateur navigators as they trace their vessel’s progress on a long 19th century sea voyage. From ‘Scenes on board an Australian emigrant ship’, The Illustrated London News, 1848.  ANMM Collection 00003594

Of stars and jellyfish

15 Jan 2019

Volunteer researcher Alex Murtazaeva has been looking through the museum’s library and collection for stories of the sometimes strange things people got up to on long sea voyages in the past.

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