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.

Fold-out engraving from Ferrante Imperato's Dell'Historia Naturale (Naples 1599), the earliest illustration of a natural history cabinet. Source: Wikimedia

Cabinet of curiosities

23 Jul 2020

Weird, wonderful, quirky – and odd. What objects are hiding in our collection? And how did they come to be part of the National Maritime Collection?

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Arthur Pringle as a lieutenant in 1899. Image courtesy of Eliots of Port Eliot

'Ever your loving son': Arthur Pringle and his letters home

21 May 2020

Arthur Pringle as a 13-year old boy wrote to home to his mother while training for the Royal Navy on HMS Britannia.  The letters, in true teenage style, are hardly full of information, but they tell enough to show this young boy was keen to impress his parents back at home.

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Women in their swimming costumes on the beach at Lindeman Island, Queensland, Christmas 1928

Frolicking and Fossicking: Touring the Great Barrier Reef in 1928

17 Feb 2020

Over two million people visit the Great Barrier Reef region each year, with the coral reef continuing to rank in the top 10 ‘must do before you die’ travel lists. But it was not always so. Curatorial Assistant Myffanwy Byrant looks at the origins of this tourist destination with the Embury Expedition in 1928.

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Swimcap

Vintage beach glamour: Five stylish swimming caps

16 Jan 2020

Swimming caps were a popular fashion accessory in the 1950s and 1960s, with decorated caps the new vogue. We've selected our top five favourite swimming caps from the collection, featuring bright colours, applique and bedazzled jewels! 

 

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Black and white photograph of a ship

Digitising our history: The tragedy of SS Federal

21 Dec 2019

The museum’s Registration team recently digitised 127 documents related to the working life and horrific wrecking of SS Federal. Curator of Ocean Science and Technology Emily Jateff provides an overview of the shipwreck and its discovery. 

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Gina Sinozich, We are sailing the Suez Canal on our way to Australia, 2003. ANMM Collection Gift from Gina Sinozich 00037916

Sail, steam and Suez views

17 Nov 2019

This week marks the 150th anniversary of a great historic coincidence – the opening of the Suez Canal and the launch of the British tea clipper Cutty Sark.

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