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.

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Nicole and Penny

Nicole Cama and Penny Edwell (the artist formerly known as Penny Hyde) work as Digital Curators at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour, Sydney. We blog about events, people and most importantly - the museum's collection. We hope to open up the museum's collection to virtual visitors, blow off the dust and reveal some of the wonderful objects and stories held in the archives and storage rooms of the museum.

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 has 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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The sinking of TAHITI - a disaster captured on film

24 Aug 2012

Passengers peer through windows on the deck of the liner VENTURA and hang over the ship’s railings, completely engrossed in the scene in front of them. Some are still climbing ladders up the side of the vessel, while others wait in lifeboats below.

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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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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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