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.

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 as 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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Vivienne T

25 Aug 2012

The Commerce gallery, one of our oldest galleries at the museum, is currently being dismantled to make way for a new temporary exhibition space. Installed before the museum opened to the public in 1991, all of the objects that were on display are being lovingly taken out of their showcases and moved to collection stores.

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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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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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No need to excavate - the wreck of the Buster (1893)

10 Aug 2012

Recently Dr. Brad Duncan from the Heritage Office, Department of Environment and Heritage and Kieran Hosty from the Australian National Maritime Museum travelled to Woolgoolga on New South Wales mid north coast to examine the remains of the Canadian built 310 ton gross, wooden, three-masted barquentine Buster.

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