MME // OAIWestern Australian Museum

48 Collections - XML - JSON
ID LocalTitleDescription BriefUpdated

Ancient Egyptian collection

A collection of objects acquired during the early 1900s to reflect ancient Egyptian culture. The collection supported the 19th century view that a display of ancient objects reflected a civilised and cultured society.
Coverage: Fayum; Thebes; Hissayeh; Esna; Kom el Ahmar; Hierakonpolis; Abydos; Egypt
30 May 2012
WAM 22

Arnott, Mills and Ware Collection

The Arnott, Mills and Ware Collection is an extensive collection of over 250 items used at the Arnotts Mills and Ware biscuit factory, South Terrace, South Fremantle, Western Australia. It consists of tools, cooking implements, cake and biscuit tins, labels and biscuit wrappers, uniforms, posters, price lists, operators' log books, promotional material and photographs collected when the factory closed in 1992.
Coverage: South Fremantle; Western Australia; Fremantle; 1890 - 1992
30 May 2012
WAM 38

Australia II Collection

The Australia II / America's Cup Collection (over 1,500 items excluding documents) includes: the yacht Australia II and rigging; memorabillia and merchandising, crew clothing, the iconic boxing kangaroo flags (including the very first prototype and subsequent derivatives), syndicate challenge and defence documents and records (10 filing cabinets) yacht plans, and models, school children's artworks, telegrams and press clippings.
Coverage: Perth, Western Australia; International; Western Australia; Cottesloe, Western Australia; 1960 - 1987
30 May 2012

Australians in Papua New Guinea

A collection of ethonographic objects acquired during the period when Australia administered Papua New Guinea as a colonial outpost. This collection and the associated primary documents reflect the lives and experiences of Australian's working in the region during this time.
Coverage: New Ireland; Sepik River; Manus Island; Ambunti; Maprik; Lake Kopiago; Trobriand Islands; Madang; Papua New Guinea; Telefomin; 1918 - 1975
30 May 2012
WAM 33

Barque Eglinton 1852

This collection contains artefacts from the the 462-ton barque Eglinton which was wrecked in 1852. The site was discovered in 1971 and a large collection of artefacts was recovered representing a broad range of general merchandise, principally British manufactures, goods obtained from British colonies and a few consumables from elsewhere.
Coverage: Wanneroo; Perth, Western Australia; Swan River Colony; 1852 - 1852
30 May 2012
WAM 34


This collection contains artefacts from the wreck of the Batavia in 1629 on the Houtman Abrolhos, off the coast of Western Australia.
Coverage: Batavia (Jakarta, Indonesia); Houtman Abrolhos; 1629 - 1629
30 May 2012

Cheetup excavation

In 1979 and the early 1980s as part of post-graduate research Museum archaeologist Moya Smith, with members of the Esperance Aboriginal community, undertook archaeological excavations at Cheetup rockshelter in southern Western Australia. Excavations yielded botanical and faunal remains as well as stone tools and was dated from 13,000 BP to 1800s AD.
Coverage: Western Australia; Esperance; Cheetup; 13000 BP - 1800s
30 May 2012

Crawford Image Collection

Former staff member Ian Crawford was the Western Australian Museum's first Curator of Anthropology & Archaeology, appointed in 1961. Between 1961 and 1993 he made 30 fieldtrips to the Kimberley, working with Aboriginal communities focusing on research into art and mythology, contact with Indonesian and Malay fishermen, maintenance of knowledge of traditional resource use, and mission history. His photographic collection includes around 30,000 images. This extensive image collection reflects Crawford's work with Kimberley community members, particularly Kalumburu.
Coverage: Indonesia; Kalumburu; Western Australia; Kimberley; 1960 - 1995
30 May 2012
WAM 23

Daina Skele Collection

A collection of personal material reflecting the life of Daina Skele (nee Dzintars) who fled Latvia during World War Two and emigrated to Western Australia with her family as 'Displaced Persons' after the war. It includes items of clothing, haberdashery, photographs, books and letters.
Coverage: Western Australia; Northam; Latvia; 1940 - 1979
30 May 2012
WAM 14

Desert Pokerwork

A small collection of carved wooden objects from the Western Australian Deserts decorated using hot wire.
Coverage: Western Australian Deserts; Western Australia; 1920 - 2000
30 May 2012

Devil's Lair Cave excavation

In the late 1960s material recovered from a cave in the south-west of Western Australia (subsequently called Devil's Lair) led to a decades long archaeological program by Museum archaeologists that has shaped the knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal life in the region over a period of 40,000 years. The excavations at Devil's Lair resulted in the recovery of many thousands of artefacts, including bone points and bone beads, along with animal and plant remains. The collection continues to be a significant research and cultural resource.
Coverage: Margaret River; Western Australia; Devil's Lair
30 May 2012
WAM 41

Doria Collection

The collection (206 items) comprises a double ended, partially decked fishing boat and rig; spare rigging and boat parts; leather stencil; clothing and underwear; cap; rowlocks, life jackets; flags, fishing nets, fishing line baskets, lead weights, fishing line and cord, corks, grapnels, anchors, net roller, lights, lagging, fastenings, seive, fish cleaners, bag hook, sail cloth, scales, paint tins, knives.
Coverage: Western Australia; Molfetta, Italy; International; 1930 - 1989
30 May 2012
WAM 48

Dr Kenneth McPherson Indian Ocean Collection

A collection of significant material documenting the scope of the Indian Ocean trade and trading routes both prior and subsequent to the British settlement of the Australian continent, compliled by respected Maritime History researcher and academic Dr Kenneth McPherson. The McPherson Collection (60 items) is comprised of: ceramic transferware, shipping line cutlery and crockery, souvenirs and artworks of Indian Ocean travels, postcards, dinner plates, tureen, engravings, maps, textile prints, statues, religious icons, an incense burner, and ship models.
Coverage: Indian Ocean; Western Australia; International; 1860 - 1969
30 May 2012
WAM 16

Edith Cowan University Museum of Childhood Collection

The ECU Museum of Childhood Collection is a nationally significant collection of 24,000 items reflective of Western Australian childhood in all its diversity. It contains the toys and games of Western Australian children's play, child rearing and schooling items, costume, books and items reflective of home life. The collection, dating from the Seventeenth Century to 2009 is representative of children's lives in different periods, environments, socio-economic circumstances and culturally diverse backgrounds.
Coverage: International; Western Australia; 1600 - 2009
30 May 2012
WAM 25

Edward Burtynsky Australian Minescapes Photograph Collection

A collection of 28 commissioned landscape photographic artworks by Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky, taken in Western Australia in 2007.
Coverage: Eastern Goldfields; Kalgoorlie; Pilbara; Western Australia; Australia; Lake Lefroy; Dampier; 2007 - 2008
30 May 2012


Toy companies, film producers and authors have long used the world of the Ancient Egyptians as a source for inspiration. Images of mummies, pyramids, sarcophagi and pharaohs have made their way into popular consciousness. This fascination has spawned an array of replicas, reproductions or inspired creations ranging from the sublime to the kitsch. This small, but growing, collection seeks to represent the way we continue to reproduce and consume the real and imagined world of the Ancient Egyptians.
Coverage: Egypt
30 May 2012
WAM 27

Ernest Maurice Collection

A small and very poignant collection of personal belongings of Ernest Maurice. Alone in Australia, they were his sole possessions wrapped up in a bundle for return to his sister in London following his death from typhoid fever in 1891.
Coverage: Albany; Brisbane Boarding House; Katanning; Colonial Hospital Perth; Perth; 1890 - 1891
30 May 2012
WAM 46

Fishing Collection

The extensive WAM Fishing Collection draws together diverse items to examine - the changing attitudes to fish as a food, from cheapest staple to gourmet item; the changing multicultural scene and the associated social imact; changes in technology, and the scientific understanding of the WA Fisheries; changing technology; and changing catch. The collection comprises: oral histories, navigational equipment and electronic gear, boats and builders models, rigging, engines, 'cray' pots, nets, fishing lines, hooks, corks and floats, sinkers, woven baskets, wood and plastic crates, safety gear, builders models, processing equipment and gear, clothing, protective clothing and wet weather gear, oral histories, images, sail cloth, signalling and spot lights, net mending gear, ropes, culture pearl implements and gear, whaling gear, processing and marketing materials, tins and packaging materials, scales and balances, storage containers, onboard cooking and accommodation gear, religious icons, festival costumes, docume...
Coverage: Western Australia; International; 1860 - 1869
30 May 2012
WAM 20

Gold Mining History Collection

The gold mining history collection is comprised of: material relating to prospecting; material relating to underground mining, including large equipment used in the process of extracting and processing gold; assaying equipment; and health and safety equipment.
Coverage: Kalgoorlie; Eastern Goldfields; Western Australia; Boulder; 1890 - 2010
30 May 2012
WAM 37

Heritage Watercraft Collection

A collection or 'library' of 90 vessels ranging from dugout canoes, through the recreational and commercial vessels, the iconic Australia II, to a 2,000 tonne Oberon-class submarine, illustrating and documenting the range of watercraft used in the history of Western Australia and interaction with our Indian Ocean neighbours.
Coverage: Western Australia; International; Indian Ocean; 1860 - 1869
30 May 2012
WAM 28

Improvisation Collection

A large and diverse collection of home-made improvised items ranging from home-made furniture, domestic items, infant care materials, toys through to militaria
Coverage: Western Australia; 1860 - 2010
30 May 2012
WAM 26

JWR Linton Collection

A collection of over 100 pieces representing aspects of the life and work of artist JWR Linton. The collection includes examples of his work; his tools of trade and work benches; and designs, drawings and notebooks.
Coverage: Western Australian Art Gallery; Australia; Perth Technical School; Linton Art School; Western Australian Museum; Perth; Western Australia; 1890 - 1939
30 May 2012

Mandu Mandu Creek Rockshelter excavation

In the late 1980s a small limestone rockshelter on the western edge of North-West Cape was excavated by Museum archaeologist, Kate Morse, as part of her post-graduate studies. The material that was recovered from the rcokshelter provided early evidence for the exploitation of marine resources by Aboriginal people.
Coverage: Western Australia; Mandu Mandu Creek
30 May 2012
WAM 44

Marine Engineering Collection

An extensive collection representing the development of maritime engineering technology, particularly as used in WA, from the first marine beam engine to today's outboard motor or nuclear drive plant; and the experiences and unsung stories of the rarely sighted engineers who ran, maintained and fixed this tehnology, often in the most difficult circumstances. The marine engineering, science and technology collection comprises: combustion, inboard and outboard engines (30), steam engines and pumps (20), model engines and boilers (12), oral histories (30), uniforms (5), certificates of discharge, eppaulettes, caps, passports, tools, implements, scientific instruments, gauges, certificates of competency, employment identification cards, documents, technical books, manuals, navigational materials, technical plans, log books, union membership books, memorabilia, documents, piston and valve, engine gauge boards, and engine makers' plates.
Coverage: Western Australia; International; 1890 - 1899
30 May 2012
WAM 32

Maritime Archaeology Numismatic Collection

This collection contains over 30,000 coins recovered from various shipwrecks off the coast of Western Australia.
Coverage: Holy Roman Empire; Zeeland; The United Netherlands; Dirk Hartog Island; Boston; 1629 - 1820
30 May 2012
WAM 45

Maritime Artwork Collection

The WAM Maritime History Artworks Collection features over 180 rare and often unknown original artworks recording or representing aspects of Western Australian maritime interactions, by artists as diverse as harbourmasters to war correspondents, and range from the 1830s to the present day. This collection of artworks includes oil paintings, etchings, watercolours, curios, sea chests, pearl shell, scrimshaw, textiles, and wood carvings.
Coverage: International; Western Australia; 1880 - 1999
30 May 2012
WAM 39

Parry Endeavour Collection

The focus of the Parry Endeavour Collection is to highlight the lifestyle and means by which Jon Sanders completed a solo, non-stop double- then subsequently triple- circumnavigation of the world in the 1980s. The collection comprises 1,021 items dating from 1970s-1988, including the yacht, rigging, safety gear, self-steering gear, food, multi-media, electronic and electrical gear, navigational, first aid and medical equipment, fishing tackle, toys, clothes, tools.
Coverage: International; Western Australia; 1970 - 1990
30 May 2012
WAM 10


A large archaeological assemblage from Puntutjarpa, a rockshelter near the Warburton Ranges in Western Australia, excavated during the late 1960s by Dr R.A. Gould. The Puntutjarpa excavation was one of the first major archaeological investigations conducted in Western Australia and continues to be an important record of the prehistory of the region.
Coverage: Warburton Ranges, Western Australia; Puntutjarpa
30 May 2012
WAM 43

Richard McKenna Image Collection

The Richard McKenna Memorial Collection was created and bequeath to the WA Museum by Richard McKenna who was a steam engine buff and shipping enthusiast. The collection comprises: photographs (120,000), slides (60,000), shipping memorabilia (300), artworks (12), souvenir ceramics (50), plaques (200), flags (40), silverware (40), scrapbooks (60).
Coverage: Western Australia; International; 1870 - 1989
30 May 2012
WAM 40

Sama Biasa Collection

The Sama Biasa collection explores the notion of sovereign territorial waters, and the long-standing interactions with our northern neighbours that preceded it. The 187 items include the Indonesian perahu Sama Biasa itself, the first Indonesian boat arrested and confiscated for fishing in Australian territorial waters in 1980, and all the personal equipment and fittings typical of such a vessel that were on board when arrested.
Coverage: Western Australia; Kimberley coast, Western Australia; International; Indonesia; 1950 - 1989
30 May 2012
WAM 42

South Tomi Collection

A collection of materials representative of both the personal and ship's equipment of the long line fishing vessle South Tomi arreseted in Ausatrlian waters for poaching Patagonian Toothfish. This collection comprises 96 items: tins and bottles of food, brush wood brooms, shovels, stool, fire extinguisher, homewares, cooking utensils, cleaver, calender, protective clothing, freezer suits, casual clothes, bedding, shoes, proective boots, work aprons, Spanish-Korean (Espanol-Coreano) Dictionary, Japanese language book, Korean paperback (James Dean), ticket and baggage label, Indonesian comic book, Mauritius Telecom phone card, Spanish/Catholic prayer cards, documents, Cyrillic/Russian paperbacks, Spanish/Cyrillic/English Dictionary, Spanish newspapers, fishing lines, hooks, sinkers, fishing line storage containers, knives, knife belts and sheaths, scaler, buckets, stackable crates, stone weights, ship's log books (in Japanese and Spanish).
Coverage: International; Western Australia; Southern Ocean; 1990 - 1999
30 May 2012
WAM 13

South-West Collection

An important collection of objects from the South-West of Western Australia collected between the 1890s and 1940s.
Coverage: Western Australia; York; Perth; Bunbury; Arthur River; Pinjarra; south-west; 1830 - 1940
30 May 2012
WAM 30

SS Xantho (1848-1872)

This collection includes the engine from the SS Xantho which sank at Port Gregory in 1872 as well items relating to life of Charles Edward Broadhurst and his family.
Coverage: Port Gregory, Western Australia; Kilmore, Victoria; Nickol Bay; Inthanoona Station; Cossack; Walga Rock; 1848 - 1872
30 May 2012
WAM 47

Submarine Collection

The submarine collection (1,000) is comprised an ex-Royal Australian Navy Oberon-class submarine HMAS Ovens, and associated materials: documents, clothes, possessions, books, mementos, bags, uniforms, and other paraphenalia used by submariners living onboard an Oberon submarine. This includes accoutrements of the galley, officers and crews messes. In addition are the extensive archives of technical material relating to HMAS Ovens as supplied by the Royal Australian Navy. Maritime History staff has also generated an extensive image collection documenting the demolition of HMAS Orion in 2008 as a record to assist with the conservation and preservation of HMAS Ovens and other Oberon submarines displayed in other Australian states.
Coverage: International; Western Australia; 1960 - 1995
30 May 2012
WAM 11

The Cunningham Collection

A small collection of 20 objects and 36 images compiled by John Cunningham in the 1950s at Cundeelee. Cunningham was a member of State parliament and joined trips into the Great Victoria Desert to evacuate Aboriginal people to Cundeelee prior to the atomic bomb tests at Maralinga.
Coverage: Maralinga; Cundeelee; Great Victoria Desert; Western Australia; 1950 - 1960
30 May 2012
WAM 12

The Goodlet Collection

A collection of 87 objects from Irian Jaya and Papua New Guinea compiled by former missionary, Bill Goodlet, in the 1960s.
Coverage: Papua New Guinea; North Baliem Valley; Telefomin; Irian Jaya; Baiyer Valley; 1960 - 1969
30 May 2012

The J.T. Tunney Collection

A collection of ethnographic objects and photographs compiled by J.T. Tunney during the period 1895 - 1903, as part of his role as Western Australian Museum Collector.
Coverage: Koparlgo Mission; South Alligator River; Kimberley; Perth; Pilbara; Murchison; Western Australia; Northern Territory; 1897 - 1903
30 May 2012
WAM 24

The Narrogin Doll Factory Collection

A small but rare collection of World War One era dolls, puppets and photographs from the Narrogin Doll Factory, Narrogin, Western Australia.
Coverage: Narrogin; Western Australia; Narrogin Doll Factory; 1914 - 1929
30 May 2012
WAM 21

The O'Keefe Collection

A collection of 406 toys, books and school items used on the Western Australian Eastern Goldfields, in Harvey, Maylands and Perth Modern School by two generations of children and teachers. Some items belonged to Kalgoorlie sisters Alvina, Evelyn and Beatrice Straube who were raised in the 1890s and early 1900s. Alvina became a local school teacher and married postmaster George Barker. Their five children, Dorothy, Carmel, Monica, Loretta and George, spent part of their childhoods in Boulder and Leonora between 1916 and 1925 and later in Harvey and Maylands a suburb of Perth. Most items in the collection are childhood items belonging to Monica, but the collection also includes items from Monica's education at Perth Modern School in 1936-37, teacher training at Claremont Teacher's College and later time as a primary school teacher in various Western Australian government and private schools through to her retirement in 1971. The toys and other items reflect families of modest means. There are no grand objects,...
Coverage: Perth Senior Technical College; Claremont Teachers College; Mayland State School; Inglewood State School; Hollywood State School; City Beach Primary School; Perth Modern School; Victoria Park State School; Maylands Covent School; Claremont State School; St Hilda's School; Reedy State School; Leonora; Harvey; Boulder; Kalgoorlie; Maylands State School; Perth Girls School; Fremantle Hospital Burns Unit; Maylands; 1890 - 1979
30 May 2012
WAM 17

The Riley Family Collection

This near complete collection of 150 toys, photos and other items belonged to the six children (b.1887-97) of Perth's first Anglican Archbishop, the Rev C O Riley. It is believed to be one of the most complete holdings of a single family collection of toys of this period in Australia.
Coverage: International; Western Australia; Perth; Bishop's House, Perth; 1880 - 1915
30 May 2012
WAM 18

The Stanwix Collection

An extensive collection of 357 items from the first half of the Twentieth Century including documents and photos donated by Shirley Stanwix (formerly Cläre Freudenberg) who arrived as a ten year old in Western Australia in 1938 with her family as German Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. The collection reflects the family's life in Germany (Bremen and Kiel) prior to their forced departure through to the establishment of successful lives in Western Australia. Importantly it provides telling evidence of the slow erosion of human rights for Jewish people under the Nazi regime, culminating in the death of Shirley's father in Esterwegen Concentration Camp in 1936 and the years of persecution that followed.
Coverage: Bremen; Perth; Nedlands; Germany; Kiel; Esterwegen Concentration Camp; Western Australia; 1880 - 1979
30 May 2012
WAM 15

The Western Australian Museum History Department Collection

A collection that reflects the material life of Western Australians from early colonial times (1820s) to the present. It presents the story of people and place in Western Australia in all its diversity.The collection consists of around 100,000 items ranging from fine lacework to motor vehicles. It features collections reflecting the early Swan River Colony, convictism, Indigenous life, the story of migration, making-do, working life including gold mining history, the Arnott, Mills and Ware Cake and Biscuit Factory, domestic work, office work and various trades, as well as a significant collection of trade union banners. It also features several important sub collections such as the ECU Museum of Childhood Collection, the nation's most extensive and significant collection of childhood material.
Coverage: Western Australia; Swan River Colony; International; 1700 - 1799
30 May 2012
WAM 36

The Western Australian Museum Maritime History Department Collection

The focus of the Maritime History Collection is Western Australia's maritime history and heritage within the context of the Indian Ocean. The MH Collection, includes: watercraft (80) ranging from a tin canoe to an Oberon submarine and slipways (2), winch houses (2) and cranes (2); photographs and images (100,000); marine engines (70); materials representative of work, leisure and lifestyles (10,000); artworks (260); and oral histories (300). Major sub-collections include an Oberon submarine and associated slipways precinct; fishing, whaling, sealing, pearling, boat and shipbuilding, arrivals and departures, leisure, trade and cargoes, shipping, ports, immigration, migration and emigration, trade and cargoes, leisure, government maritime services, lifesaving, indigenous, Indian Ocean, ferry services, marine engineering, science and technology, maritime defence, navy, submarines.
Coverage: Western Australia; International; Indian Ocean; 1860 - 1869
30 May 2012
WAM 19

Trade Union Banner Collection

The Banner Collection, comprising 12 banners in total, represents the collective identity of a number of unions organised on the Western Australian Goldfields and in Perth and Fremantle. They cover the three major banner making periods in Western Australia - the late 19th to early 20th centuries, 1930s, and 1980s.
Coverage: Boulder; Kalgoorlie; Perth; Western Australia; Fremantle; Eastern Goldfields; 1890 - 1989
30 May 2012
WAM 31

Vergulde Draak

This collection contains artefacts from the wreck of the Vergulde Draak which was lost in 1653. Artefacts include beard-man jugs, clay tobacco pipes (including a box of complete pipes), bronze and brass utensils, tools, accessories, glass bottles, various armaments, over 8 000 bricks from the Netherlands (presumably used as paying ballast on the ship) and over 8 500 silver coins, mostly Spanish reales.
Coverage: Amsterdam; Batavia (Jakarta); East Indies; Yanchep, Western Australia; 1653 - 1656
30 May 2012
WAM 35

VOC ship Zuytdorp (Zuiddorp)

This collection contains artefacts from the wreck of the VOC ship Zuytdorp (Zuiddorp)lost in 1712. Artefacts include silver, lead ingots, a cannon with a British Broad arrow inscribed on its upper surface, a very large bower anchor, a ship's bell (fragments), ceramics, pewter plate, personal accoutrements and an intact, very ornate drinking glass.
Coverage: Batavia (Jakarta, Indonesia); Western Australia; mid west coast of Western Australia between Tamala and Murchison House Stations; Wale Well; 1712 - 1712
30 May 2012
WAM 29

Western Australia Historic Shipwrecks

Western Australia has 830 known wrecks, of which 103 have been located and are protected under State or Federal legislation and currently come under Museum legislation or administration. The earliest site is the English East India Company ship Trial lost off the Montebello Islands in1622. Four Dutch East India Company shipwrecks include the Batavia lost in the Houtman Abrolhos in 1629, the Vergulde Draak, lost north of Perth in 1656; the Zuiddorp lost north of Kalbarri in 1712 and the Zeewijk lost in the Houtman Abrolhos in 1727. Four nineteenth century ships were lost before European settlement in Western Australia that occurred in 1829: the British whaler Lively (c. 1809); the American China trader Rapid (1811); the Portuguese advice boat Correio da Azia (1816); and the British sealer Belinda (1824). Wrecks continue to be reported and discovered and in the last year three new sites were recorded.
Coverage: Houtman Abrolhos; Kalbarri; Western Australia; Montebello Islands; Perth, Western Australia; 1622 - 1824
30 May 2012

Western Australian Museum Anthropology and Archaeology Department collections

The Anthropology and Archaeology department's collections chiefly focus on objects collected from Western Australian Aboriginal cultures, including stone tools from locations throughout WA and other parts of the world, as well as objects from other parts of the world such as Papua New Guinea, Melanesia and Africa.
Coverage: Papua New Guinea; Perth, Western Australia; Melanesia; Western Australia; Africa
30 May 2012