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The Western Australian Museum Maritime History Department Collection

MH Collection


WAM 36


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.

The Maritime History Department reflects the multicultural diversity of Western Australian maritime communities, families, and individuals. The collection highlights their industries, ingenuity, lifestyles, education, and training. The collection began in the 1960s. Most of the collections are donated. Originally begun as a collection of maritime technology it has developed into a substanial social history and heritage collection. Collection materials date from the 1860s to the present.

Some material may be subject to copyright.

Viewable in exhibitions at WA Maritime Museum, WA Museum in Perth, Albany and Geraldton. Collection storage areas may be accessed by prior appointment.

Item descriptions, specifications, images, conservation & location history available through the WA Museum Maritime History Department's Research and Integrated Collection Management System.


19th, 20th and 21st Centuries; Jon Sanders; Parry Endeavour; Vernacular watercraft; Watercraft

Aboriginal peoples; Art objects; Artefacts; Boats; Commerce; Employment; Engines; Fishing; Fishing industry; Lifestyles; Marine engineering; Maritime history; Migration; Navies; Painting; Photography; Ports; Recreation; Ships; Submarines; Visual arts; Water transport; Whaling industry

Aboriginal peoples (Australians); Armed forces; Arrivals & departures; Art; Fishing; Fishing industry; Immigration; Indigenous watercraft; Leisure; Navies; Photography; Ports; Rescue equipment; Sealing; Shipbuilding; Sports & recreations; Submarines; Surf-lifesaving; Vessels (watercraft); Whaling

Artworks; Engines; Photographs; Ships; Watercraft

Coverage Spatial

Western Australia; International; Indian Ocean

Coverage Temporal



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