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Listed under:  Society  >  Culture  >  Cultural institutions  >  Archives
Video

Indigenous Yarra bark canoe, c1850

This video features curator Richard Gillespie talking about the Yarra bark canoe in Museum Victoria's collection. The canoe was made in about 1850. The curator also discusses how this unique item made its way into the Museum. Still images are included in the video, and its duration is 3 min 12 sec.

Moving Image

Ken Burns on historical documentaries

How can TV documentaries help us to understand the past? Ken Burns is a highly regarded American television documentary maker. He has made outstanding historical documentaries on such topics as the American Civil War, baseball, jazz and the 1930s Depression. In this 2004 ABC Words program, Burns speaks to James Griffin ...

Moving Image

Ashoka the Great is for real

Imagine the excitement of discovering evidence that a great ancient ruler, whose story was believed to be a legend, was in fact a real historical figure. This clip looks at the Mauryan Empire in ancient India and the reign of Ashoka the Great, one of the most remarkable rulers in world history. This clip is the first in ...

Moving Image

Indian history reveals more ancient civilisations

How far back in time does our knowledge of Indian civilisation extend? In this clip we investigate the Vedic civilisation, which emerged around 1500 BCE, and then turn to the much earlier Indus Valley civilisation. The Mauryan Empire of Chandragupta, Bindusara and Ashoka, by comparison, arose in the fourth century BCE. ...

Image

Film cans galore, 1962

This is a black-and-white photograph of the sound stage at the Commonwealth Film Unit (now Film Australia) at Lindfield in Sydney being used as a temporary film-sorting area in 1962 when the Unit moved from its studios in Burwood to Sydney's North Shore. Hundreds of film canisters for both 35-mm and 16-mm films lie on the ...

Image

Rainforest shield, c1890s

This is a wooden shield from the Aboriginal people of the rainforest region of north-eastern Queensland. Known as a 'rainforest shield', it is painted yellow, red, white and black using natural pigments. Collected in the 1890s, it is 96 cm long x 37 cm wide.

Image

Stone axes and picks, early 1900s

This is an image showing six stone axes and picks made by people of the Warumungu and Tjingali groups near Tennant Creek in central Northern Territory. On average, the axes are 50 cm long and 20 cm wide, while the picks are 40 cm long and 25 cm wide.

Image

Pearl shell ornament, 1900s

This is an Aboriginal pearl shell ornament, attached to a length of multistranded string and engraved with a design of zig-zags and dots infilled with charcoal. Made in the 1900s in north-west Australia, it measures 18 cm x 15 cm.

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Painting by William Barak, c1880-90

This is an untitled and undated painting on cardboard by the Wurundjeri leader William Barak. It apparently depicts a corroboree. The top two rows depict dancing male figures holding boomerangs and clap sticks. Below are two rows of female figures, some apparently seated on the ground and all dressed in possum-skin cloaks.

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Pandanus baskets, 1912-13

These are four conical pandanus baskets from western Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. All are painted with natural pigments and date from 1912-13. They are between 43 cm and 76 cm high and their diameters range from 14 cm to 24 cm.

Image

Kimberley points, late 19th century

This image shows five small, sharp cutting blades known as 'Kimberley points' that were made of different coloured glass and ceramic materials by Indigenous Australian craftspeople in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. They are an average of 8 cm long and 2.5 cm wide. The points at top right and bottom left show ...

Image

Indigenous hafted axe from Sydney

This is an Indigenous stone axe with a 34-cm-long wooden handle, or haft, from the Sydney region, dating from before European contact. The axe is made from hard igneous or metamorphic rock with one end ground to a sharp edge. A piece of flexible wood has been bent around the axe. Originally the handles would have been tied ...

Image

Indigenous wooden container from New South Wales

This is a pre-European-contact style wooden vessel or container with curved sides from inland New South Wales. It measures 35 cm in length and is made from the outer bark of a tree trunk, possibly an acacia tree. Marks from an adze are visible on both sides of the vessel. It was acquired by the Australian Museum in 1983 ...

Image

Rock painting, Carnarvon Gorge, 1938 - item 1 of 2

This sepia photograph of an Indigenous rock painting shows several stencilled hands and what appear to be boomerangs. In some of the images three fingers and thumb are prominent and in the central image the little finger is bent. The images appear to be well preserved. The photograph was taken in 1938 at Carnarvon Gorge ...

Image

Rock painting, Carnarvon Gorge, 1938 - item 2 of 2

This 1938 sepia photograph of a large Indigenous rock painting displays many stencilled hands, boomerangs, coolamons and a net-like shape, possibly representing a cycad, on a cliff wall in Carnarvon Gorge in central Queensland. A large rock near the wall shows some engraved art. The photograph was taken during the second ...

Collection

Archives ACT: find of the month

This topic-based collection of primary source material provides a rich and varied source of official documents, guides and background information on the civic history of Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory. Produced monthly, this eclectic collection covers topics including the history of monuments, architecture, ...