Collections and research

caption: A conservator surface cleans a ship's plan.

The National Maritime Collection represents Australians' diverse experiences and perceptions of the sea and our waterways. Officially opened in 1991, the museum is relatively new but its collection already comprises more than 40,000 objects.

For questions about the collection not answered in this section or in the Exhibitions section, you can contact our curatorial team directly by completing the online form.

For questions about the Vaughan Evans Library collection you can contact the library team by completing the ask a librarian enquiry form

Managing the collection requires specialist knowledge, extensive research and relevant experience. Our highly skilled staff comprises experts in many fields and includes conservators, curators, maritime archaeologists, registrars, administrators, shipwrights, designers, librarians and educational specialists. Find out more about our expert staff.


If you are researching maritime history, browse the comprehensive research guides prepared by museum library staff. They aim to help students, researchers, curators and family historians learn more about Australia's maritime heritage, sea migrations to Australia and social history relating to Australians and the sea. Popular research areas such as the First Fleet, immigration ships and the wreck of the Dunbar are included. You can also search the Australian Register of Historic Vessels or the museum library.


The ANMM offers grants to regional museums and organisations to help them preserve Australia's rich maritime history. Do you have an object of significance you want to preserve or display? You may be eligible for an ANMM grant. Apply now for funding up to $10,000.

100 Stories publication

Discover fascinating stories behind our museum objects, including the fastest vessel in the world, a boat made from 2,000 beer cans and remarkable bark paintings from Arnhem Land.

Hard copies available to purchase or download the ibook. Uncover more about 100 Stories.

100 stories book

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