National Maritime Collection

caption: The celebrated Charlotte Medal from Australia's First Fleet. Convict Thomas Barrett engraved the 74 mm silver Charlotte Medal on board the transport ship Charlotte when it was anchored in Botany Bay in January 1788.

The National Maritime Collection represents Australians' diverse experiences and perceptions of the sea and our waterways. One of Australia's most recent major collections, commenced only in 1986, it already comprises some 135,000 items including 85,000 archive items. There are 52,000 digital images attached to collection records.

Search the collection.

How we collect

The museum's Collection Development Policy (2005) guides us in the acquisition of relevant maritime material, and its intellectual and physical care. Particular emphasis is given to social history. We aim to build a collection that represents the breadth of Australia's maritime heritage, rather than one that is comprehensive in all areas, and to complement the many excellent State and regional maritime museums and their collections which are a rich repository of Australia's maritime history.

Australian National Maritime Museum Collection Development Policy 2011 (PDF, 1.8mb) (DOC, 218kb)

Australian National Maritime Museum Loans Policy 2010 (PDF, 291kb) (DOC, 66kb)

Monthly Highlights

highlightAmazing Whales
now showing
highlightBeautiful Whale
life-size photographs
highlightComing to Australia
Post WWII photographs
highlightMini Mariners
Fun for under 5s
highlightSchool Holidays
Whale Season

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