100 Stories

caption: Discover stories from the museum's collection

100 Stories from the Australian National Maritime Museum

From a small silver medallion beautifully engraved by a First Fleet convict to the 119-metre Royal Australian Navy destroyer, HMAS Vampire, the Australian National Maritime Museum has an incredibly diverse collection of more than 130,000 items. Here, the museum's curators reveal the fascinating stories behind many amazing objects, including the fastest vessel in the world (Spirit of Australia), a boat made from 2,000 beer cans, the remarkable Saltwater Collection of bark paintings from Arnhem Land, and surfboards inspired by the Bra Boys and the 2005 Cronulla race riots. They tell of unforgettable people - both famous and lesser known - whose lives have been shaped by the sea.

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Australian National Maritime Museum (ed.)
ISBN 9781742233208, NewSouth, October 2012, PB , 250x230mm

Cover images: Details from Sydney Harbour Foreshores at Sunset 1907 Muriel Binney (1873-1949), watercolour on paper and linen 50 x 425.2 cm. ANMM Collection, gift from Jeremy Grover; conserved with the assistance of the Vincent Fairfax Family foundation.

100 Stories book and ebook

Available from The Store

Buy your hardcopy version from our online store

Or order via telephone +61 2 9298 3698 or email thestore@anmm.gov.au.

Price: $39.95 AUD (incl GST)

Download FREE from the iBookstore

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Please note: The book download can only be viewed using iBooks 2 on an iPad. iOS 5 is required.

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Watch stories on Youtube

Get a glimpse into the 100 Stories publication with these nine videos on Youtube. These intimate tales provide a fascinating insight into the museum collection that has been growing over the past 21 years. Selected from a collection of over 100 thousand objects, they show the nature and diversity of the museum and its continuing aspiration of understanding, interpreting and engaging with our rich maritime history and culture.

A prized ram video on Youtube 

A prized ram

Did you know there have been racing regattas on Sydney Harbour since 1837? This very unusual trophy was commissioned in Scotland by the whiskey distiller Johnny Walker.

Porcelain punchbowl video on Youtube 

Precious porcelain

Would you believe that this rare porcelain punchbowl weights 5.4 kg and was painted by Chinese artists c1820? It reveals a unique panoramic of Sydney Cove, but also something quite ghostly. Can you find the ghostly monogram!

Lighthouse video on Youtube 

Funny place for a Lighthouse

Did you know that at the Australian National Maritime Museum we have three very large objects relating to lighthouses? One is a 'real' lighthouse which was relocated to Sydney from Cape Bowling Green, a low sandy spit 70 km south of Townsville, Queensland.

Scrimshaw video on Youtube 

Art at sea

The museum has an impressive collection of scrimshaw that is both fragile and robust, and always full of delicate detail and beauty.

Saltwater collection video on Youtube 

Yirrkala paintings of the Saltwater Collection

In the fight to protect their land rights the Yolngu people of north-east Arnhem land produced a collection of 80 bark paintings that tell their stories of country and culture in an aim to educate strangers.

Speck adventure video on Youtube 

A Speck adventure

Meet Oskar Speck who kayaked 50,000 km from Germany in 1932 to reach Australia in 1939. A true adventurer, he filmed part of his travels recording a way of life that has disappeared.

Life jacket video on Youtube 

Lost with all hands

This old fashioned life jacket is a remanent of the fierce battle between HMAS Sydney and German Cruiser HSK Kormoran off the coast of Western Australia in 1941.


Surgical case video on Youtube


Dr John Coverdale ship's surgeon

In the 19th century life aboard a ship for a surgeon was not easy - there may have been amputations, disease, death and you had to provide your own surgical equipment!

William Blighs bling video on Youtube 

William Bligh's bling

This fancy piece of jewellery just may reveal more about one of Australia's most famous colonial characters, engraved with the motto "Eat, drink, and enjoy life, for tomorrow you may die".


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