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Welcome to Captivating and Curious

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the National Museum of Australia Act 1980. The legislation, which was passed with bipartisan support, was the culmination of 60 years of effort to establish a museum for the nation. Since 1980 the Museum has rapidly grown and aims to be one of the world's great museums.

Captivating and Curious celebrates the Museum's rich and diverse collections. These collections, gathered together over the last 80 years, help tell the story of Australia. Today the Museum cares for over 200,000 objects, providing a major resource for exploring Australian history. Each object is a reminder of our past. There is material representing Indigenous Australia, items associated with major events, specimens recording our relationship with the Australian environment, as well as ephemera of our every-day lives. The preservation of this collection ensures that Australians will have access to a material culture record of their past.

The National Historical Collection is the Museum's core collection of Australian history and is held in trust for the nation and protected by provisions of the National Museum of Australia Act 1980. The National Historical Collection is built on three core fields of study originally identified in the Pigott Report of 1975 and supported by the Museum's legislation. These three areas - the interaction of people and the environment, the history and culture of Indigenous Australia, and the history of Australian society from the time of British colonisation - are intimately entwined. Many of the Museum's collections are relevant to two or all three of these fields.

This site showcases some of the highlights from the exhibition. Please enjoy Captivating and Curious.

Craddock Morton
National Museum of Australia

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