Maritime unions collection




The collection comprises of thousands of objects and archives from the 1870s to 2010 relating to Australian maritime trade unions. It includes photographs, certificates, banners, paintings and drawings of maritime workers and union officials - some produced by unionists, pamphlets, news clippings, trade union literature including newspapers, union badges and buttons, official trade union correspondence, records of legal action, personal letters, strike picket banners leaflets and posters, with a significant amount of ephemera produced during the 1990s waterfront conflicts.

The main Australian maritime trade unions are represented in the collection - the Seamen's Union, Waterside Workers Federation (WWF) and Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) which was formed in 1993 from an amalgamation of the WWF and the Seamen's Union. The collection is vast and varied. It showcases the once highly significant role maritime unions played in Australian waterfront history through ephemera, literature and - importantly - artworks and other cultural and political material produced by trade unionists. The most iconic object in the collection is the Wharfies Mural, painted by union artists on the wall of the Sydney WWF canteen between 1953 and 1965. The plaster wall sections of the mural were removed and form a highly significant centrepiece of this collection.

Some material included in this collection may be subject to copyright

By appointment only, please contact ANMM

Parts of this collection are digitised and available on the ANMM website


1870-2010; Trade unions; Unionism

Archives; Banners; Leaflets; Letters; Photographs; Posters; Union badges

Maritime Union of Australia; Seamen's Union of Australia; Waterside Workers Federation


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2012-05-30 23:40