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The Western Australian Museum History Department Collection
A collection that reflects the material life of Western Australians from early colonial times (1820s) to the present. It presents the story of people and place in Western Australia in all its diversity.The collection consists of around 100,000 items ranging from fine lacework to motor vehicles. It features collections reflecting the early Swan River Colony, convictism, Indigenous life, the story of migration, making-do, working life including gold mining history, the Arnott, Mills and Ware Cake and Biscuit Factory, domestic work, office work and various trades, as well as a significant collection of trade union banners. It also features several important sub collections such as the ECU Museum of Childhood Collection, the nation's most extensive and significant collection of childhood material.
The History Department Collection reflects the material life of Western Australians presenting the story of people and place in Western Australia in all its diversity. The collection includes material acquired by the Museum since the 1890s, some of which came from much earlier collections such as that of the Swan River Mechanics Institute. It has been shaped by the different approaches and priorities to collecting over that period. Earlier collecting was generally influenced by interests in types of material contrasting sharply with collecting strategies over the past few decades which have been underpinned by historical themes. The collection consists of around 100,000 items, the majority acquired by donation, and ranges from hatpins to traction engines. Categories of material include for example historical vehicles, agricultural equipment, costume and textiles, furniture, arms and military history, numismatics and philately. It features collections reflecting the early Swan River Colony, convictism, Indigenous life, the story of migration, making-do, working life including gold mining history, the Arnott, Mills and Ware Cake and Biscuit Factory, domestic work, office work and various trades, as well as a significant collection of trade union banners. In 2008 the Department acquired the Edith Cowan University Museum of Childhood Collection, the most significant collection of childhood material culture in Australia.
Some material may be subject to copyright.
Viewable in exhibitions at WAM Perth and WAM branches at Kalgoorlie, Albany and Geraldton. Others available by appointment - http://www.museum.wa.gov.au/about/contact-us
Date notes: The bulk of the collection spans the period from the early Eighteenth Century to the present. Individual items date from earlier periods.
18th century to present; Arms; Arnott, Mills and Ware Cake and Biscuit Factory; Audio-visual technology; Books; Ceramics; Childhood; Children; Civic mementoes; Civil engineering; Commerce; Communication; Convictism; Costume; Costume accessories; Depression; Documents; Domestic equipment; Domestic work; ECU Museum of Childhood Collection; Education; Electrical technology; Essential services; Exploration; Flags; Food technology; Furniture; Gas technology; Glass technology; Globes; Gold mining; Handcrafts; Historical archaeology; Horology; Illustrations; Improvisation; Indigenous life; Industries; Infants; Lighting; Machinery; Making-do; Manchester; Maritime technology; Medicine; Memorials; Migration; Military History; Mining; Musical instruments; Office work; Ornaments; Personal effects; Photographs; Photography; Recreations; Religions; Rural industry; Sciences; Societies; Street furniture; Surveying; Swan River Colony; Textile machinery; Theatre relics; Toilet requisites; Tools; Toys; Trade union banners; Trades; Transport; Trophies and awards; Uniforms; Working life; World War One; World war Two
Aboriginal culture; Aboriginal peoples (Australians); Children; Convicts; Domestic life; Economic depression; Employment; Furnishings; History; Household objects; Manufactured objects; Migrants; Mining; Multiculturalism; Personal effects; Photography; Trade unions; Transport objects
Aboriginal peoples; Artefacts; Children; Convicts; Costume; Economic depressions; Employment; History; Housework; Immigration; Indigenous Australian peoples; Industries; Mining; Photography; Technology; Unions; World wars
Western Australian Museum
Western Australia; Swan River Colony; International