Our Major Holdings

The major categories of records held in the Australian Museum's Archives include:

First catalogue

First catalogue
Photographer:  © Australian Museum

  • Trust Minutes & other papers from 1836 including: Trust committee and sub-committee records; meeting attendance books; and curator's, general and secretary's reports to the Trustees
  • Correspondence series: including outward letter books 1837-1923; inward letters from 1853; and Curator's and Secretary's private letter books 1875-1919
  • Collection records: including historic collection registers and documentation regarding the purchase, donation and exchange of specimens and artefacts including; accession schedules 1879-1956, purchase schedules1883-1924, exchange registers and schedules c.1874-1926
  • Public Program records: including exhibition files; education files; public relations and marketing files; and audience research surveys and reports
  • Financial Records: including general account ledgers1875-1968; balance sheets 1881-1926; and cash journals 1914-1966
  • National Photographic Index of Australian Wildlife Records: the NPI was established in 1969 to compile a photograph of every Australian bird species. In 1977 it was expanded to include Australian mammals and in 1984 reptiles and frogs. These records are now held by the AM Archives
  • Personal papers: of Museum trustees and staff
  • Staff records: including lists of employees and social club papers
  • Newscuttings and other publications: including annual reports from 1853; Australian Museum Magazine 1921-1961; Australian Natural History, Nature Australia and Explore Magazine from 1962; Records of the Australian Museum from 1890; Guides and Handbooks to the Australian Museum; Catalogues of the collections from 1837
  • Photographs: including Museum photos of staff and events; and significant ethnographic collections of George Brown, Frank Hurley, Thomas Dick and Walter Roth

The Archives also holds some acquired papers and photographs of individuals who have been associated with the Museum or worked in closely related fields.

For a more comprehensive listing of material held in the Archives or for enquiries regarding specific records please contact Archives and Records.

Rose Docker , Archivist
Last Updated:

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