How to build a lighthouse

The timber structure of the lighthouse going up. The photograph was taken from aboard the visiting vessel <em>Cape Grafton</em>, 24 March 1994. Image: Deborah Gillespie.

The timber structure of the lighthouse going up. The photograph was taken from aboard the visiting vessel Cape Grafton, 24 March 1994. Image: Deborah Gillespie.

In 1993, the Australian National Maritime Museum was ready the rebuild the Cape Bowling Green Light.  After some discussion, a site near the wharf was selected.  Reconstruction of the lighthouse started in late 1993.  This visual story shows how the lighthouse was rebuilt piece by piece at Darling Harbour.

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What Goes on Behind the Scenes of a Museum

Behind the scenes at the ANMM – a conservation perspective

In late May, the Conservation Department at the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) welcomed me for three weeks as an intern to learn about the role of conservation within the museum, as well as further my understanding of the role a conservator has in caring for a collection. I spent my time at the ANMM constantly shadowing the various members of the conservation team.

What I found opened a new world for me.

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Work and play: An update from Bailey, chaser of seagulls

I love taking the ferry. It’s like being a tourist in your own city. Image: ANMM.

I love taking the ferry. It’s like being a tourist in your own city. Image: ANMM.

Hi there! It’s been a while since I last wrote, as life has been rather busy. I’ve started some new duties recently. My human colleagues call this ‘job creep’ and seem not to like it, but I’m happy – we border collies like to be occupied!

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Terrific times in Tasmania at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival 2017

Monday morning at the festival. Image: David Payne / ANMM.

Monday morning at the festival. Image: David Payne / ANMM.

Over 500 boats, numerous displays, demonstrations and talks, four seasons of weather plus a rainbow, and not to mention the fine Tasmanian food, it’s always a challenge at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival  (AWBF) to cover everything with not much more than three days to see it all. The museum managed to do it by sending a diverse contingent of staff for the festival, which ran from Friday 10th through to Monday 13th February, 2017.

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Ready for Australian Wooden Boat Festival 2017

At the 2015 Australian Wooden Boat Festival. Image: David Payne / ANMM.

At the 2015 Australian Wooden Boat Festival. Image: David Payne / ANMM.

The 2017 Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart starts this Friday 10th February, and the Australian National Maritime Museum will be very well represented at the festival over the weekend. A contingent of staff is travelling south to attend and help with various activities.

The museum has a booth in the principal display hall on Princes Wharf and is hosting a cocktail evening on Saturday. It is the sponsor for the AWBF Symposium of speakers which runs over three days, and is a key organiser with Maritime Museum of Tasmania for the Australian Maritime Museums Council’s Conference that proceeds the festival. The Voyage Game will also be a feature at the festival.

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Bailey announces his first exhibition: ‘Dogs and Cats All at Sea’

Bailey, getting his paws into curating. Image: Andrew Frolows / ANMM.

Bailey, getting his paws into curating. Image: Andrew Frolows / ANMM.

Hi there!

When I first came to the museum, people kept calling me a ‘salty sea dog’. I thought they meant it literally, as I sometimes fall in the harbour when I chase seagulls too enthusiastically – but no! A salty sea dog, it turns out, is someone who spends a lot of time on the water, not in it.

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$5,000 maritime history prizes – enter now!

The museum's 2017 history prizes are now open. Image: ANMM Collection 00020725.

The museum’s 2017 history prizes are now open. Image: ANMM Collection 00020725.

Writers, publishers and readers of maritime history are invited to nominate works for maritime history prizes totalling $5,000, sponsored jointly by the Australian Association for Maritime History and the Australian National Maritime Museum. Nominations for the next round close on 28 April 2017.

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The value of volunteers

Mature age volunteers are the ‘lifeblood’ of the museum. Their experience and passion are what our visitors enjoy. Image: ANMM.

Mature age volunteers are the ‘lifeblood’ of the museum. Their experience and passion are what our visitors enjoy. Image: ANMM.

Did you know that here at the museum we have over 1200 volunteers? Some 450 regularly volunteer onsite.

Volunteers are extremely important to our visitor experiences and a big part of our 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor. Continue reading

China Tourism and Chinese Tourists: Being China Ready

The museum hosted over 5,000 NuSkin business visitors in April - during the Classic and Wooden Boat Festival. Image: Andrew Frolows / ANMM.

The museum hosted almost 4,000 Nu Skin business visitors in April – during the Classic and Wooden Boat Festival. Image: Andrew Frolows / ANMM.

You may have noticed that Darling Harbour had some works undertaken over the past three years with the redevelopment of the new convention centre ICC Sydney opening December 2016.

This development and the removal of the Sydney Monorail meant the Australian National Maritime Museum had to look at ways to attract new visitors to our doorstep. Because without a convention centre and the monorail tourists would not be ‘dropped’ at our doorstep.

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Using Twitter to provide virtual tours

Rough Medicine

Rough Medicine was used to experiment with virtual tours via social media.

The Australian National Maritime Museum Learning team and the NSW Department of Education have embraced the use of social media to communicate and share exhibition content with teachers.

ANMM Education logoLearning Systems logo

The Rough Medicine – Life and Death in the Age of Sail exhibition at the ANMM was shared online via Twitter through a series of live tweets containing photos, website links, video and 360° footage of the key objects on display. This content was then collated through Storify creating a long term re-usable resource for teachers to use in the classroom.

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National Science Week 2016 at the Museum

Micro-CSI Lab: University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Image: UTS.

Micro-CSI Lab: University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Image: UTS.

The museum will be running a series of exciting science-themed events and programs to celebrate this year’s National Science Week.

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Watch out, seagulls, I’m on your case! An update from Bailey

You can see by the mess on the wharves that my job here is not yet done. Image: Andrew Frolows / ANMM.

You can see by the mess on the wharves that my job here is not yet done. Image: Andrew Frolows / ANMM.

Hi there!

After six weeks here, I’m settling into the job nicely but still learning and discovering new things.

My enemies, the seagulls, have started to notice that I’m here to stay, and there aren’t as many as there used to be. When I started we had seagulls everywhere on the wharves, but now we have maybe five at a time. Those birds who’ve decided to stay have learnt to sit up on the vessels, out of my reach. Sooo frustrating!

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How to make a mini planetarium

Star light, star bright, first constellation I see tonight...

Star light, star bright, first constellation I see tonight…

There’s almost no end to the fun that can be had when kids have torches in their hands. Shadow play, bedroom projections, reading under the covers after lights out, spooky face stories, or… a handheld miniature planetarium.

This month we’ve been inspired by current exhibitions Ships Clocks and Stars, as well as our upcoming school holiday program, to make a nifty little star gazer out of some everyday items for our kids craft spot. This mini-planetarium is perfect for projecting under the covers, onto bedroom walls or with evening story time. More than just a toy, it’s also a great way to learn to identify constellations in the night sky.

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Ships, Clocks and Stars FREE teacher preview this June

Teacher preview of ANMM exhibitions 'Ships, Clocks & Stars' and Endeavour tour.

Teacher preview of ANMM exhibitions ‘Ships, Clocks & Stars’ and Endeavour tour.

Join us for a private viewing of this fascinating and beautiful exhibition on Thursday 16 June 5.00pm – 7.00pm. Hear about our exciting new school programs and board HMB Endeavour to experience what life was really like on an 18th-century vessel. Afterwards, see the museum’s Vivid display – a spectacular rooftop projection viewed from our special vantage point.

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It’s a Wrap: The Windjammer Sailors

What's wrapped up under the silk? Image: Andrew Frolows / ANMM.

What’s wrapped up under the silk? Image: Andrew Frolows / ANMM.

Last week saw a Christo-like wrapping of silky black satin on the wharf at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney’s Pyrmont. Intriguing and mysterious the form it enveloped was unreadable…

What could be under the silk? Well it’s an amazingly beautiful material, bronze. Used for millennia for public statuary, it is here applied to fuse old and new in an incredibly detailed and exacting process. This has produced a sculpture that explores something of the history of the site as a mercantile and maritime centre. Continue reading