Cultural Heritage

Peter Dombrovskis' kayak

The Cultural Heritage team cares for and develops, on behalf of Tasmania, almost 200,000 items covering the state’s history (including Antarctica and Southern Ocean).

These collections document events, life, and personalities that are of significance to Tasmania from the past to contemporary life and issues.

They encompass material that tells stories both familiar and unique, used and produced, individuals and communities both in their everyday lives and under extraordinary circumstances.

Cultural Heritage staff make these collections, stories and associated knowledge accessible through research, exhibitions, and public programs working in association with others across TMAG.

The Cultural Heritage collections come in a vast range of formats and materials, including:

  • artefacts and objects
  • documents and archives
  • photographs
  • armoury
  • archaeology
  • numismatics and philatelics (coins, medals and stamps)
  • technology
  • oral history recordings

Strengths include rare artefacts from the convict and colonial eras, 19th century scrimshaw, and comprehensive collections of medical and pharmaceutical materials as well as Antarctic heritage.

The emphasis of TMAG’s photography collection is on 19th and early 20th century Tasmanian imagery and photographers and includes the earliest surviving streetscape daguerreotype in Australia (Murray Street 1848 by J W Newland).

Historically significant material such as the Mary Walsh convict letter, and Police Magistrates records are held in the Documents Collection. Within the numismatic collection, the 1972 Lord Talbot donation is a collection of international standing.

Image details:
(top) Kayak, c. 1966, aluminium, canvas, rope. Made by Olegas Truchanas and Peter Dombrovskis. Presented by the Dombrovskis Family, 2009, S2009.10.
(below left) Convict cowl, c. 1850, cambric, cotton. Unknown maker. Presented by BPCN, 1900, S637.
(below right) ‘Computer Cat’ puppet, fabric, metal, wood. Designed by Jennifer Davidson. Presented by Noreen Le Mottee, 2012, S2012.11.

Convict cowl and computer cat