Museum Collections

Place-based collections at our historic houses and museums

These collections bring our historic houses and museums to life. Each item with its own story yet connected to many others, they include furnishings, fittings and other items associated with particular times and events in the history of the site, and the people who lived, worked or visited there.

Items from these collections are mostly on display at our individual houses and museums, and can be viewed there. Some can also be viewed through our online search and catalogues.

Kitchen, Rose Seidler House

About the Museum Collections

Place-based collections at our historic houses and museums

Living room of the Overseer's Cottage at Rouse Hill House.

How to use the Museum Collections

Dive deep or just browse among our diverse and inspiring collections

The collections

Pair of porcelain pastille burners, cira 1810

Elizabeth Bay House

Built 1835–39 by the fashionable architect John Verge for colonial secretary Alexander Macleay and his family, it’s little wonder Elizabeth Bay House brims with style. Its fine collection of furniture and furnishings reflect the tastes of Macleay and his family, who called this house home between 1839 and 1845.

Spotted deer children's toy from India (reproduction)

Elizabeth Farm

The collection of furniture and furnishings at Elizabeth Farm reflects the period when it was home to pastorialists John and Elizabeth Macarthur and family, from 1793 to 1850. It includes modern replicas, based on information in family archives and other contemporary sources.

Convict cap

Hyde Park Barracks

Built as a barracks for convicts, Hyde Park Barracks also went on to house thousands of orphans, assisted immigrants, aged and infirm. Its collection of over 100,000 archaeological items reveals their many stories, and forms one of the world’s most-comprehensive and best-preserved collections of 19th-century institutional life.

This braided pill-box style cap was part of the uniform issued to Edward Montague Battye (1817-1898) who served in the NSW Police from 1851-1861 then 1862-1893.

Justice & Police Museum

Housed within the former Water Police court and station, this museum and collection features objects relating to crime, policing and legal history, including an extensive archive of police forensic negatives created by the NSW Police Department between 1910 and 1964.

Cardboard box containing two small bisque dolls and a pair of pink knitted booties


Built in 1885 in the south-coast town of Nowra and home to four generations of women from the Mackenzie/Thorburn/Macgregor family, Meroogal contains an intact collection of furniture, household objects, diaries, letters, books, sheet music, photographs and clothing that represents 100 years of family and community history.

Pawn chess pieces from Luna Park chess set, created by artist Peter Kingston in 2001

Museum of Sydney

This site was the home and office of the first nine governors of the colony of NSW. It houses a collection of archaeological material recovered during excavations and significant objects associated with the site’s history and the story of Sydney.

'Womb' chair, design by Eero Saarinen for Knoll International, USA, c1948

Rose Seidler House

Designed for his parents by renowned architect Harry Seidler, Rose Seidler House is now home to one of the most important collections of mid 20th-century design in Australia. It includes a number of pieces commissioned for the house by Seidler himself as well as furniture from leading designers of the day, including Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen.

Hat pins

Rouse Hill Estate

Home to the Rouse/Terry family from 1820 to 1978, Rouse Hill Estate features an original collection of furniture, furnishings, decorative arts, costumes, books, pictures and farming equipment from the family’s long history at the site.

Homemade pincushion with clear plastic bracelet at back made by former Susannah Place resident Ellen Marshall

Susannah Place

This group of four terraces in The Rocks area of Sydney and their layers decorative finishes, wallpapers and floor coverings bear witness to the everyday work and lives of the many families living there since the 1840s.

Stoneware assayer's crucible and collection of related objects

The Mint

This collection reflects The Mint’s long and varied history. It includes objects and fragments recovered from archaeological excavations, items associated with former Mint employees and documents relating to the history of the site as convict hospital, mint and government offices.

Magical Golland, by Alison Clouston, 1999-2000

Corporate Collection

Including pictures, portraits, crafts and other creative works that relate to our houses, museums and work, this collection also features contemporary artworks created in response to particular properties, events and anniversaries.

From the collections