Our year in review 2023

Our work has always travelled well beyond our physical sites, but our fresh remit as Museums of History NSW brings new responsibilities and opportunities to connect with regional audiences and communities.

The MHNSW website is an immensely powerful tool for extending our reach and impact across NSW and beyond. Since its launch at the end of 2022, it’s hosted over 2 million sessions from around Australia and many other parts of the world. With its enhanced functionality, it now provides a robust yet flexible platform that enables deeper, more intuitive and more meaningful experiences for both audiences and content creators, wherever they may be.

Our touring exhibition program, regional archives centres and collection loans give offsite audiences physical access to our collection items and their stories. In 2023, we toured four exhibitions nationally and one internationally. The family-focused exhibitions How Cities Work and On the Move have continued to be popular, with critical repair work undertaken in May ensuring they can keep touring well into the future. A highlight of our annual Collections on Tour series – where original collection items tour with staff around regional NSW for talks and viewings – was the Carrington Album tour. In April and May, a selection of these spectacular bound volumes of illuminated addresses, greetings and photographs presented to Lord Carrington in 1890 as a memento/record of his time as governor of NSW toured to ten regional locations. Our network of regional archives centres provides ongoing access to records in the State Archives Collection of significance to those regions. Through our outward loans program, collection items also feature regularly in exhibitions and displays developed by other museums and cultural institutions within Australia and internationally. During 2023, collection items were on loan to Newcastle Museum, Shoalhaven Regional Gallery and Wollongong Art Gallery.

Our staff actively support the regional and broader cultural sector through a range of activities and collaborations, providing advice and expertise, hosting interns and visitors, and participating in forums and events. In April, staff took part in Let’s Get Prepared, an open day at the Woodford Academy in the Blue Mountains organised by Museums & Galleries of NSW where artists, private collectors and family historians can learn about object care and disaster preparedness from museum experts. Our conservation team continued their ongoing support of government agencies across NSW, providing advice on preserving and handling archives still in their custody.

Regional NSW

A view from the back of a crowd standing on the main street listening a speaker

Regional Archives Centres

A network of Regional Archives Centres provides access to state archives of regional significance and to copies of key state archives

On tour

Girl with superimposed illustration of aeroplane and clouds
Touring exhibition

On the Move

Now on tour

Carrington manuscript
Past event

Lord Carrington is coming to town

Discover one of the jewels of the State Archives Collection, as the Carrington Albums embark on a regional tour, hosted by Museums of History NSW

How Cities Work illustration.
Touring exhibition

How cities work

Now on tour

Virtually there

First Nations Speaker Series Logo

First Nations Speaker Series

Presented in collaboration with GML Heritage and the Research Centre for Deep History at the Australian National University

Sophie Reid, Producer – Learning Programs; Carlin de Montfort, curator; and Naomi Manning, Producer – Learning Programs, stand in front of a series of cameras as they present a virtual excursion. They are standing behind a table of historical objects in the Meet the Convicts room on the top floor of the Hyde Park Barracks.

Virtual excursions

Our interactive virtual excursions connect your class live with a museum educator and focus on specific curriculum content, concepts and skills. We currently offer virtual excursions for Stages 1 to 4

A colour chart of ready-mixed paints

Historic colour in the home

The many sources in the Caroline Simpson Library that can bring colour to the homes of past, with Matthew Stephens

A last will and testament from 1863

Probate packets

This webinar focuses on the sources for probate in the State Archives Collection and how to find them


Every day, our work is supported by a passionate group of volunteers, members, donors and others who contribute in countless ways to our operations ...

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