Digital Stories

Welcome to Digital Stories

Discover the fascinating stories behind the Australian National Maritime Museum’s rich and diverse collections. Explore stories relating to Australia’s maritime heritage as well as our diverse relationship with the sea and waterways.

The Payne family chronometer.
Longitude: A Story Comes Full Circle

Posted on May 05, 2016

Explore the history of how the measurement of time and distance developed - from tracking the sun to Einstein conceiving his the theory of relativity.

Windjammer Sailors

Posted on April 27, 2016

The story behind the museum's life-sized bronze sculpture remembering the adventurous Windjammer sailors of the 1930s.

The Boat in The Beach

Posted on April 27, 2016

The Samuel Wright as one of the earliest ships known to have wrecked in Koombana Bay, Western Australia. Now, a team of archaeologists have excavated the American whaling ship using the latest technology.

Pearl shell decorated with tufts of cassowary feathers by Richard David of Yam Island, Torres Strait. ANMM Collection 00018113.
Living Waters: Shellwork in Indigenous Art and Culture

Posted on March 16, 2016

Discover how traditional Indigenous shellwork techniques are being embraced to explore contemporary reflections about sea, sailing and water.

Tug boat pulling an aircraft carrier
Tug Boats: The Loss of the Working Harbour

Posted on February 03, 2016

Powerful little boats with big hearts and heaps of attitude. Explore striking photographs of tug boats hard at work when Sydney Harbour was primarily a place of industry.

The mysterious disappearance of submarine AE1

Posted on September 14, 2015

Discover the story of Australia's most enduring maritime mystery — the loss of the navy’s first submarine AE1 in 1914.

Percy Hockings: watercolours from the north

Posted on September 09, 2015

Find out about Percy Hockings’ rare collection of watercolours documenting the people, plants and pearling luggers of Thursday Island.

Black Armada

Posted on August 17, 2015

On 17 August 1945, Indonesia declared its independence as a nation. Learn more about Australia’s role during the Indonesian independence struggle and the so-called 'Black Armada'.

Australian Lighthouses

Posted on August 14, 2015

Learn about the 100-year history of Commonwealth lighthouses and explore some of Australia's famous lighthouses – the tallest, the oldest and the most isolated – located all around our vast coastline.