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The ‘spirit of inquiry’ in Port Macquarie

Roslyn Russell, National Museum of Australia

Behind the Scenes – Landmarks series, 10 June 2009

Curator and historian Roslyn Russell talks about the work of amateur scientists, including astronomer WJ Macdonnell, in the New South Wales coastal town of Port Macquarie, as part of her research for the Creating a Country gallery.

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exhibition, exploration, place, science

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Heavens above!

Vince Ford, Hermann Wehner and Dr Kirsten Wehner

Behind the Scenes – Landmarks series, 30 May 2009

The National Museum’s rare 1883 Grubb refractor telescope, used in early Australian astronomical observing programs and returned to working condition, is discussed by curator Kirsten Wehner, astronomer Vince Ford and astronomical engineer Hermann Wehner.

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collection, exploration, science

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Writing Captain Cook symposium

Professor Geoffrey Blainey, Jackie French, Susan Hall, Dr Maria Nugent and Martin Terry

Historical Interpretation series, 17 May 2009

Leading writers and historians discuss their recent books on Captain James Cook and explore Australia’s continuing fascination with the explorer.

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cook, exploration, pacific

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Design inspirations behind the Museum building

Sue Dove, Coffey Projects

29 April 2009

Sue Dove provides an insight into the design of the National Museum of Australia, discussing the building’s aim and function, the influence of other international buildings, contentious design aspects, and the expression of major Australian themes.

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architecture, museums

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Rugged Beyond Imagination: Stories from an Australian mountain region

Matthew Higgins, National Museum of Australia

Historical Interpretation series, 15 April 2009

Curator Matthew Higgins talks about his book Rugged Beyond Imagination, which explores how people including stockmen, skiers, scientists and surveyors have shaped and been shaped by the Australian alpine environment.

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environment, place

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‘Never enough grass’ and Bowen Downs

Dr George Main, National Museum of Australia

Behind the Scenes – Landmarks series, 8 April 2009

The development of the Australian pastoral industry at Bowen Downs in central Queensland, one of four places to be featured in the ‘Never enough grass’ module of the National Museum’s Creating a Country gallery, is outlined by curator George Main.

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agriculture, exhibition, industry, place

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Food and space: the Australian nation in the British Empire

Dr Adele Wessell, Southern Cross University

Historical Interpretation series, 6 April 2009

Historian Adele Wessell uses cookbooks to draw conclusions about Australian political and social life at the turn of the century, examining British diet and food preferences that were maintained and transformed in colonial Australia.

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collection, colonial, domestic, food

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Conversation with Peter Cundall

Peter Cundall, ABC TV with Stephen Munro, National Museum of Australia

Eternity series, 3 April 2009

Horticulturalist and television personality Peter Cundall shares his unexpected life story, his passion for gardening and his thoughts on life, love and the environment with curator Stephen Munro.

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biography, conflict, environment, migration

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A cast of thousands: redevelopment of Circa

Bronwyn Dowdall, Dr Martha Sear and Jennifer Wilson

Collections 2009 series, 27 March 2009

National Museum curators and researchers discuss the development of the Museum’s introductory Circa rotating theatre. They examine its function and the use of new narratives to explore the National Historical Collection.

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collection, museums, photography

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Dead museum animals: from ‘order of nature’ to chaos of culture

Dr Libby Robin, National Museum of Australia

Collections 2009 series, 27 March 2009

Libby Robin looks at the use of dead animal collections in museums. She examines the scientific precedents behind these collections and how they are evolving from representations of science to components of social history and art studies.

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art, collection, museums, science

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