The Museum has a strong focus on the history of Queanbeyan and surrounding district, with a broad collection of over 3,500 items that includes furniture, textiles, technological objects, costumes, pictures, maps, objects, and photographs.
It is hard to estimate the size of the collection. The number is certainly between 5,000 and 10,000 items (possibly more). This will be quantified as the collection is catalogued and rehoused and assessed for significance/deaccessioning against the collection policy.
Themes represented in the Collection:
The collection is extremely varied, dates from the 19th century on, consisting of:
– Textiles and costumes, such as linen for the home, wedding dress, underwear, aprons, cushions, babies clothes and christening gowns, women’s gowns, hats, a variety of uniforms such as military, nurses and lawn bowling, flags, banners, cinema curtain from the 1920s.
– Kitchen and household equipment such as glassware, ceramic objects, metal irons, wash basins and jugs, lamps, corn husker and grinding stones, stoves and metal tea chest.
– Furniture such as from Queanbeyan’s Courthouse, organs, Farrer’s piano, settles, cedar press, treadle sewing machines, portable writing desks, school room furniture and chairs.
– Hospital and medical equipment such as a Both iron lung (which was borrowed by the National Museum of Australia for an exhibition on polio in Australia), anaesthetic machines, hospital bed, metal medical cabinets, old pharmacy bottles, baby scales, prosthetic feet and surgical instruments.
– Laundry equipment such as sinks, washing boards, pegs, galvanised iron bath, wash tubs, washing machines, hot water heater and cane baskets.
– Tools such as the blacksmith’s shop equipment and bellows, shearer’s equipment, shoe makers tools and plumbers tools.
– Miscellanous items such as children’s toys, wooden smoking pipes, wooden gaming equipment, jewellery, medals, awards and sporting cups.
– Bricks; metal work; railway trolley; bicycles; agricultural equipment.