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DISPLAYING POSTS TAGGED: your questions (17)

Coins and medals

Author
by Jo
Publish date
6 January 2013
Comments
Comments (1)

Your question: Where can I find out more about the coins and medals I have?

We often in the Discovery Centre receive enquiries about coins and medals. Our Collections Online website provides information about many of the coins, medals and trade tokens in the collection. We currently have approximately 7500 coins online, 2800 medals online and 2800 trade tokens online!

Coin, Holey Dollar, New South Wales, 1813 The obverse of the host coin and featured a laureate bust of Charles III (mostly removed with the central dump) facing right. At the bottom of the overstrike is a spray of olive leaves with the artist's initial H at its centre.
Image: Naomi Andrzejeski
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Melbourne Museum Discovery Centre

You can come into the Discovery Centre and make use of the library resources from 10am until 4.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday. You can also come in and look at the coins and medals we have on display in our reference drawers, featuring medals from the International Exhibitions held at the Royal Exhibition Building in 1880 and 1888.

Florin, 1947 Silver coin - Florin (Two shillings), 1947
Image: Unknown photographer
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Australian Coins and Medals

The Numismatics Association of Australia provides links to many relevant websites, and has also published online the past issues of its Journal, which has many articles of interest on the history of Australian coins and medals. See also the website of the Numismatics Association of Victoria for its activities and journal.

The National Museum of Australia features convict tokens and agricultural medals on their website.

Reserve Bank of Australia’s Museum of Australian Currency Notes provides a timeline of Australian paper money and educational resources.

The ANZ Banking Museum also provides information about Australian currency, the museum tells the story of Australia's banking heritage through displays of items such as banknotes and coins, moneyboxes, office machines, firearms, gold-mining equipment and uniforms.

Australian Penny, 1920 Penny coin from Australia 1920 (Kookaburra side)
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Useful publications include:

Leslie Carlisle Australian historical medals, 1788-1988 (2008) available in the Melbourne Museum Discovery Centre.

World Coins and Medals

The British Museum’s Department of Coins and Medals provides a guide to books, web resources and associations. The site covers not just British coins and medals, but Roman, Greek, Oriental and modern coins, tokens, medals and paper money.

The Royal Numismatics Society (UK) has a web page of links to relevant web resources.

1930 Penny, proof coin 1930 Penny, proof coin
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Useful publications include:

Standard Catalog of World Coins, published by Krause Publications. There are separate volumes now published for each century from the seventeenth century to the present.

And see the detailed book list at http://www.britishmuseum.org/about_us/departments/coins_and_medals/reading_list.asp

Got a question? Ask us!

...but is it real?

Author
by Wayne
Publish date
6 August 2012
Comments
Comments (0)

Your Question: ...but is it real?

"I love the Discovery Centre at Melbourne Museum and wanted to know more about the animals and fossils on display. Are they all real? "

Not all of the displayed material is 100% ‘real’, but a surprisingly large percentage of the displays are certainly real...although it depends on how you would define reality! Let me explain with a few examples:

Dinosaur Skulls

The two dinosaur skulls in the Discovery Centre (of Tarbosaurus and Centrosaurus) are both casts from real specimens, but aren’t themselves ‘real’. For many reasons, casts of dinosaur remains outnumber the real dinosaur fossils on display here at Melbourne  Museum, but you can see real dinosaur fossils in the Dinosaur Walk and 600 Million Years exhibitions in the Science and Life Gallery.

Centrosaurus skull The cast skull from the Cretaceous dinosaur Centrosaurus
Image: Wayne Gerdtz
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Cephalopod slab

Yes, this is also real, but it has had some enhancement – the fossils themselves have been cut and polished in contrast to the rough, unpolished rock in which they are embedded. It looks quite different to what the slab looked like originally, but it is certainly real – just a bit more polished, literally!

Cephalopod slab A slab of ancient sea bed sediemnts with cephalopod shells embedded.
Image: Wayne Gerdtz
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Mammal and Bird Mounts

We have a variety of these in the Discovery Centre, ranging from small local Honeyeater species to the impressive Jaguar mount. These are all real in the sense that the skins/hides are preserved from the original animals, but the remaining soft tissue such as eyes and muscles, are not real – just as you would expect for taxidermy animals.

DC Jaguar The Discovery Centre's mounted Jaguar specimen
Image: Wayne Gerdtz
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Got a question? Ask us!

Links:

600 Million Years – Victoria Evolves

Dinosaur Walk

Live Exhibits blog posts

Mystery object?

Author
by Nicole D
Publish date
29 July 2012
Comments
Comments (0)

 Your Question: What is this mysterious object I found on the beach?

One of the most popular services that Discovery Centre provides is identifications. We get asked by members of the public to identify a wide range of unusual objects and specimens on a daily basis. Many are quite straightforward for our experts but others, such as this one, can be trickier. Usually we can tell whether or not something has been made by human hands or is naturally occurring but not always!

Mystery object Mystery object brought into the Discovery Centre for identification
Image: Nicole Davis
Source: Museum Victoria
 

A little while ago one of our enquirers brought in this unusual egg-shaped specimen that he'd found in the Red Bluff cliffs at Black Rock.

  Mystery object Mystery object brought into the Discovery Centre for identification
Image: Nicole Davis
Source: Museum Victoria
 

It was filled with sand and appeared to be a hard material with a thin flexible coating. Due to its findspot at the beachside, the enquirer thought it might be the preserved egg of sea creature, perhaps a turtle.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/usoceangov/5514927530/

We sent the specimen to one of our mammalogists and then to an ichthyologist (that’s someone who studies fish). Both of them confirmed that it definitely wasn’t an egg and, furthermore, was an object made by humans rather than a naturally occurring specimen.

The object then went to our History & Technology curators who speculated on what it might be. Was it a globe, some kind of fishing lure or something else entirely? After having a bit of a look, the staff concluded that it was indeed a light bulb. But it was a very specific type of bulb – one that belonged to an old flash for a camera that might have looked something like this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/captkodak/271841556/

Mystery solved!

Got a question? Ask us!

National Sorry Day

Author
by Katrina
Publish date
27 May 2012
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Comments (0)

Your Question: What does National Sorry Day commemorate?

From the late 1800s up to the early 1970s, the Australian government implemented the systematic removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families through a range of assimilation and 'protection policies'. In Victoria, for example, the Aborigines Protection Act 1869 had the broad powers to make laws for 'the care, custody and education of the children of Aborigines'. However these policies were solely based on the premise of race, with the aim to absorb or assimilate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children of mixed descent into the non-Aboriginal community. Not only did these policies have lasting affects on families and community, but they were also active in suppressing Aboriginal languages and culture. Today, the people affected by the government removal policies are remembered as the Stolen Generations.

Australian Human Rights Commissions Bringing them Home Report 1997 Australian Human Rights Commission's Bringing them Home report, 1997.
Image: Cover Photo: Heide Smith, ‘Story Time’
Source: Australian Human Rights Commission
 

In 1997 the Howard Government released the Bringing them Home report as a recognition and tribute to the many families affected by forced removal. The main finding of the report was that 'between one in three and one in ten Aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their families and communities in the period from approximately 1910 to 1970'. The report recommended that the first step in healing is the acknowledgement of truth and the delivery of an official apology, which was provided by Kevin Rudd in 2008.

Another recommendation was that a National Sorry Day should be declared. National Sorry Day was first held on 26 May, 1998; exactly one year after the Bringing them Home report had been published. It encourages Australian society to acknowledge the impact of the forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, which is still felt by families and communities today. This annual event is marked with marches, speeches and presentations being held throughout the country, all of which aim to highlight the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and a commitment to reconciliation.

Got a question? Ask us!

Links

National Sorry Day Committee

Reconciliation Australia

Share Our Pride

Australian Human Rights Commission

On Their Own, where to next?

Author
by Jo
Publish date
7 May 2012
Comments
Comments (0)

Your Question: I noticed that the On their own exhibition about Britain's child migrants exhibition is closing, where is it off to?

On their own, the story of Britain's child migrants will be moving on from the Immigration Museum in Melbourne to the Western Australian Museum - Maritime in Fremantle, due to open on Saturday May 19th.

On thier Own exhibition On their own exhibition at the Immigration Museum.
Image: Kate Brereton
Source: Museum Victoria
 

The exhibition was very popular with visitors to the Immigration Museum, many of whom commented about the moving nature of the content. Sadly, it is a story that has gone unnoticed for many years, but we were glad to be able to host the exhibition and provide visitors with a rich understanding and experience.

On thier Own exhibition On their own exhibition at the Immigration Museum.
Image: Kate Brereton
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Lisa snapped some pictures today of the Museum Victoria Collection Management and Conservation team and the Australian National Maritime Museum Collection Management and Conservation team working on de-installing the exhibition, getting it ready for its move across the country.

On thier Own exhibition De-installing the On their own exhibition at the Immigration Museum.
Image: Lisa Collins
Source: Museum Victoria
 

On thier Own exhibition De-installing the On their own exhibition at the Immigration Museum.
Image: Lisa Collins
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Although the exhibition is leaving Melbourne, we still do have plenty of information for visitors in the Immigration Discovery Centre, and online. The exhibition website will remain active until November 2013, so there is still an opportunity for you to learn more about Britain's child migrants.

Got a question? Ask us!

Links

MV Blog post - On their own opens

On their own: Britain's child migrants

What does megafauna mean?

Author
by Wayne
Publish date
29 April 2012
Comments
Comments (0)

Your Question: What does the word megafauna mean?

The name megafauna means ‘big animals’, generally animals with a body mass of over 40 kilograms. Much of the time, megafauna is general term used to describe a particular group of large land animals that evolved millions of years after the dinosaurs became extinct. The extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago left a void of large land animals worldwide. Over millions of years, the surviving mammals, birds and reptiles evolved to include some very large animals. This group of megafauna was at their largest and most widespread during the Quaternary Period, in the last 2.5 million years.

  Diprotodon skull The skull and upper body of Diprotodon, the largest marsupial to have lived
Image: Michelle McFarlane
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Australia’s Quaternary megafauna were unique, and included giant marsupials such as Diprotodon, huge flightless birds such as Genyornis (a distant relative to today’s ducks and geese) and giant reptiles such as Varanus ‘Megalania’ (related closely to living goannas and the Komodo Dragon), all three of which are displayed in Melbourne Museum’s Dinosaur Walk exhibition - despite the fact these animals are not dinosaurs at all.

Thylacoleo skeleton The skeleton of Thylacoleo, the so-called marsupial 'lion'
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Some more examples of Australian megafauna are also on display in the adjoining exhibition at Melbourne Museum called 600 Million Years: Victoria evolves, such as the curious-looking Zygomaturus and Palorchestes (both relatives of Diprotodon), the carnivorous Thylacoleo (sometimes called a marsupial ‘lion’), and some megafaunal relatives of kangaroos and wallabies such as Protemnodon.

  Zygomaturus skeleton The skeleton of Zygomaturus, a Rhinoceros-like marsupial
Image: Benjamin Healley
Source: Museum Victoria
 

It is worth noting that not all megafauna are extinct – Australia has living megafauna in the form of Red and Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Saltwater Crocodiles, some of which are on display in the Wild: Amazing animals in a changing world exhibition, which is also in the Melbourne Museum Science and Life Gallery.

Got a question? Ask us!

Links:

Video, Studying Megafauna Fossils

Book, Prehistoric Giants: The Megafauna of Australia, published by Museum Victoria

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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.

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