The South Australian Maritime Museum preserves the oldest nautical collection in Australia. In 1872 the Port Adelaide Institute began a museum collection to complement its library and its educational and social programs. That collection grew over the following century reflecting the seafarers and the ships that visited Port Adelaide. It is now held in trust at the South Australian Maritime Museum.
The Maritime Museum’s collections ranges from the Port Adelaide Lighthouse that was first lit in 1869 to a plaque that explorer Matthew Flinders left at Memory Cove in 1802 to mark the loss of eight seafarers. It includes figureheads, nautical instruments, bathing costumes, shipwreck artefacts, paintings, models and vessels.
Our scope is the maritime heritage of South Australia from the coast to inland waters. The collection of over almost 20,000 objects and over 20,000 images is at once a window to the heritage of the local community and to the ships of the world.
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Bond Studios Glass Negative Collection
The collection comprises 1,500 glass negatives from Bond Studios in Port Adelaide. AE Bond was listed as a photographer in Commercial Road, Port Adelaide from 1901, although state collections include photographs credited to Bond that date back to 1867. In the 1930s the business shifted to St Vincent Street. The negatives are studio portraits of generations of Portonians. They capture individual rites of passage such as weddings, graduations, debuts, birthdays, and soldiers and sailors departing for war. Most of the negatives are labeled with surnames so it is possible to identify the subjects with further research.
The Museum is currently scanning the Bond Studio collection. These images will eventually be available online. The original glass negatives are in storage and accessible by appointment only.