Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that this content contains the name of a person who is now deceased.

Today, on 18 May, museums around the world will come together to celebrate International Museums Day (IMD). IMD is celebrated globally, with tens of thousands of museums around the globe coming together to present a wealth of offerings and activities. This year, for the fortieth anniversary of IMD, institutions have had to think a little differently, as many remain closed in countries dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The theme for IMD 2020 is ‘Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion’. The International Council of Museums hopes that this theme will ‘become a rallying point to both celebrate the diversity of perspectives that make up the communities and personnel of museums, and champion tools for identifying and overcoming bias in what they display and the stories they tell’.

Fortunately, the National Library’s collections are rich in digital material, meaning that our community has been able to continue enjoying the Library’s collections during Australia’s lockdown. This IMD, we’ve enlisted the help of a few colleagues to share with you some of our favourite items in the collections.

Tommy McRae’s Aboriginal Family and Nesting Emus

2020 NLA Graduate, Olivia, loves Indigenous artist, Tommy McRae’s drawing of an Aboriginal family and nesting emus. The National Library holds a number of McRae’s works that you can explore online!

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Tommy McRae, Aboriginal Family and Nesting Emus, Wahgunyah Region, Victoria, 1880, nla.cat-vn2306528

Vicente Pacia’s Superstitions of the Middle Ages Map

Susie Russell, Maps Special Collections Officer, thinks that this map by Vicente Pacia is just fascinating! Held in the Jose Maria Braga Collection, this map came into the Library in the 1960s and displays a range of creatures that were superstitions in the Middle Ages. How many different creatures can you see?

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Vicente Pacia, Superstitions of the Middle Ages, 1935, nla.cat-vn2901838

Frank Hurley’s Children Playing

Stephanie Morris from our Communications and Marketing section is a big Frank Hurley fan. The National Library holds over 10, 000 photographic negatives and lantern slides of Hurley's work that you can view online! This image is more playful than his more well-known works, and shows his twin daughters playing in Rose Bay, Sydney.

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Frank Hurley, Adelie Hurley, Reading, and Toni Hurley, Pretending to catch an Orange, at Stonehenge, Rose Bay, Sydney, c.1927, nla.cat-vn4902500

Share your favourite

Share with us your favourite items from the collection that say something important to you at this time! Use #NLADigitalCommunity, #IMD2020 and #Our2020 on social media so we can all see what you've picked.