Although they vary in their content and proportion, collections of antiquities and medieval artefacts are held by the following museums and galleries.
The Art Gallery of New South Wales is home to the largest Australian collection of antiquities and medieval artefacts from Asia, principally China and Japan (for more details, see Asian Art). The Gallery also holds a modest, but handsome, collection of European Renaissance art.
The Australian National University’s Classics Museum in Canberra holds more than 600 objects from ancient Greece, the Roman Republic and Empire, and the Mediterranean more broadly. Among the collection, one sees pottery, glassware, wax tablets, and an array of writing implements. The Classics Museum is also home to several manuscripts, including a sixteenth-century volume of Cicero’s writings.
The Ballarat Fine Art Gallery in Victoria holds several books of hours.
At the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, one finds a diverse collection of art and objects from medieval and Renaissance Europe. Artefacts include medallions, books of hours, and religious art (see International Paintings and Sculpture). The Gallery also holds a significant collection of medieval artefacts from Asia, especially India.
The National Gallery of Victoria holds a good collection of European artefacts from the Renaissance, including art and jewellery. It is also home to collections of Egyptian antiquities and medieval Asian artefacts.
The University of Queensland’s RD Milns Antiquities Museum in Brisbane holds a significant collection of Mediterranean antiquities dating from across a period of more than 3500 years.
The Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney is home to the largest Australian collection of antiquities, and includes objects from the Mediterranean, Egypt, and the Middle East.
Many Australian cultural institutions are in the process of creating online catalogues of their collections. At the same time, virtual exhibitions have become a standard accompaniment to more traditionally presented exhibitions and displays.
A photographic database of a diverse range of art and artefacts hosted by the Australian National University. Although the emphasis is placed upon Asian objects, the site also includes a good collection of European medieval artefacts. Searches can be conducted across several categories, including Country, Subject, and Artist. The quality of the images is generally quite good, but the photographs are not often accompanied by extensive information.
The Book of Kells and the Art of Illumination
Online version of an exhibition which took place at the National Gallery of Australia in 2000. The site provides information about the production of manuscripts, and presents examples of numerous mauscripts which may be accessed via a map of Europe.
The Medieval Imagination: Illuminated Manuscripts from Cambridge, Australia, and New Zealand
Online version of an exhibition held at the State Library of Victoria in 2008. The site provides many images of manuscripts from collections across Australia and New Zealand, as well as from a range of Cambridge University libraries. Further, it offers information on the production of manuscripts and explores the symbolism of manuscript illuminations. There are also links to various educational pages, including a discussion of the organisation and curating of the exhibition, and the conservation of the manuscripts involved.
The following galleries have developed online catalogues from which digitised images of their collections may be browsed (see also Museums in Australia):