Unboxing the museum

Have you ever wondered what you would find behind the scenes of our museums? 

There are over 17 million objects safely stored in boxes, drawers, cupboards, cabinets and jars across all of our buildings.

In this series of videos our expert staff take you on an exclusive tour behind the scenes of our museums. They “unbox” some of their favourite objects giving you fascinating insights into our collection and giving you an exclusive behind the scenes look in our museums.

Aurora Australis

What would you take on a trip to Antartica? Ernest Shakleton and his team took a printing press and they produced the first book printed in Antartica, the Aurora Australis. Librarian Gemma Steele tells us why this book is her favourite object in the museum's collection.


Aunty Esther Kirby's emu egg

Aunty Esther Kirby is a master emu egg carver, a skill she learnt from her father, Uncle Sam Kirby. Her remarkably detailed carvings can contain as many as 15 colours all created by etching the egg shell at different depths. In this video Kimberley Moulton, Senior Curator of South Eastern Aboriginal Collections at Museums Victoria, unboxes one of Aunty Esther's intricate works of art.


Zahra's drawing

Zahra Jaffari is a young refugee who is looking to call Australia home. In this episode Dr Moya McFadzean goes behind the scenes to reveal a recent acquisition by the Museums Victoria. It is a picture drawn by a Zahra that depicts her journey from war-torn Afghanistan to Indonesia where she currently waits to be allowed to join her brother in Australia. The heartbreaking drawing sketches out her experiences and hopes and dream for her future in Australia.


The world's fastest beetle

Want to know what the world's fastest beetle is? How fast can it run? Tamara Morgan unveils the worlds fastest beetle, it runs so fast it loses vision!

Glass Sponge

In this episode Nish Nizar reveals an elusive and striking specimen, a glass sponge usually found in deep water off the Phillipines and Fiji.


Orchard Swallowtail

What is a Orchard Swallowtail and what is a gynandromorph? Simon Hinkley unveils a very rare gynandromorph in our entomology collection.


We'd love to know what you thought about the videos above. Our survey will take less than 10 minutes and all entries will go into the draw to win a $100 gift voucher at our online store! 

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