What is the Australian National Maritime Museum Ilma collection?

Dominique Sweeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) in their Darling Harbour warehouse store just over one thousand Ilma. The Ilma are performance symbols of Bardi law and custom, which tell stories of the lands and seas of the Dampier Peninsula, King Sound and surrounding islands of Western Australia. Ilma performances are public and meant for all to see. The ANMM in 2007 resourced detailed documentation of the collection. In 2018 the collection still does not appear on the online catalogue and remains unavailable for public view. While recent efforts have been put into the collection there are important questions to be raised about the responsibility of museums to collections that have contested meanings and serve multiple purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-163
Number of pages11
JournalArchives and Manuscripts
Issue number1
Early online date22 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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