Young girl and sailor pose for photo on the HMAS Sydney

Explore our history

Did you know that you can journey around Tasmania without even leaving your computer screen?

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s (TMAG) online exhibition Shaping Tasmania: A Journey in 100 Objects explores significant events and movements that have helped create the state as we know it today.

It allows visitors to travel to all corners of the island through learning more about 100 significant objects in the TMAG collection – often with quirky stories attached – chosen to showcase Tasmania throughout its history.

Nancy Bentley on board the HMAS Sydney, 1920. Image: Commonwealth of Australia
Nancy's Royal Australian Navy cap. Collection

Credit: Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

For example, read about the billion-year-old string-of-beads fossil (object number 44) found in ancient rocks in Circular Head. Its discoverer initially didn’t realise its scientific significance and incorporated it in a concrete floor in his home.

You can also discover the story of Nancy Bentley, the first female to be enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy, through her cap (object number 70). Six-year-old Nancy was bitten by a snake at Port Arthur in 1920, and the quickest way to get her medical help was to sign her up.

There are plenty more fascinating stories to uncover through Shaping Tasmania.