Publication titled 'Australian War Memorial Museum: The Relics and Records of Australia's effort in the Defence of the Empure, 1914-18', printed in 1925 at which point the war museum was based in Sydney, having recently left its original location in the Eastern Machinery Annexe of the Exhibition Building, Melbourne, where it had opened on Anzac Day, 1922.

The Australian War Museum was located at the Exhibition Building between 1921 and 1925 before it moved to Sydney where it was housed in the Exhibition Building in Prince Alfred Park. It remained there until closing in 1935, by which time construction had commenced on a purpose-built Australian War Memorial in the new national capital, Canberra. The new building was opened by the Governor-General, Lord Gowrie, on Remembrance Day, 11 November 1941.

The Australian War Memorial continued to use the Exhibition Building as its principal store until the 1940s and as its main office in the 1930s.

Physical Description

Guidebook to the Australian War Memorial Museum, in the Exhibition Building, Prince Alfred Park, Sydney', printed in 1925. A soft-covered book with a sepia toned illustration of a soldier in battledress with his rifle and bayonet ready for action. Catalogue comprises 103 pages of printed descriptions of exhibits with illustrations. Black and white photographs of the display cabinets are interspersed through the booklet. On the back cover is a map showing the location of the Museum, near Central Railway Station in Sydney, and the public transport near it.


These items were purchased at auction as a lot. No. 4, the booklet on the Shrine, provides an insight into the thinking behind the building, and the initial designs, and allows research into how the design changed during the fund-raising process.

The two catalogues of the Australian War Museum/ Memorial provide the opportunity to compare the two exhibitions in Melbourne and later in Sydney, and identify any change of emphasis as a result of audience reaction. The catalogue of the Melbourne Exhibition has relevance to the history of the Royal Exhibition Building, and also to the history of Melbourne Museums.

The souvenir of the film 'We of the A.I.F.' is an interesting piece of ephemera relating to a film that presented and interpreted aspects of the diggers' experience in the years after the end of the First World War.

The items were all auctioned on 13 February 2005 as part of the sale of a collection of militaria belonging to the late Ken White. The purchase price for the Lot was $233.00, including Buyers' premium. One item, a booklet about the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney, was transferred to the Museum Library.

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