Donald Thomson Collection

The Donald Thomson Collection represents a unique cultural resource, which is of national and international distinction. Its greatest significance resides in its importance to communities of origin and their descendant families.

The Collection, comprising material from over ninety communities of origin, reflects the social and cultural life of Aboriginal people from Cape York, Arnhem Land, and the Central and Gibson Deserts and includes material from Papua, Solomon Islands and West Papua sourced during Thomson’s World War II service there. Amassed by Thomson while undertaking anthropological research and field collecting in botany, herpetology, mammalogy and ornithology, the collection holds deep cultural knowledge and richness for diverse audiences, but most especially for Aboriginal people.

Indigenous Collections staff can provide assistance for people from Communities of Origin, wherever possible, if invited to do so, to access the Donald Thomson Collection. Learn more