The First World War Antiquities Project aims to locate, research, and publish information about antiquities souvenired by Australians during the First World War. It seeks to understand both the appeal of antiquities as souvenirs during the war period, and the reasons for bringing them back to Australia.

These artefacts also offer the opportunity to explore the stories of individual Australian service personnel, their lives before, during and after the war, and their contact with the ancient world through the objects they collected.

Project Objectives:

  1. To locate, research, and make available information about antiquities collected during the First World War by Australians.
  2. To research and make available information relating to these Australians.
  3. To provide this information to families and institutions who care for such artefacts.
  4. To produce an online exhibition/website, research publications, and physical exhibitions.
  5. To host a public event that allows stories of artefacts and service personnel to be shared.

Phase 1 (2019) of the project focuses on collections currently residing in Queensland.

The project is an initiative of the RD Milns Antiquities Museum at The University of Queensland.

Chief Investigators:

Dr Janette McWilliam, Director, RD Milns Antiquities Museum

Mr James Donaldson, Senior Museum Officer, RD Milns Antiquities Museum (Project Manager)

Queensland Museum Partners:

Dr Brit Asmussen, Senior Curator, Archaeology, Queensland Museum (Principal Investigator, QM)

Mr David Parkhill, Assistant Collection Manager, Archaeology, Cultures and Histories Program, Queensland Museum, (Associate Researcher, QM)

Research Assistants:

Josephine Carroll-Walden

Alessandra Schultz