The Australian Museum on the corner of William Street and College Street is the oldest museum in Australia and the fifth oldest natural history museum in the world. Heavily pilastered, it was originally known as the Colonial Museum or Sydney Museum but was renamed in 1836. It was founded by 3rd Earl Bathurst (1762-1834), Secretary of State for the Colonies. It moved to its current location, the Long Gallery is designed by the colonial architect, Mortimer Lewis (1796-1879), construction beginning in 1846 and the new museum opening to the public in 1857 with just one exhibition gallery.
The Australian Museum has long been at the forefront of Australian scientific research, collection and education. Today the Museum has grown to hold an internationally recognised collection of over 21 million cultural and scientific objects. Through exhibitions and other public programmes, the Australian Museum continues to inform and amaze generations of visitors about the unique flora, fauna and cultures of Australia and the Pacific.
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