Marine archaeologists underwater during the HMS Pandora excavation

HMS Pandora Legacy Project

Museum researchers are digitising the legacy of one of Australia’s most infamous shipwrecks HMS Pandora, wrecked in the far northern Great Barrier Reef in 1791. Well-known for its association with the Mutiny on the Bounty story, Pandora has both national and global significance.

Found in 1977, HMS Pandora was extensively investigated by the Queensland Museum from 1979 to 1999. A total of 9 seasons, spanning months resulted in over 6,000 artefacts held within the state maritime archaeology collection housed at Queensland Museum Tropics, Townsville. To complete excavations, archaeologists record as much as possible – preserving the site, information and layout of artefacts to reconstruct the ship and reveal stories hidden for centuries. The museum holds an archive of Pandora material including: films, colour slides, black and white negatives, x-rays, site plans and maps, field registration books, dive logs, field journals, artefact illustrations and much more. Museum researchers have begun digitising the entire archive and making it publicly accessible via the Queensland Museum Image Library. A preview of images from the 1980s are available now in the public library.

The digitised material will be invaluable for archaeological research, management of the site, exhibitions and collaborative projects.

View image library

From the archives

What is Project DIG?

Project DIG is a partnership between Queensland Museum, BHP and BMA to transform how we store, explore and share our collections and research with communities worldwide.

Stay up to date with Project DIG #ProjectDIGQM #qldmuseum.

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Supported by

  • BHP logo
  • Queensland Museum Network and Queensland Government logo

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