Powerhouse Museum Collection Search 2.53
Category history:



The Powerhouse Museum is committed to making its collection dataset available to the community in many forms. Traditionally we've done this by publishing collection records to our website, but now we also offer direct data access. This allows you to make your own interfaces to the collection and incorporate it into other services.

If you want full access including thumbnails then we recommend you use the API (application programming interface). The API uses a RESTful model and currently returns data as JSON, JSONP, YAML and XML. You can also query it using YQL.

API content is released under a CC BY-NC Creative Commons Non-Commercial Attribution license.


  • Contains over 96,000 items, and
  • over 98,000 thumbnails
  • as well as structure, tags, and full object details

If you do use our API for a project then we'd love to know what you've done with it. Not only are we very interested in what you can do with our data, it also helps us justify the continued improvement of the API in the future.

Tell us via api [at] phm.gov.au


With our WordPress collection plugin and a free API key anyone can now embed a grid of collection objects in their WordPress blog. Object grids can be placed in posts and pages, or even as a sidebar widget.

Each grid can have different display parameters and contents. It even has a nice friendly backend for customising, and because we're hosting it through WordPress, when new features are added it will be able to be auto-upgraded through your blog's control panel.

So, if you have a WordPress blog and feel like embedding some objects, download it, read the online documentation, and go for it.

If you just need to ingest a dataset or simply view a subset, then we also offer a downloadable tab-seperated values spreadsheet. This single file download contains basic metadata for objects, no images, and without the structure and depth of the data accessible through the API. This basic metadata is released under a CC-BY-SA Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license.


  • Contains 109,756 rows
  • Generated on 4 March 2012
  • 11.9MB zipped, 79.7MB unzipped

Please also understand that the data contained within is covered by the same caveat that the our site operates under - "Research and documentation, both textual and photographic, of the Museum's collection is a continuous process and so from time to time the information for an object may be out of date or simply reflect the knowledge available at the time of writing."