Broome Museum

Broome stories

The Broome Historical Museum reveals the character and history of the unique, multicultural town of Broome, dubbed 'the pearling capital of the world.' Originally housed in the Old Broome Lockup the museum moved to the Old Customs House where thousands of indentured labourers from Asia had had their papers processed. Committed to preserving Broome’s built heritage, they have also rescued buildings and objects, bound for demolition. The engaging grounds include Bragge’s sail-making shed, the old CWA hall, Vietnamese refugee boats, old gravestones, machinery and gardens. The professional, witty, as well as hard-hitting displays capture the character of Old Broome. Old Broome was a town with an extraordinary history of pearling masters in their colonial whites, divers and their primitive suits, the allure of pearl shell buttons and pearls. There are also displays about the Yawuru people and the violence and prejudice of the justice system. The Meatworks that dominated the town, is featured; the horror of the Japanese bombing raids in World War 2, and the not-to-be missed hilarious ‘Hello Girls’ installation about the women who ran the local telephone exchange. The Broome Museum also has an online catalogue and a series of educational resources that accompany the displays and deal with the tough issues of racism, White Australia and the restrictions placed on Aboriginal and Asian residents.


67 Robinson Street
Broome WA 6725

Opening Hours

May to September Mon to Fri 10am-4pm, & Sat to Sun 10am-1pm; October to April 7 days 10am-1pm; Check the website for closing dates between late December and early February

Story shell

In this exquisitely carved ‘story shell’, Butcher Joe Nangan depicts Marala, an ancestral figure from Bugarrigarra, alert and watching the arrival of the first pearlers to Broome. It is a record that...

Love in a shell

Broome, Xmas Day 1911. A registered postcard, this shell was engraved and posted to ‘Miss Winnie Knapp, Northlands Boyup Brook, WA, with love from Roger”. The lustre of pearl shell had a wider appeal...

A document of life

This passport was in Sara Koen’s pocket when she dived overboard to save herself and her family during the Japanese air raid on Broome on 3rd March in 1942. They were passengers on the X1 Dornier...

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