The Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney is home to the largest collection of antiquities in both Australia and the southern Hemisphere. Founded in 1860, the collection spans the ancient world with primary collection areas including ancient Egypt, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, and the Near East. The Museum gallery is located in the main quadrangle of the University and is open to the public Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm as well as the first Saturday of every month from 12 to 4 pm. Admission is free.
The Nicholson Museum is named after its founder, Sir Charles Nicholson. In 1856-57, Nicholson traveled throughout Egypt and then Italy where he acquired the first thousand or so primarily ancient Egyptian, Greek, South Italian and Etruscan artefacts. These he donated to the University in 1860. The museum’s collection has grown exponentially since this founding donation. Individual benefaction, donations, sponsored archaeological projects and curatorial acquisition have all contributed to the wealth of material now housed by the Nicholson Museum.
The museum currently has a mixture of permanent and temporary exhibition areas within its gallery. Permanent or ongoing exhibitions include: Egyptians, Gods and Mummies: Travels with Herodotus, Aphrodite's Island: Australian Archaeologists in Cyprus; The Etruscans: A Classical Fantasy; Tombs, Tells and Temples: Excavating the Near East as well as a permanent display of artefacts from the Greek and Italian Classical world. Temporary exhibitions include: LEGO Pompeii, featuring a large scale model of the site of Pompeii in LEGO and 50 Objects, 50 Stories – scheduled to close July 2015.
Plan trip to Sydney with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.
Nicholson Museum Reviews
Quite full on. If you wanna see a mummy and brush up on ancient Egyptian history, then this is the place to be at. The campus (University of Sydney) is quite beautiful so you can pretty much make it..... more »
It’s small, but well laid out, well signed and has a great collection of artefacts (in particular Egyptian and Greek). It’ll be great to hopefully see more of the collection on display when they move.... more »
Walk in without any intention but quite impressive. It's good to bring your kids or persons who love history to this place. There are many interesting items from Egyptian, Greek and Roman cultures in one place. Staff are very friendly and you are allowed to touch some items with the supervision of their staff. Again, very impressive..😃
Best museum I've ever seen – and I've been to many! Been coming here my entire life, never had a complaint – apart from the fact that it's supposedly closing...
Places to stay near Nicholson Museum
Plan your trip to Sydney
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
View all ›
View all ›
Side trips from Sydney
Hidden gems in Sydney
Parks in Sydney
Nearby attractions in Sydney
Plans to Nicholson Museum by other users
58 days in Sydney BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 36 days in Sydney & Melbourne BY A USER FROM VIETNAM January, culture, beaches, museums, popular sights PREFERENCES: January, culture, beaches, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 21 days in Sydney BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND January, popular sights PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 60 days in Melbourne & Sydney BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy 60 days in Sydney BY A USER FROM SWEDEN January, popular sights PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 23 days in Sydney & Melbourne BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium