National Library of Australia

Due to major building activity some of our collections are temporarily unavailable. Please check the catalogue carefully to find out if your selection is impacted.  Learn more

You must be logged in to Tag Records
Papers of Ernest and Virtie Crome, 1784-2005 [manuscript]
Bib ID 742484
Format ManuscriptManuscript, OnlineOnline
Crome, E. A. (Ernest Alfred), 1902-1987
Online Versions
Related Online
Access Conditions Available for research. Not for loan. 
Description [1784-2005] 
67.45 m. (166 boxes) + 68 fol. boxes + 90 albums + 45 elephant fol. items + 1 folder. 

MS 1925 comprises a collection of material from 1914-1966 relating to aviation in Australia which includes log books, correspondence, press cuttings, maps, photographs together with first flight covers and other philatelic material. Included are papers relating to various people involved with aviation such as Charles Kingsford Smith, Charles Ulm, John S.W. Stannage, P.G. Taylor, T. Pethybridge and to various airline companies such as Australian National Airways Limited, Imperial Airways Limited, and Qantas Empire Airways. There is also a considerable amount of printed material, mainly airline brochures, schedules and pamphlets. The collection also includes the 2005 addition of a NASA certificate authenticating spaceflight aboard the shuttle Discovery (26 July-8 August 2005) of cloth wings of aviator Charles Kingsford Smith and signed by Australia-born astronaut, Andy Thomas (166 boxes, 68 fol. boxes, 90 albums, 45 elephant fol. items).

The Acc11.005 instalment comprises two small flip books of anti-Nazi cartoons, dating from the Second World War, probably of British origin (1 folder).


Painter, banker and collector of aviation history. Ernest Alfred Crome was born in Sydney in 1902 and educated at Enmore Public School. He was appointed office boy in the Newtown and Enmore No. 1 Starr-Bowkett Society in 1915, beginning an association with the Starr-Bowkett building societies that was to last for 56 years. He served on vessels of the Union Steamship Company in 1918, as a shipping clerk and wool sampler with Goldsborough Mort & Company, 1918-1922, and as a cashier and clerk with the Newtown and Enmore Building Cooperative Society until 1942. From 1943 to 1945 Crome worked on the Mosquito Project with the De Havilland Aircraft Company. He was employed by various firms after the Second World War before returning to the Newtown, Marrickville and General Cooperative Building Societies. He retired as secretary in 1971.

Crome began collecting aviation material in 1919 after witnessing the arrival in Sydney of the Vickers Vimy piloted by Ross and Keith Smith, at the end of the first flight from England to Australia. He won medals for his philatelic collection at the Melbourne Centenary Exhibition in 1934, the South Australian Centenary Exhibition in 1936 and the Sydney 150th Anniversary Exhibition in 1938. He was the author of Qantas aeriana (1955), Footnotes to history and the first ten years of the Rotary Club of Newtown, 1962-1972 (1972), and From ships to helicopters: aerophilately and the Sydney Harbour Bridge (1983). In 1983, he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the community. Crome died in Sydney in 1987.


Manuscript reference no.: MS 1925, MS Acc11.005.

Associated materials: Papers of Ronald Armstrong relating to Ernest Crome, 1929-1986 MS 10486.

Selected item(s) also available online

Related Material E.A Crome collection of photographs on aviation; Located at; National Library of Australia Pictures collection PIC/3394.  Ernest A. Crome talks about his aviation collection; Located at; National Library of Australia Oral History collection ORAL TRC 24. 
Cited In

Guide to collections of manuscripts relating to Australia, B259 (Rev. 1).

Index/Finding Aid Note Finding aid available online. 
Subjects Crome, E. A. (Ernest Alfred), 1902-1987 -- Archives.  |  Crome, Virtie Ivery, 1911-1987 -- Archives.  |  Kingsford-Smith, Charles, 1897-1935.  |  Ulm, C. T. P. (Charles Thomas Phillippe), 1897-1934.  |  Collectors and collecting -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Stamp collectors -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Historians -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Aeronautics -- Collectors and collecting -- Australia.  |  Aeronautics -- Australia -- History.  |  Air pilots -- Australia.  |  Airlines -- Australia.  |  Commemorative postage stamps.  |  Airplanes on postage stamps.
Time Coverage 1784-2005 
Occupation Collectors.  |  Historians.  |  Bankers.  |  Aviators.
Other authors/contributors Crome, Virtie Ivery, 1911-1987
Exhibited Exhibited: "Treasures Gallery", National Library of Australia, 3 December 2012 - 3 May 2013.  Selected items exhibited in: "Treasures Gallery", National Library of Australia, 12 June 2012 - 23 September 2012.  Exhibited: "Treasures Gallery", National Library of Australia, 7 October 2011-15 December 2012.  Selected items exhibited: "Treasures Gallery", National Library of Australia, 6 May 2013 - 15 September 2013. 

In the Library

Request this item to view in the Library's reading rooms using your library card. To learn more about how to request items watch this short online video Help Video.

Details Collect From
MS 1925 Special Collections Reading Room
Access details ... more
MS Acc09.094
Note: Photographs, autograph cards, press cuttings an... more
Special Collections Reading Room - Prior notice required
Access details ... more
MS Acc11.005 Special Collections Reading Room - Prior notice required
Unprocessed instalment
Access details ... more

Order a copy

- Copyright or permission restrictions may apply. We will contact you if necessary.

Help Video To learn more about Copies Direct watch this short online video Help Video.
close Can I borrow items from the Library?

You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

You can view this on the NLA website.

close What can I get online?

You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

You can view this on the NLA website.

close Can I get copies of items from the Library?

You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

You can view this on the NLA website.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags
Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other First Nations people are advised that this catalogue contains names, recordings and images of deceased people and other content that may be culturally sensitive. Please also be aware that you may see certain words or descriptions in this catalogue which reflect the author’s attitude or that of the period in which the item was created and may now be considered offensive.