- What we collect
- Preserving our collections
- Building our collections
- Selected Library collections
- Collection statistics
- History of the collection
- Processing and describing our collections
Cook knew Australia as New Holland from Dutch maps of the seventeenth century, and its peoples from William Dampier's bestselling voyage account of 1697. Though Cook's ships visited the east coast of Australia on all three Pacific voyages, the most exhaustive encounter was the Endeavour's passage northwards between April and August 1770. On the second voyage, the Adventure spent time in Van Diemen's Land, which was visited again on the third voyage by Resolution and Discovery.
The local people managed the land in ways mostly unseen by the Europeans, who were also unaware of their rich oral traditions. There were few interactions, as communication was difficult and sometimes misunderstandings led to violence.
The flora and fauna seen on the Endeavour voyage were unlike anything Europeans had seen before and were comprehensively observed, collected and documented.
Australian Aboriginal People in Bark Canoes
By noon we were within the mouth of the inlet which appeard to be very good. Under the South head of it were four small canoes; in each of these was one man who held in his hand a long pole with which he struck fish, venturing with his little imbarkation almost into the surf. These people seemd to be totaly engag’d in what they were about: the ship passd within a quarter of a mile of them and yet they scarce lifted their eyes from their employment.
Journal of HMB Endeavour
A Plan of 'Sting-ray Bay'