Online Lists

French Voyages

French Voyages

Recent years have seen a renewed interest in the nineteenth-century French expeditions, with a deeper understanding of the real contributions they made to science and hydrography. To illuminate with knowledge was the avowed aim: knowledge in the widest sense, encompassing geographical, scientific, technical, anthropological, zoological, social, historical, philosophical.

The well-fitted vessels of these nineteenth-century French explorers were essentially floating research laboratories, attended by qualified and trained personnel. Advances in astronomy, mathematics and optics made it possible to chart positions with accuracy, whilst in the field of natural history, the latest scientific methods were employed. Skilled artists and draughtsmen accompanied these expeditions, producing some of the most beautiful early views of Australia and the Pacific.

Sir Joseph Banks

Sir Joseph Banks

2020 marks the 150th anniversary of Joseph Banks’s arrival with Cook on the east coast of Australia, as well as the 200th anniversary of his death in 1820. We have assembled a substantial collection of material relating to his life and influence.

Ethnography

Ethnography

The striking figure at left detail from a rare proof engraving "Wayggiou" by Louis de Freycinet for his Atlas Historique, a highlight from this on-line catalogue of ethnograpic interest.

Books with stories

Books with stories

A list of books which each "tell a story" beyond authorship: whether by publisher, owner, association or historical context.

Corsali to Cook

Corsali to Cook

A curated list of voyage books relating to the mapping and exploration of our world from the early period up until the late Enlightenment. A full description of the rare library globes pictured may be found here.

Pirates and privateers

Pirates and privateers

A short list ranging from the classic English voyage account by Sir Richard Hawkins "one of the most civilised and attractive of the Elizabethan privateers", to those of Anson and Dampier, including that of the buccaneering surgeon Lionel Wafer who after being badly burned in Panama lived amongst the Darien Indians, adopting their distinctive dress.

Manuscripts

Manuscripts

A selection of manuscripts chiefly from an important private collection relating to Australia's foundation as an English Colony and its transition from penal colony to emerging nation. Many document the history of transportation and the passage of convicts from prisoners to land holders and  prominent citizens. Several outline the growth of commerce and establishment of a standard currency banking system.  

Ferguson's Australia 1784-1900

Ferguson's Australia 1784-1900

This list is the result of researching material relating to Australia relatively under-represented or not held at all in Australian collections by reference to John Ferguson’s Bibliography of Australia. Ferguson's mammoth work (in the pre-computer age), took him fifty years to complete and is the the standard reference for printed matter relating to Australia published anywhere in the world between 1784 and 1900.

Literature and travel

Literature and travel

A selection of literature and travel together with original works on paper. Notable inclusions are a fine set of Nonesuch Shakespeare, works by Australia's greatest classicist, Gilbert Murray, an original account of Mendaña’s voyage across the Pacific in 1567-8, an appealing set of American scenery, a watercolour of Yantai during the Taiping Rebellion and a charming 19th Century drawing of a "ladie oystering".

18th Century Voyages

18th Century Voyages

From the Age of Discovery to the Enlightenment: this list celebrates the explosion of eighteenth century voyages with many of the key figures represented. The earliest include accounts by Dampier and Torquemada (important in the literature of Pacific exploration because of Torquemada's account of Quiros's voyage of 1605); through to Anson's famous mid-century voyage into the Pacific and the great voyage accounts of Bougainville, Cook and La Pérouse. Early European descriptions of China are represented in Sir George Staunton's Embassy; descriptions seized upon by the thinkers of the Enlightenment for their revelations of distant cultures, evolved without European influence. It is sometimes easy to overlook the scale of these accounts, and to take for granted their achievement in what has been termed the "double deed that consists of sailing round the world then writing an account of it" (Mary Louise Pratt)