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.
A list of books which each "tell a story" beyond authorship: whether by publisher, owner, association or historical context.
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.
A selection of manuscripts relating to the Pacific voyages of Cook, de Bougainville and Dumont D'Urville, together with documents of early Australian colonial settlement.
A selection of separately published vocabularies as well as voyage and exploration accounts which include early attempts at indigenous orthography.
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.
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.
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".
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).
This themed list spans five centuries of material relating to Western encounters with Papua and New Guinea. From Ruscelli’s double-hemisphere world-map revised for the 1598 printing of Ptolemy’s Geographia to the fine watercolour-portrait of Koapena, the Hood River region Chief and his meeting with the Australian Squadron leader Erskine recorded in a substantial photographic album.
Whether in the highly stylized aesthetic of the Parisian art deco designer George Barbier, pioneering anthropologies in voyage accounts, in maps, portraits, games or tools for teaching the young, this month’s themed list explores costume in all its forms. Often images were so striking they re-occur in accounts decades — or centuries later. The spirit behind many of the works is very much that of the Enlightenment — a tremendous curiosity about newly discovered parts of the world and about human behaviour, particularly for ritualised behavior. The late Professor Bernard Smith noted (here specifically of the work of St-Sauveur included in this list) ‘The engravings published in Cook’s Voyages provided new visual information about many previously unknown peoples, and greatly enlarged Europe’s knowledge of the family of man… as artists copied the engravings so they altered them still further in the direction of European pre-conceptions, the anthropological and ethnographic intentions of the originals being diverted increasingly to fulfil the demands of taste and the intrinsic needs of decoration.’ (European Vision and the South Pacific, p. 113).