The British Library holds one the most extensive and compelling collections of original documents and works of art from James Cook’s voyages. This landmark exhibition, which is timed to coincide with the 250th anniversary of the first Cook voyage to leave England, will be a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to see the collection on display.
The Library’s collection includes Cook’s chart of Botany Bay, his map of New Zealand, and a world map made after the second voyage showing the course of the Resolution and the lands visited en route. There are also drawings by all of the artists employed on the voyages, and the only surviving paintings by Tupaia, a Polynesian high priest and navigator who joined the first voyage at Tahiti and sailed with Cook to New Zealand and Australia. The Library also holds several original logbooks and journals, which provide vivid eye-witness accounts of the voyages. These will be exhibited alongside key loans that complement the Library’s collection and that have not been displayed together before.
To learn more about the exhibit or make a donation to support the library, go to the British Library website.