Thursday January 13, 2005

A Cook’s tour of the Pacific

Breadfruit - Possibly by Sydney Parkinson.; Rex Nan Kivell Collection

South Seas is an online information resource for the history of European voyaging and cross-cultural encounters in the Pacific between 1760 and 1800.

The first phase of the South Seas project is focused on James Cook’s voyage of discovery of 1768-1771.

Browse or search original sources in full text with comparative and explanatory links to contemporary documents, images and maps:

  • read and compare the text of the Voyaging Accounts kept by Cook and by fellow voyagers, Joseph Banks and Sydney Parkinson while aboard H.M.S. Endeavour, and read the text of the official record of the voyage written by John Hawkesworth (London, 1773)
  • browse or search the South Seas Companion, an encyclopaedic guide that provides short essays about places, people, cultural artefacts and many other aspects of the history of the Pacific in the second half of the 18th century
  • refer from Companion entries via the Gallery link to images of rare pictures and maps held in the National Library’s collections; and via the Related Sources link to citations of published works
  • find out about the way of life and culture of 18th-century Pacific peoples via the Cultural Atlases which indicate places of particular cultural significance at the time of Cook’s first voyage and which link to additional information in the Companion and to images from the National Library’s collections
  • learn about the impact of European exploration on Pacific communities through Indigenous Histories that include accounts of Europeans who lived within the communities during the early years of contact
  • discover the wonder and fascination that characterised European Reactions to the achievements of Cook and other Pacific voyagers, as conveyed through imaginative works such as A Short Account of the New Pantomime Called Omai … by John O’Keeffe (London, 1785)
  • learn the meaning of nautical terms used in eighteenth-century voyaging accounts by consulting William Falconer’s Universal Dictionary of the Marine … (London, 1780 edn.), one of several Reference Works that will be made available

Link: http://southseas.nla.gov.au

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