The Endeavour Holograph Journal of Captain James Cook

The voyages of discovery of Captain James Cook (1728–1779) generated varied documentation, and illustrate every possible aspect of the diary and its related forms canvassed in this exhibition. Thus we have a range of chronological records (personal and official journals, contemporary copies, official logbooks, civilians’ parallel journals, even visual records); the reverence shown to the iconic holograph journal; published versions that helped to create fame, wealth and controversy; and numerous amateur and scholarly efforts to untangle the truth. Thirty years ago M. K. Beddie’s Bibliography of Captain James Cook (Library of New South Wales, 1970), listed over 1100 items relating to the first voyage alone.

Item 39

Remarkable Occurrences: the National Library of Australia’s first 100 years 1901–2001, edited by Peter Cochrane (National Library of Australia, 2001), opened at an illustra- tion of Cook’s holograph journal and Professor Greg Dening’s reflections on the National Library’s number one treasure. The history’s short title is taken from the opening lines of the journal.

Item 40

The Journal of H.M.S. Endeavour 1768–1771 by Lieutenant James Cook (Genesis Publications Limited in association with Rigby Limited, 1977). Number 74 of 500 facsimile copies of the holograph journal, presented to the University of Melbourne Library by the Friends of the Baillieu Library. Opened at the entry for Thursday 19 April 1770, when the east coast of Australia was first sighted (mid-point of left page).

Item 41

The Journals of Captain James Cook. The Voyage of the Endeavour, 1768–1771, edited by J. C. Beaglehole (Cambridge University Press for the Hakluyt Society, 1955). One of many volumes by the world’s foremost authority on Cook, opened to show extensive commentary supporting the transcription.

Item 42

An Account of the voyages undertaken by the order of His Majesty for making discoveries in the southern hemisphere, and successively performed by ... and Captain Cook in ... the Endeavour. Drawn from the journals which were kept by the several commanders, and from the papers of J. Banks by J. Hawkesworth. Second edition (W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1773), opened at the same entry, 19 April 1770.

Item 43

H M Bark Endeavour; her place in Australian history by Ray Parkin (the Miegunyah Press, 1997). The most exhaus- tive and meticulous study prepared to date on Cook’s first voyage, and winner of the 1999 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Book of the Year, opened at various journal writers’ descriptions of Botany Bay.

Item 44

Paul Carter, The Road to Botany Bay: an exploration of land- scape and history (Alfred A. Knopf, 1987). A re-evaluation of the origins of Australia based on diaries and other primary sources. Chapter one is a study of Cook’s naming practices and of subsequent explanations by scholars such as Beaglehole. It amounts to a brilliant interpretation of how the name Botany Bay ‘emerged’.

Display case lining

Three drawings from volume two of Parkin’s Endeavour study, showing (i) fore-&-aft sails, (ii) its profile showing lower masts, bow-sprit etc, and (iii) the running rigging.