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Cambridge University Library


On 28 August, 1768, the ship Endeavour left the port of Plymouth on a voyage of discovery. Captained by Lieutenant James Cook (1728–79), the main aims were to observe the transit of Venus from the Pacific island of Tahiti and search for the great unknown southern continent, Terra Australis Incognita.

Rather than concentrating on the already much studied astronomical and ethnographic aspects of this voyage, this exhibit examines the work of the natural historians Joseph Banks (1743–1820) and Daniel Solander (1733–1781) who collected, described and classified over 1400 species previously unknown to European natural history.

Edwin Rose is a Ph.D. student in the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science. His research focusses on natural history books and their relationship with natural history collections, c. 1740-1830. 

On display until Saturday 29 September. Free and open to all.