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Banks's Journal: Daily EntriesVoyaging Accounts
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About this Edition

This edition of Joseph Banks’s Endeavour journal has been designed so that Banks’s daily records of occurrences on the voyage can easily be compared and contrasted with the corresponding daily entries in Cook’s journal and the relevant parts of Parkinson’s published journal and Hawkesworth’s Account of the Voyages… Those sections of Banks’s journal given over to descriptions of places and peoples encountered are presented as a separate series of pages with references to the manuscript volume and pages in which they can be found.

Both Banks’s daily entries and his accounts of places and peoples encountered were prepared using an electronic transcript produced by the State Library of New South Wales. The Library’s transcript was created from the text of the edition of the journal prepared by J.C. Beaglehole for the trustees of the Public Library of New South Wales and published by Angus and Robertson in 1962.

I wish to acknowledge the generosity of the State Library in permitting the reproduction the text of the journal by South Seas. Readers interested in the life and achievements of Joseph Banks should consult the State Library’s magnificent online edition of the Papers of Sir Joseph Banks at

In editing Banks’s journal, Beaglehole was concerned to strike a balance between producing a text that could be read with comfort and yet still captured ‘the flavour of his rapid running mind and pen’. He consequently divided the manuscript into six sections corresponding to the different phases of the voyage and adopted the following rules:

(1) I have maintained Banks’s own spelling and abbreviations; the exception here is his ampersand, which so repeated would have been a needless offence to the eye, and is therefore consistently expanded. (2) Obvious slips and repetitions of small words have been silently corrected, but where it has seemed necessary letters or words supplied have been enclosed in square brackets…. (Banks, 1962: 147-8).
In doing so, Beaglehole trusted to words supplied in contemporary manuscript copies of the journal. ‘After a deal of hesitation’ Beaghole thirdly decided to capitalise
…normally the the names of persons, people and countries, whether used as nouns or as adjectives, not merely to avoid upsetting too much the reader’s established expectations – which may not after all matter – but to get rid of the problem of Banks’s own frequent indeterminate forms. Apart from this, I have retained capitals for nouns when Banks clearly intends them, and otherwise when they do not clutter up the page: this arbitrary and perhaps illogical, but at least does keep some of the ‘feeling’ of the MS (148).
Three further rules were adopted by Beaglehole:
(4) I have, as far as possible in type, followed Banks’s accents. (5) I have punctuated – enough I hope, to render the sense easily intelligible, but without entering into refinements. (6) As Banks is highly inconsistent in his underlinings – e.g. of his scientific binomials – I have regularized this in type, and italicized according to modern practice, though retaining his capitals.

Beaglehole also modernized the eighteenth century long ‘s’ represented prior to 1800 by the letter f.

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