What is South Seas?
South Seas is an online information resource for the history of European voyaging and cross-cultural encounters in the Pacific between 1760 and 1800.
What you are exploring is the first phase of South Seas, which is focused on James Cook’s momentous first voyage of discovery of 1768-1771.
South Seas offers the full text of the holograph manuscript of James Cook’s Endeavour Journal held by the National Library of Australia, together with the full texts of the journals kept by Joseph Banks and Sydney Parkinson on the voyage. You will also find the text of all three volumes of John Hawkesworth’s Account of the Voyages undertaken...in the Southern Hemisphere...(1773). Volumes two and three of this work are an account of the Endeavour voyage fashioned by Hawkesworth from Cook's and Banks's journals.
These various fascinating historical documents are presented so that you can easily compare and contrast how the many remarkable occurrences on the voyage were interpreted by Cook, Banks and Parkinson. The are also accompanied by explanatory commentaries, short articles and reflective essays in the South Companion.
In order to help explain the complexities of eighteenth century and navigation, we have provided the complete text of the 1780 edition of William Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine.
South Seas has also been designed to facilitate discovery of historical images and rare maps relating to eighteenth-century voyaging in Australian and Pacific seas held by the National Library of Australia’s collections.
This first phase of South Seas also contains online editions of several important works illustrative of indigenous Pacific cultures before and during the years between 1760 and 1800, as well as a number of literary works revealing how the experiences of voyagers captured the imagination of Europeans during the second-half of the eighteenth century.