We're opening up the world's greatest maritime archive on 27 June. Come see some amazing objects, including the journal of a bloodthirsty pirate and a book taken to Pitcairn Island by the Bounty Mutineers.

Domestic Medicine, William Buchan – from the Bounty Domestic Medicine, William Buchan – from the Bounty

A book from the Bounty

Domestic Medicine : or, `A treatise on the prevention and cure of diseases by regimen and simple medicines’. This is an important medical book in its own right but this copy is especially notable as it was taken to Pitcairn Island by the Bounty Mutineers.

A Pirate A Pirate's journal kept by William Davidson AND/48

A pirate's journal

kept by William Davidson, 1788-89

In one particularly gruesome account we see a pirate vessel disguised as a Russian privateer (flying the Russian flag) cruising the Mediterranean. Most of their victims were either burnt with the ship, drowned or executed on board. One especially brutal punishment of a prisoner was having ‘his eyes torn out, his fingers chopped off, and bones in his arms and legs broken. He was then set adrift on a grating in order that he might expire in the extremist tortures'.

The Theatre of the Whole World by Abraham Ortelius, 1606 The Theatre of the Whole World by Abraham Ortelius, 1606

A map of the world

Ortelius was a resident of Antwerp and Geographer to Philip II of Spain and one of the foremost mapmakers of his time. 42 editions of Orbis Terrarum were published by Ortelius and his heirs between 1570-1612.

Excerpt from intro - `I omit here that the reading of histories doeth seeme to be much more pleasant and indeed so it is when the Mappe being layed before our eyes, we may behold things done or places where they were done as if they were at this time present and in doing …’

These are just a selection of the items you can see on the 27 June. Our staff will also be on hand to answer any questions and help trace your family history through our records.