This guide will help you research famous explorers, navigators and hydrographers. It gives a brief account of their voyages and lists some of the material related to them held by the National Maritime Museum.
The Museum has a large collection of maps, charts, atlases, books and prints concerned with voyages of circumnavigation, and expeditions to the Americas, Australia, Far East, Pacific, East Indies, and Arctic and Antarctic exploration. They range from 15th-century Ptolemy maps to 20th-century Admiralty Charts and clearly reveal how human understanding of the earth and its occupants has advanced through the centuries.
The National Maritime Museum holds considerable material on polar exploration, mostly relating to British seaborne expeditions from the time of James Cook to Shackleton and the end of the 'Heroic Age' of Antarctic exploration. It is particularly strong on items connected with Sir John Franklin's missing North-West Passage voyage and the subsequent search expeditions.