Voyages of Exploration: the expeditions of Captain James Cook

Lift closure

We're making improvements. From 18 to 31 March 2019 there will be no lift access to the Caird Library. Lifts across the National Maritime Museum will still be in operation. Find out more about accessibility at Royal Museums Greenwich


The Caird Library will be showcasing, between August and December 2014, manuscripts and a rare-book focusing on the three voyages of exploration made by Captain James Cook. These will be shown outside the Caird Library entrance within our very own display case.

In the 18th century, Captain Cook made three extraordinary voyages to the Pacific, discovering new lands, peoples and environments, and changing forever how Europeans viewed the world. The Library and Archive collections contain fascinating logs, journals, letters and rare books relating to Cook’s voyages.


Samples from each of the three voyages to be displayed include a series of observations from the first voyage (1768-1771) published by William Wales in 1788 (PBC1333); A narrative account of the voyage of the Resolution by Richard Pickersgill (JOD/56) covering Cook’s second voyage (1772-1775) and a letter from Cook at Plymouth Sound to Lord Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty, gratefully acknowledging the allowance arranged for Mrs Cook in his absence (SAN/F/36/36). Cook wrote the letter the day before he set off on his fateful third voyage of discovery (1776-1780).

Full list of items for display: PBC1333; JOD/56; MKH/24; AGC/C/15; SAN/F/36/36

Mike  (Archivist)