A View of Cape Stephens in Cook's Straits with Waterspout

Polite society was thrilling to the idea of an undiscovered continent in the south. Was it even there and what would count as proof if it didn’t exist?

The Death of Captain James Cook by the Indians of Owhyee, one of the Sandwich Islands.jpg

While Cook fails to find the North-West Passage, it is his discovery of Hawaii that will prove to be his undoing.

Coat of Arms of the South Sea Company D4847_slider.JPG

The South Sea Bubble was the financial collapse of the South Sea Company in 1720. The company was formed to supply slaves to Spanish America.

John Harrison.jpg

Who was John Harrison, and how did his clocks help to solve the problem of finding longitude at sea?

Horatio Nelson.jpg

As well as being a naval hero, Lord Nelson was an interesting and complex man. His letters and diaries reveal much about his character.


Can you explain why the British would be shooting their own admiral?


Toll for the brave – the story of the Royal George and how it went down in a home port with huge loss of life.

At the Caird Library we receive questions about sailing times between two ports of call very frequently.

The survey ship HMS 'Beagle' in Sydney harbour PU8969_slider.JPG

Beagle was a Royal Navy ship, famed for taking English naturalist Charles Darwin on his first expedition around the world in 1831–36.


A small military map of the Battle of Fishguard, which led to the defeat of the last foreign invasion of Britain during the Napoleonic Wars.