Captain James Cook

From humble beginnings to national hero, Captain James Cook is one of history's best known and most controversial explorers. Read all about his life, from expertly charting the coasts of New Zealand and Australia and crossing the Antarctic Circle, to his fatal end in Hawaii.

Discover his story, and the legacy of his actions, in our Sackler Gallery: Pacific Encounters

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Despite trailblazers like Captain Cook, the new techniques for navigation were slow to catch on.


Today's guest blog was written by Jack Ashby, Manager of the Grant Museum of Zoology and curator of the Strange Creatures exhibition. He talks to us about the appearance of Stubbs' kangaroo and the ways in which imagery has been used to bring newly discovered animals into the public eye.


The artist William Hodges accompanied Captain Cook on his second voyage to the Pacific in 1772-74. 


Our item of the month is is the two volume work The Voyage of La Perouse round the world in the years 1785, 1786, 1787 and 1788.


Captain James Cook came out of retirement to look for the North-West Passage in 1776. It was to be his last expedition and he never returned home.


Going to sea is a dangerous business. Ahead of our Halloween event Voyage of the Damned, we’re looking at some of the more gruesome tales that can be found in our archive. Today we look at what happened to the famous explorer Captain Cook.


When Captain Cook returned from his first voyage he brought with him the term ‘tattoo’ if not the practice itself.

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Library Assistant Sonia Bacca looks at some fascinating Tongan dances, seen through our archives. 


Who would have guessed that the clue to solving a long running mystery about the final resting place of one of the world’s most famous ships lay buried in some fairly unassuming records in the Museum’s Caird Library?

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There are currently 811 relics including souvenirs made from ship timbers and metal; parts of ships or items associated with ships, corporate bodies or buildings. The antiquities collection contains a further 975 items relating to general material culture and social history rather than to a named person or ship. (Polar relics are in a separate collection).