The Endeavour Journal of James Cook
Documentary heritage submitted by Australia and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2001.
This is the original document, in Cook’s handwriting, of his first exploration voyage in the Pacific on HMS Endeavour in 1768-71. The first European charting of the east coast of Australia and the first circumnavigation of New Zealand took place on the voyage. This is the key document which foreshadows British colonisation of Australia (which actually began in 1788) and presaged the tragic consequences for Australia’s indigenous peoples – the oldest surviving culture on Earth – who, under British law, were effectively deemed not to exist (the ‘terra nullius’ doctrine).