EXHIBIT: Banks Shots

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Science  09 Apr 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5668, pp. 183
DOI: 10.1126/science.304.5668.183b

Like Charles Darwin, the English botanist Joseph Banks (1743–1820) took a slow boat to fame. Banks sailed with James Cook on the British ship Endeavour's historic voyage to the South Pacific and Australia. His haul of more than 1300 new species helped elevate him from gentleman naturalist to botanical authority. To learn more about this scientist and explorer, navigate the 10,000 pages of letters, reports, maps, and other Banks documents stashed in this archive from the State Library of New South Wales in Australia.

For instance, you can download a transcript of Banks's journal from the Endeavour journey (1768–1771). Although he never again ventured farther than Iceland, Banks became an impresario of exploration who helped set up expeditions and paid for some of them himself. The site lets you browse facsimiles of his correspondence with other collectors and doughty explorers such as Matthew Flinders, who led the first circumnavigation of Australia.


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