Thursday, June 21, 2012
Charting the Land on the Ocean Exhibition, University of Otago
On Friday 22 June, the exhibition “Charting the Land on the Ocean: Pacific Exploration, 1520-1876” will begin at the de Beer Gallery, Special Collections, University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ.
It will feature rare books and maps from the Hocken Collections, the Science Library, Special Collections, University of Otago, and the Heritage Collection, Dunedin Public Library.
Aside from works on Cook, Bougainville, Kotzebue, Freycinet, Duperrey, and Dumont d’Urville, etc., three wonderful associational items will be on display: tapa cloth specimens collected by Cook, an original Rose Freycinet letter (courtesy of the Heritage Collection, Dunedin Public Library), and a ‘Resolution’ Medal, found on a beach in Dunedin back in 1863 (courtesy of the Otago Museum).
The exhibition starts 22 June, and runs through to 14 September 2012.
Hours of opening: 8.30 to 5.00 Monday to Friday.
Louis-Isidore Duperrey (1786-1865) was the commander of one of the most significant 19th century French voyages into the Pacific. Between 1822 and 1825, he sailed in the Coquille to Chile, Peru (where important magnetic observations were completed), the Tuamotu Archipelago, Tahiti and the Society Islands, Tonga, Rotuma, the Gilbert and Caroline Islands, New Ireland (Papua New Guinea), Australia and New Zealand, where Duperrey was intrigued by the Maori language and grammar. Vast quantities of ethnographic and scientific data were collected, and although numerous volumes were published, the project was never entirely completed. Here is the exceptional ‘Duperrey’ atlas with some images alongside the voyage account by René Lesson, the naturalist on board. ____________________________________________________
Louis-Isidore Duperrey, Voyage Autour du Monde…Histoire du Voyage: Atlas. Paris: Arthus Bertrand, 1826. Hocken Library: Bliss Double Oversize KX D;
Even without the ability to determine longitude on his first voyage (Cook had no chronometer), this map of New Zealand is extraordinarily precise. Cook managed to capture the outline of New Zealand very well but there are some anomalies. The middle of the South Island appears a little ‘pinched’ as Cook had no idea how far the Canterbury Plains extended; Banks Peninsula appears as an island; and Stewart Island seems to be connected to the mainland. Note the Southern Alps and Cape Saunders on the Otago Peninsula.
Sydney Parkinson, A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas. London: Printed for Stanfield Parkinson, 1773. de Beer Ec 1773 P