Journals Don Hope

Feb 6, 2017

Don Hope, with the set of journals and the folio.

The Maritime Museum of BC recently received a generous donation of the second edition of the published journals of Captain Cook, published in 1785, from Don Hope. Accompanying this three-volume set is the book of plates and charts, which is a new and exciting addition to the Museum’s collection.

Historic Importance of Captain Cook’s Journals
Back in the 1770s the northwest coast had been inhabited for thousands of years but for Europeans it was one of most remote and little known areas of the world analogous to the far side of the Moon. Captain Cook’s voyage to the area was one of the major scientific expeditions of the Age of Enlightenment. These journals were the official account of the expedition. The charts and meticulous drawings of aboriginals, flora and fauna done during the voyage by John Webber, the official artist and by other officers remain important. They were included in the published journals and in a separate folio of charts and views. What makes the Hope donation unique is that it includes a complete atlas volume. In many cases charts and drawings were removed from the original folios for study and display. The Maritime Museum of BC has two other contemporary copies of Captain Cook’s Voyage to the Pacific but did not have the folio. Publication of the journals was a key event because it provided information about this remote area. An intense maritime fur trade was launched on the northwest coast of North America and the European powers began jockeying for imperial advantage in the area.

About Don Hope
Victoria resident Don Hope was a young merchant seaman with an interest in maritime history who found the complete set of Captain Cook’s Voyage to the Pacific in the Haunted Bookshop, then located on Fort street. Now located in Sidney, this is the oldest second hand book store on the island. After several years in coastal and deep sea vessels Hope became a qualified mate and then joined the RCN where he became a Clearance Diving Officer and served on both coasts.

The Maritime Museum of BC Library
The Maritime Museum of BC has a Reference Library specializing on the northwest coast and the Arctic, and include volumes and extensive holdings of charts, ships’ plans, and archival material and photographs. Researchers consult this rich collection and the Museum responds to requests for information from many countries around the world. The Museum plans to make the library and archives catalogues available online later this year.


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