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The Endeavour journal and the natural historical working practices of Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander, 1768–1771

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This paper examines the Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks (1743–1820) and how this manuscript diary, essentially a record of the day-to-day events which occurred during this voyage, is connected to Banks’s and Daniel Solander’s (1733–82) natural historical work. Throughout this diary, Banks frequently mentions the new species he and Solander collected and consistently refers to the printed works in the Endeavour library, showing the interconnectedness between different aspects of their collection. These printed works included their interleaved copies of Carl Linnaeus’s Species Plantarum (1763) and Systema Naturae (1758), which were annotated as the voyage progressed by Hermann Spöring (1733–71), Solander’s assistant. Banks and Solander’s work during the Endeavour voyage sheds light on the emergence of professional fieldwork during the late eighteenth century and the gradual standardisation of natural historical working practices under the Linnaean system, which received an uneven reception by British naturalists at this time.

This talk is part of the Cabinet of Natural History series.

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