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National Museum of Australia

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  • Surgeon General John White's Journal collection(1)

    Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales

    The Surgeon General John White's Journal collection consists of Surgeon General and First Fleet journalist John White's 'Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales with sixty-five plates of Non Descript Animals, Birds, Lizards, Serpents, curious Cones of Trees and other Natural Productions', published in London in 1790. This special-issue copy was White's own, and is bound in brown leather with 65 hand-coloured plates and an engraved calligraphic title-page.

    The journal is significant as one of the five First Fleet accounts of European settlement in Australia. It represents the flow of people, objects and knowledge between Britain and Australia in the late 18th century. The journal also illustrates the interest, novelty and prestige associated with material of Australian origin in Britain following settlement - in particular the popularity of Australian themes in print culture. Furthermore, the journal is connected to significant figures in the earliest period of European settlement in Australia, notably Surgeon White himself.