Explorers and Discovery

For centuries, the human race has been fascinated with exploring the world around it. The treasures in the collections of the Canterbury Museum and the University of Canterbury offer us a unique insight into these explorers and their exploration. They provide us with details of the new worlds encountered and information on the journeys undertaken for research, settlement, adventure, exploitation or to conquer new lands.

The voyages of explorers, such as Captain James Cook and Frenchman Jules-Sébastien-César Dumont d’Urville, to the Pacific region are well documented in the accounts of their travels and in the exquisite illustrations of flora and fauna they encountered. These accounts are beautifully complemented by the gifts to the people they came across and traditional artefacts from the time of exploration. In further juxtaposition, the books from the collections of the University of Canterbury are placed against modern interpretations of botanical specimens encountered and natural history specimens from the collections of Canterbury Museum. The tangible and intangible legacy of these journeys offers a series of most intriguing stories and provides us with a valuable method of exploring the past.

  • University of Canterbury contacts
    Chris Jones
    chris.jones@canterbury.ac.nz
    +64 3 364 2289
    History Department, School of Humanities
    University of Canterbury
    Private Bag 4800
    Christchurch 8140
    New Zealand
  • Canterbury Museum contacts
    Sarah Murray
    smurray@canterburymuseum.com
    +64 3 366 5000
    Canterbury Museum
    Rolleston Avenue
    Christchurch 8013
    New Zealand