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Exhibition showcases intrepid journeys

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 9:51pm

Donald-Kerr-image
Dr Donald Kerr says the latest Special Collections exhibition Intrepid Journeys. Travelling with the Hakluyt Society offers viewers the opportunity to be transported to another time and place.

A new University of Otago exhibition offers attendees a free trip around the world, all in 18 cabinets.

Intrepid Journeys. Travelling with the Hakluyt Society which opened at Special Collections in the University’s Central Library last week shines a spotlight onto some of the world’s lesser known explorations.

The range is wide, covering explorations of 14th century Greenland, Japan, and 17th century India, to mysterious Timbuktu, the Americas, and travel into the interior of Australia. Magellan, James Cook, and Carteret also feature.

"Who doesn’t love losing oneself for a moment or two? The maps on display are a springboard to such adventure and travel."

Exhibition curator Special Collections Librarian Dr Donald Kerr says staff, students and others are invited on the journey the exhibition offers.

“Envisage no packing, no visas, no robbers, no tipping, no lack lustre foods, and safe arrival back (with very little exercise).

“The exhibition also offers viewers the opportunity to be transported – to a time and place. Who doesn’t love losing oneself for a moment or two? The maps on display are a springboard to such adventure and travel.”

The exhibition also celebrates the generosity of Dr Esmond de Beer, the University of Otago Library’s prime benefactor.

“De Beer joined the Hakluyt Society in 1946; he was President between 1972 and 1978. As an avid supporter, de Beer and his sisters Dora and Mary contributed to the publication costs of J. C. Beaglehole’s classic work on James Cook: the Voyages, and the biography. He also gave money towards the publication costs of Andrew David’s The Charts and Coastal Views of Captain Cook’s Voyages (1988), and left a sum of money to the Society in his will when he died in 1990. Some of these Cook items are on display.”

What is the Hakluyt Society?

The Hakluyt Society was established in London in 1846. One major aim of the Society was to carry on Richard Hakluyt’s own pioneering work, establishing a legacy that commemorated his name. A programme of printing ‘rare or unpublished Voyages and Travels’ began. From 1847 to 2016, the Society has published an impressive number of books: some 320 titles encompassing Series I, II, and III; 47 in Extra Series (including James Cook publications); and various occasional booklets.

Come along:

Intrepid Journeys. Travelling with the Hakluyt Society
Fri 16 Jun to Fri 8 Sep 2017, 8.30am to 5pm
de Beer Gallery, Special Collections, 1st floor, Central University Library