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Exploration and Endeavour: The Royal Society of London and the South Seas

1770s magnifying glass once owned by astronomer William Bayley.
1770s magnifying glass once owned by astronomer William Bayley.

Exploration and Endeavour: The Royal Society of London and the South Seas was on show at the National Museum of Australia from 15 September 2010 to 6 February 2011 in the Studio Gallery.

Exploration and Endeavour commemorated the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society, the world's oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.

The exhibition brought together unique treasures associated with voyages of scientific discovery to the South Seas in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

See navigational instruments from the Endeavour, Resolution and Adventure, letters from James Cook and Matthew Flinders, and the intriguing transit of Venus model, made in about 1760.

Learn about the Society's Fellows, including Cook and Joseph Banks, and discover the key role the Society has played in the exploration of the Pacific and the development of Australia.

Discover more about the exhibition


The Exploration and Endeavour: The Royal Society of London and the South Seas exhibition was a collaboration between the National Museum of Australia and the Royal Society. The exhibition was also supported by the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

The Royal Society