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State Library of New South Wales


Home Project Banks Papers

Banks Papers

The Library's Sir Joseph Banks collection includes correspondence, reports, invoices, accounts, maps and watercolour drawings which document the far reaching influence of Banks on the colony. This significant archive containing over 7,000 pages has recently been digitised and now needs to be transcribed. Once fully transcribed the archive will be key word searchable which will enhance discovery and access to the collection and increase the research potential in this significant archive. Download the Joseph Banks Collection to find out more.

About the transcriptions

Visitors to the transcription website should be aware that language and spelling change with time. In addition to the vagaries of 18th and 19th century spellings, Banks had his own peculiarities. For instance, he often misspelt the names of his friends and acquaintances, eg Bolton for Matthew Boulton, Clarke for Charles Clerke, Blythe for William Bligh. The spelling or naming of places should be recorded as they occur in the document being listed or described. More information

Terminology used also changes with time, for example, the development and use of chronometers in determining longitude easily and accurately in navigation is obscured by 18th century reference to timekeepers. The term chronometer came into use much later.


New transcribers should read the How-To Guide before beginning.

How to decipher unfamiliar handwriting - a helpful guide from the Natural History Museum.