Captain Cook Artefacts

Ever wonder where a museum, in particular a small museum, gets its collection and how it continues to expand? Often pieces are given on loan, especially when larger Museums have no room to display them. The Captain Cook Memorial Museum in Whitby was able to show a collection of pre-contact artects from the Pacific via an unusual route.

Joseph Banks, the Botanist who sailed with Cook, brought back these early pieces on The Endeavour and gave them to his old College, Christ Church, which kept them in a cellar for over 100 years before they finally pased them to the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. They then kept them for another 100 years in their cellar. They were finally identified by Pitt Rivers staff recently but unfortunately they had no room to display them. The Captain Cook Museum thus took the opportunity to offer to display them in Whitby.

Many museums around the country loan parts of their collection to venues where they will stand out rather than being held in store.

For more information visit the Captain Cook Memorial Museum website at