About this Blog

This blog is dedicated to my current research and writing relating to the eighteenth-century natural history illustrator and explorer, Sydney Parkinson. Parkinson was twenty-three years old when he was commissioned by the botanist, Joseph Banks, to illustrate plant and animal species discovered on the circumnavigation of HMB Endeavour, 1768-1771. Over the course of the voyage, Parkinson’s art expanded from scientific illustration to topographical views, landscapes, and ethnographic studies, and the discoveries he recorded changed him–and the world–indelibly.

I am a writer, artist, historian, and naturalist, and I began to research the life and work of Sydney Parkinson in 2004. I am the collections manager for a small natural history collection at Randolph College, and I owe my job to Sydney Parkinson; the time I spent working among the specimens he illustrated at the Natural History Museum in London, the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow, and others, made me passionate about preserving these artifacts of scientific inquiry as fragments of the living, evolving world. Since that time my life has taken a variety of unexpected turns, but I am finally returning to Parkinson’s Endeavour so check back periodically or select “Follow Blog” in the sidebar to stay abreast of what’s new. The topics discussed on this blog comprise the preliminary writing for a book, and all posts are subject to copyright. I will cite the work of others where appropriate, but as my initial writing is largely from memory it is quite possible that I may not have all the details readily at hand on the first go; feel free to inquire if you want more information or need the exact source of something you read here. Any questions or comments may be directed to me at esmith@randolphcollege.edu .

For information about me or my professional endeavors, see my profile on Humanities Commons.

Best regards,

Emily Smith

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