This guide to printed and web-based information on the First Fleet features resources that are available at the museum library and public libraries throughout Australia.
1788 the people of the first fleet
Don Chapman. Sydney. Doubleday, 1986
A bibliography of the First Fleet
Victor Crittenden. Canberra Australian National University Press, 1980.
REF 910.45016 CRI
The crimes of the first fleet convicts
Compiled by John Cobley. London, Sydney. Angus and Robertson, 1980
The first fleet: The convict voyage that founded Australia 1787-88
Jonathon King. South Melbourne. Macmillan, 1982.
The first fleeters: A comprehensive listing of convicts, marines, seamen, officers, wives, children and ships.
Edited by Paul G. Fildon and R.J. Ryan. Sydney. Australian Documents Library,1981.
Bound for Botany Bay: British convict voyages to Australia
Alan Brooke and David Brandon. Kew, Surrey. National Archives, 2005.
REF 910.45 BRO
Fleeting encounters: Pictures & chronicles of the First Fleet
Peter Emmett. Glebe, N.S.W. Historic Houses Trust of New South wales, 1995.
The Sirius: Past and present
Graeme Henderson and Myra Stanbury. Sydney. Collins, 1988.
Orphans of history: The forgotten children of the first fleet
Robert Holden. Melbourne, Text 2000.
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Books for school students
This encyclopedia has a very good historical overview of the First Fleet with illustrations and is a perfect resource for students doing school assignments. It is widely available in school and public libraries. The library keeps five editions of this title on the reference shelves.
The first fleet
John and Jennifer Barwick. Port Melbourne. Heinemann Library, 2001.
The first fleet
Alan Boardman and Roland Harvey. Sydney. Collins, 1983.
Growing up in the first fleet
A.T. Yarwood. Kenthurst, N.S.W. Kangaroo Press, 1983.
A handbook on the founding of Australia, 1788: History, clothing patterns, ship plans, architecture, songs, dances
John Fitzhugh Millar. Williamsburg, Va., North Sydney. Thirteen Colonies Press, Library of Australian History, 1988.
Books on marines and naval personnel
The first fleet marines 1786-1792
John Moore. St Lucia, Qld. University of Queensland Press, 1987.
Naval men of the First Fleet
Victor Crittenden. Canberra. Mulini Press, 1986.
Books on the First Fleet reenactment 1988The First Fleet Reenactment voyage was held as part of Australia's Bicentennial Celebrations in 1987/88.
Nor any drop to drink: England to Australia, May 1987-January 1988
Marcus Mainwaring. London: Bloomsbury, 1988.
Australia's First Fleet: The voyage and the reenactment 1788-1988
Jonathon King. Sydney. Fairfax/Robertsbridge, 1987.
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Journals and Diaries
You can find e-texts of many first fleet diaries in the First Fleet and Early Settlement Documents section of the SETIS repository (a joint project by the University of Sydney and the State Library of New South Wales).
Hardcopies held in the museum library are listed below.
The voyage of Governor Phillip to Botany Bay: with an account of the establishment of the colonies...
Arthur Phillip. John Shortland Lieutenant Watts Henry Lidgbird Ball Captain John Marshall. Melbourne . Georgian House, 1950.
Journal of a voyage to New South Wales
John White; with a biographical introduction by Rex Rienits. Edited by Alec H. Chisholm
Sydney. Royal Australian Historical Society, 1962.
The Everingham letterbook: Letters of a First Fleet convict
Matthew Everingham. Edited by Valerie Ross. Wamberal, N.S.W. Anvil Press, 1985.
The journal and letters of Lt Ralph Clark, 1787-1792
Ralph Clark. Edited by Paul G. Fidlon and R.J. Ryan. Sydney. Australian Documents Library,1981.
Memorandum of the transactions of a voyage from England to Botany Bay 1787-1793: A first fleet journal
John Easty. Sydney. Trustees of the Public Library of New South Wales Trustees, 1965.
PER 910.45 EAS
The Nagle journal: A diary of Jacob Nagle, sailor for the year 1775 to 1841
Jacob Nagle. Edited by John C. Dann. New York. Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1988.
Sydney's first four years: being a reprint of A narrative of the expedition to Botany Bay and, A complete account of the settlement at Port Jackson
Watkin Tench; with an introduction and annotations by L.F. Fitzhardinge. Sydney. Library of Australian History in association with Royal Australian Historical Society, 1979.
Web-based Pictorial Resources
- The National Library of Australia's George Raper Collection includes charts of the First Fleet voyage as well as early maps of Botany Bay and Port Jackson. Here is a Trove Search for books, journals,objects and pictures relating to George Raper.
- First Fleet images held by the National Library various state libraries and other Australian collecting institutions including the Museum can be found at Trove.
- The State Library of New South Wales site From Terra Australis to Australia includes a section devoted to it's collection of First Fleet material. See also the section called Tales from the First Fleet.
- The Natural History Museum in London has an online exhibition of its First Fleet Artwork Collection.
Other Images of the First Fleet
Contemporary images of First Fleet ships are very scarce and simply don't exist for some of the vessels. Below are some known examples.
- The museum has a painting of the First Fleet Storeship Borrowdale and a medal depicting the transport vessel Charlotte in its collection.
- The UK's National Maritime Museum at Greenwich (London) has a commemorative coin featuring an image of the Friendship and a view of Botany Bay including HM ships Sirius and the Supply in it's collection.
- The First Fleet Fellowship Victoria hosts a First Fleet Ships web page containing a series of commissioned works of all the vessels under sail.
- The National Library has a picture of the Sirius by George Raper: Melancholy loss of H.M.S. Sirius off Norfolk Island March 19th 1790.