The First Fleet

Library materials include artwork by British convicts and guards living in a penal colony on the southeast coast of Australia.

In the late 18th century a fleet of 11 English ships set sail for Australia, carrying some 1,400 convicts and guards. When they landed in 1788, the Englishmen established a penal colony in New South Wales.

The First Fleet collection includes drawings of plants, animals and landscapes by Thomas Watling (c1762-1797), a convict accused of forgery, and George Raper (1769-1797), a midshipman of the lead ship, HMS Sirius. 

It also contains the first drawings by Europeans of Port Jackson, known today as Sydney, and of the indigenous Eora people of the region.

View First Fleet artworks

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Lodran meteorite microscope image
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