Captain Cook (1728 - 1779)

Where can I find information about Captain Cook?

portrait medallion/cameo by John Flaxman on The British Museum.

Entry last updated: 25/02/20


Captain James Cook was an English sea captain and explorer. He spent many years sailing around and mapping the South Pacific. He is credited with being one of the first Europeans to discover many countries and islands in the Pacific Ocean, including New Zealand. He actually came to New Zealand three times, each time improving detail on his maps.

General Websites

New Zealand History

There is good biographical information and some good pics on this website. It isn't too long but has links to more detailed information.

  • There is an article about Captain Cook himself.
  • If you put Captain Cook into the search bar, you will get lots of suggested information. Remember to scroll down as there are different aspects to his life and links to other related information, such as his voyage to New Zealand and some information about the mapping work that he did.
Tips: A website's address (URL) can give you a hint about how reliable it is. Look for addresses in the results that have .govt or .edu or .ac. These are quality sites from governments or educational institutions.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

This website is a really useful one and has very relevant and accurate information. Some of the information is about Captain Cook, about the places he visited, and includes a video and images, and many magazine articles and academic journals.

Tips: Te Ara belongs to the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage so the information is well researched and reliable.

Gale Biography in Context

There is a lot of links to really relevant information on this website including academic information, articles, photos, etc. There is a lot to sift through but if you are looking for some interesting or different information, this would be the place to look.

  • You will need to type in James Cook English Explorer into the search bar.
  • When it comes up with James Cook's picture, you will need to click on his picture and it will come up with several articles published in different Journals.
  • There is a lot of other information that you may not need so be selective.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1pm and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your Public Library.

New Zealand Geographic

This has a really interesting article about the waistcoat that James Cook wore. The article gives lots of details about how the historians know about his clothing.

  • There are two separate articles about Captain Cook on this link. The first is about him as a famous historic explorer, the second about him as a scientist.
  • Captain Cook is mentioned in another article about Scurvy, a deadly disease that afflicted lots of seagoing people in the olden days. You will need to scroll right to the bottom of this entry to find out more about what Captain Cook did.

Captain Cook Society

This has the most detailed information about Captain Cook. It will take a lot of sifting through but will answer lots of more detailed questions and provide quite a lot of pictures as well. Although it is a .com website, there is detailed information about the contributors, lots of important links and lots of images that may be useful.

Type in specific key words


This is Captain Cook by Tania McCartney and Christina Booth.

Captain Cook and the Endeavour by Mike Lefroy.

Captain Cook: Sailing off the Map by Craig Scutt.

Meet: Captain Cook by Rae Murdie.

Tips: Use the search bar and type the title in. It gives a brief summary of the book, some of what is included, and who the target audience is. The books are all part of the National Library Service of New Zealand. You can always ask at your local library to get them if you need to.

SCIS no: 1896609

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