The ‘Banks Digitisation Project’ is basically about improving intellectual access to a significant personal archive. The aim of the Project has been to digitise the papers of Sir Joseph Banks and make them available on the Internet, indexed so that the user can gain quick access to a single document or to a related series of documents. The Project has also been an opportunity to experiment with the application of a new technology to archives and manuscripts collections. Most imaging projects to date have concentrated on printed material, or single items or treasures, rather than on interrelated accumulations of documents.
The Project is limited to those papers of Sir Joseph Banks which are held in the Mitchell and Dixson collections at the State Library of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia. These amount to approximately 10,000 manuscript pages and include correspondence, principally letters received, but also reports, invoices and accounts, journals, plus a small quantity of maps, charts and watercolours.
While many of these documents have been published in various works before, the collection is published here for the first time in facsimile, and extensively indexed.