Located deep in the collections of a Canadian museum is a tiny book. Its corners are frayed, its spine cracked, its cover is worn…..
This is how I started my recent article for Atlas Obscura about Captain Cook’s very rare fabric books from his last voyage. I was on assignment with Tourism Victoria and took about a thousand photos of this incredibly rare, inextricably colonizing and yet gentle book of fabric swatches and descriptions from the many people Cook met on the last voyage he took before he was killed. Chilling, really, to see a book like that up close….but so much fun to photograph.
We didn’t get to use all of my photos in the article, though, so I thought I’d include some photos here of the actual process of going through the book–lots of nitrate gloves, careful handling, and a smiling docent at the end 🙂 If you’re intrigued and want to learn more about this tiny gem, grab a cup of tea, settle in, and take a peek at my Objects of Intrigue piece on Atlas Obscura.
A special thanks to Tourism Victoria and the Royal B. C. Museum for helping me plan this unforgettable one-day voyage to Victoria.