Guide to the Journal of Samuel Archer (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Collection Summary

Archer, Samuel
Journal of Samuel Archer (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
Collection Number
3 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

The journal describes a voyage on SS Great Britain from Liverpool to Melbourne February-April 1857, fellow passengers, life on board the ship, Archer's stay in Melbourne, places he visited in Victoria and the journey back to Liverpool via Cape Horn, May-August 1857.

Entries are made nearly every day; p. 6 comprises a list of dates, latitude and longitude coordinates with distance travelled.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Material selectively filmed at the private residence of Mrs G.H. Osmaston, Cumbria, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1989 (AJCP Reel: M2343). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

The private residence of Mrs G.H. Osmaston. Cumbria, England

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding-aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2018. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.


Archer, Samuel; Cape Horn; Emigrant voyages; Great Britain, SS (ship); Liverpool, England; Melbourne, Vic: visits to; Surgeons; Victoria


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 9, p3.

Biographical / Historical

Surgeon on SS Great Britain, 1857.

Item Descriptions

Series 1. Description of voyages on SS Great Britain, 16 February 1857 - 22 August 1857

The journal kept by Archer contains entries made nearly every day with a list on p.6 of dates, latitude and longitude coordinates with distances travelled. It can be divided into three sections:

1. Liverpool to Melbourne 16 Feb to 19 April 1857. Includes: due to small number of passengers Archer was able to occupy a state room; sea sickness; description of passengers and reasons for travelling; surgeon's duties on board; speaking with other ships; sighting of jelly fish, birds, fishes, porpoises; ceremonies of crossing the line; entertainment on board - dancing, concerts; death of passengers and burial at sea; use of screw; sighting of Aurora Borealis; party at end of voyage - address from saloon passengers to Captain.

2. Stay in Melbourne 19 April to 20 May 1857. Includes: visits from friends, reporters, agents - "The people reminded me of Americans"; natural history expeditions on shore, catching specimens of jelly fish, birds, insects, shells, lizards etc; description of Melbourne "very English"; tour of the hospital; visits to Williamstown, St Kilda, Hawthorne, Brighton, Geelong; eating oysters at a shop on Bourke Street; visit to Theatre Royal to see Brooke in "Winter's Tale"; shooting parties.

3. Liverpool via Cape Horn 21 May-22 August 1857. Includes: leaving harbour with band playing; sighting of new gull; dancing; crossing date line, two days dated 1st June gale-sails split, shipping water - foot deep in the saloon; speaking with other ships; visit to Island of St. Vincente, description of inhabitants - ravaged by cholera six months before - and natural history; Mr Bright meets ship at Liverpool.