• The collections at the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum are part of the collections held by Middlesbrough Museums and Galleries Service. The reserve collections are mainly stored at the Dorman Museum when not on display.
  • Small items and the main archive and library collections are housed in the Museum’s Cabinet of Curiosities Room – probably the best collection of Cook-related books, articles, prints and maps outside the national collections.


Cook, his Voyages and Contemporaries

  • A small collection of items relating to James Cook and his family, including personal possessions, household items and memorabilia from his voyages.
  • Published accounts and images of the voyages from the 18th century.
  • Information and material relating to the science and art of the voyages, including examples of Joseph Banks’s “Florilegium” and the artwork of William Hodges and John Webber.
  • There is a small collection of loan material from the National Maritime Museum.

Drawing Tools
Commemorating Cook

  • A wide range of commemorative items and souvenirs, including ceramics, coins, medals and badges, which have been produced to celebrate the achievements of Cook since news of his death reached Britain in 1780 up to the present day.
  • Important sections include the archive of the Birthplace Museum; material produced by the communities of “Captain Cook Country” and the Captain Cook Tourism Association; the annual Captain Cook Celebrations; the replica HM Bark Endeavour; as well as regional, national and international material.



Exploration and Life at Sea in the 18th century

  • A collection of original and replica nautical artefacts, models and related information illustrating life at sea, ships, sailors and exploration at the time of Cook. Includes a small section on Nelson’s navy.
  • There is a small collection of loan material from the National Maritime Museum.

Cat of Nine Tails


Ethnography Collections

  • The Museum Service’s collection includes around 1,500 artefacts from different world cultures, including Australia, New Zealand and Oceania with supporting information and material relating to Canada/North America, Arctic/Antarctic, East Asia and South Africa.
  • The most notable collection is of Aboriginal artefacts. Some were collected by G.L. Dorman and others by Dr. Weatherill of Stokesley in early 1900's. However, the majority of items were given by the Aboriginal Arts Board of Australia. They had previously formed part of their reserve collection and when they were presented to the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum in 1980 they formed the largest collection of their kind outside Australia. Most of this collection is now on display in the Walkabout gallery. Walkabout can be accessed by appointment during term time and is open to the public during museum events.

Other Collections

  • A growing collection of natural history specimens from the places visited by Cook, including animals from Australia, New Zealand, The Artitc Circle, The Southern Ocean and North West Canada.

Koala Bear
Niu Treasures of the Pacific

A number of contemporary 'Niu Treasures' in the Museum's collection maintain a link between Cook's world of the eighteenth century and the vibrant culture of Pacific peoples today. These include:

  • The Marton Moai "Ko Tutira Kei Ahunehenehe" (The Lookout on the platform named after the ancients), a Rapa Nui or Easter Island statue by Maori artist George Nuku and North East carver David Gross (2008)

Click on here to see "The Marton Moai" leaflet

  • Hawaiian-style olo surfboard "Ke Anue nue" (The Rainbow) made in Saltburn-by-the-Sea by Hawaiian surf authority Tom Pohaku Stone III with the local community (2006)
  • Hawaiian lava sled "Kilohana" made by Tom Pohaku Stone III (2006)
  • Northwest Coast Canadian totem pole by Tim Paul and Richard Hunt (1979)
  • Community totem pole by North East carver David Gross and the local community (2006)