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The Sir Joseph Banks Archive

Unit(s) of assessment: English Language and Literature

School: School of Arts and Humanities


The Sir Joseph Banks Archive Project is a fully independent charitable body that raises its own funding for research on the life and career of Joseph Banks as well as for preparation of multi-volume series of his correspondence.


Dr Neil Chambers is Executive Director of the Sir Joseph Banks Archive Project. His responsibilities are wide ranging and include project administration, project promotion, fundraising, editing and publishing, research enquiries, recruitment and training, and staff supervision. He oversees editorial work on the Banks correspondence and is currently based at Nottingham Trent University.

Dr Chambers undertook the move to Nottingham from the Natural History Museum, London, in November 2008 since when he has published eight volumes, various academic papers, as well as organised international conferences and is curating forthcoming museum exhibition events.


Donations and Enquiries

The Sir Joseph Banks Archive Project is funded entirely by charitable donations. Apart from publication in edited volumes of letters to and from Sir Joseph Banks, it also answers enquiries regarding Banks, his papers, collections and period. If you wish to make a donation or enquiry, please contact the Executive Director, Neil Chambers:

The Sir Joseph Banks Archive Project,
c/o Nottingham Trent University,
Clifton Campus, Clifton Lane,
Nottingham. NG11 8NS.

Tel: 0115 848 3068

We are grateful for all donations. Please make any cheques payable to 'Nottingham Trent University' with 'Sir Joseph Banks Archive Project' marked on the reverse.

Dr Chambers provided a listing of over 14,000 letters to and from Sir Joseph Banks to the A2A Project at the National Archives, Kew. Please click below for a link to A2A to access these and many other records.

Dr Chambers has curated an exhibition for The Collection, Lincoln's museum, bringing back together again for the first time in many years Banks's collections from the Endeavour voyage in order to explore his contribution to that mission and collecting more widely in his period. Please click below for a link to the Collection for this exhibition and other events.

  • Endeavouring Banks: An exploration of collections from the Endeavour voyage, 1768–1771

The exhibition was opened by Sir David Attenborough in February 2014 and has received record numbers of visitors since then. The result of a large Heritage Lottery Fund grant that Dr Chambers helped to obtain, the exhibition draws on unique material held in a variety of London-based and other institutions with which he is connected, the Natural History Museum; the British Library; the British Museum; the Science Museum; the National Maritime Museum and the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, being among them. Professor John Gascoigne of the University of New South Wales, Professor Anna Agnarsdóttir of the University of Iceland and Dr Jeremy Coote, Director of the Pitt Rivers Museum, have contributed to the exhibition catalogue.

Related staff


Publications and reviews

Major editions of the correspondence of Sir Joseph Banks have been completed and are in the process of being completed. Please consult the links below for details of these works, and for links to reviews and to publishers' websites.

Scientific Correspondence of Sir Joseph Banks 1765–1820, N. Chambers (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2007) 6 vols.

The Indian and Pacific Letters of Sir Joseph Banks 1768 1820, N. Chambers (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2008 –14) 8 vols.

Other publications

The Letters of Sir Joseph Banks: A Selection 1768–1820, (London: Imperial College Press, 2000).

Joseph Banks and the British Museum: The World of Collecting 1770–1830, Neil Chambers, (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2007).