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Jon Sanders’ extraordinary expedition is now accessible online

News story

Jon Sanders’ solo, non-stop, triple voyage around the world was an adventure most of us can barely begin to imagine.

Happily, an electronic archive developed by the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library (JCPML) will offer a glimpse into this extraordinary 1986-1988 expedition.

The collection is based on artefacts donated to Curtin by Professor John Penrose of the University’s Centre for Marine Science and Technology (CMST).

‘Curtin was very involved in Project Endeavour which looked at fitting out the boat – the Parry Endeavour – so that it would last the journey, ‘ JCPML and Curtin Library Archives Manager, Lesley Wallace said.

‘[The CMST] also put together a package of scientific equipment that went on the boat and which recorded scientific readings during Jon Sanders’s voyage.’

Ms Wallace said a significant outcome of the journey had been confirmation of the existence of a seamount, and the echo-sound charts of this discovery would be included in the collection.

‘The collection is quite varied, there are some wonderful images, lots of photographs of John’s voyage, and there’s also some film footage that probably hasn’t seen the light of day for quite some time,’ Ms Wallace said.

Ms Wallace said five logbooks Mr Sanders recently donated to the collection have significantly enriched the collection.

‘They’re a day-by-day account of his journey in his writing and just listing every little detail of the trip,’ Ms Wallace said.

Mr Sanders and Professor Penrose are also preparing oral histories for the collection and Ms Wallace said their involvement had been invaluable.

‘Items like the scientific charts would have made no sense to us at all without Professor Penrose being able to explain to us what they meant,’ Ms Wallace said.

‘The human side is a really a big part of it.’

The archive will provide links to the Fremantle Maritime Museum where the Parry Endeavour is on display.

Ms Warren said the JCPML’s Geoff Gallop, Carmen Lawrence and Elizabeth Jolley digitised collections have been well received and the University and Library were at the forefront of such collections.

‘We digitise not just images but also audio and video, and that’s just mainstream for us now, and we really benefit from being part of Curtin University and being able to call on the expertise that’s there,’ Ms Wallace said.

‘We hope that we will be able to make this collection much more readily accessible than it would have been if it remained just as a paper-based collection on shelves in the archive.

‘A solo, triple circumnavigation of the world – and non-stop – so all of those things made it a very special trip.’

You can browse the online collection at the JCPML’s Project Endeavour: Jon Sanders’ Triple Circumnavigation of the World website.

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