Health at sea




A collection of 176 objects, the Health at sea collection contains medical guides, ships medical chests, medical equipment, bills of health, logbooks detailing treatments for mariners, images of hospital ships. The collection also includes inventories of medical equipment carried aboard Kay Cottee's yacht BLACKMORES FIRST LADY during her 1988 circumnavigation.

Health at sea has been a fundamental issue for mariners since the first long-distance voyagers set out to cross the world's oceans, and the struggle to overcome diseases such as scurvy was a major challenge of the 18th century voyages of exploration. In the 19th century, control of infectious diseases became a major issue as large numbers of emigrants crossed the world in search of a better life. In the 21st century health remains a fundamental consideration for all those who venture upon the ocean. The Health at sea collection brings together objects from three centuries relating to this perennial issue, ranging from a 1706 treatise on sea diseases to an inventory of medical supplies carried aboard the kayak Lot 41 which completed the first successful crossing of the Tasman Sea in 2008.

Some material included in this collection may be subject to copyright

By appointment only, please contact ANMM

Parts of this collection are digitised and available on the ANMM web site


1706-2008; Disease; Health; Travel

Health and medical equipment

Medicine; Sailing; Water transport

Coverage Spatial


Coverage Temporal



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2012-05-30 23:40