The Hakluyt Society for scholarly books on voyages of discovery, history of exploration, maritime history, historical travel accounts

Since its foundation in 1846, the Hakluyt Society has been centrally concerned with the publication of scholarly editions of primary records of voyages and travels. With some 370 volumes published, this remains our principal activity, while we now extend our work to conferences, lectures and the award of grants and prizes. The volumes, which are distributed to current members, are illustrated with maps and plates and are widely prized for their standards of scholarship and book production.

The Hakluyt Society is named after Richard Hakluyt (1552-1616), collector and editor of narratives of voyages and travels and other documents relating to English interests overseas, his most celebrated work being The Principal Navigations, Voyages and Discoveries of the English Nation. His name was almost certainly pronounced hak’loowt, the family having come from the forest of Clwyd in the historic county of Radnor.

Membership of the Hakluyt Society is open to all and is strongly recommended to everybody interested in the history of exploration and travel, exploratory voyages, geographical discovery and worldwide cultural encounter.

On payment of an annual subscription, members receive all volumes issued by the Society (other than those of the Extra Series) for the year of membership. These historically significant texts and translations, often appearing in print for the first time, are fully annotated, well illustrated with maps and plates, and conform to the highest standards of scholarship. As such they often represent the ‘last word’ on the material they embrace, and are widely valued by historians and geographers throughout the world. Normally, two volumes are published each year, representing extraordinary value for money. These books are beautifully bound and printed, and stamped in gold with the familiar ‘Victoria’ logo of the Society, and rapidly become treasured collectors’ items.

Click here to join the Hakluyt Society.

Society News & Events

Coronavirus update

Post to the Society cannot be processed as the poste restante address, the British Library, is currently closed. A number of institutional members in the USA have been in touch asking the Society not to send books, as they are currently closed. These requests have been noted. The Society is also aware that many UK universities, libraries and museums are also closed and will not attempt to send books until current restrictions are lifted.

The 2020 AGM will be held as a remote meeting in Zoom at 5.15 p.m. on 17 June and members can obtain a link for access by emailing Papers for the meeting have been sent out by email but can also be found in the Members’ Area of the website. If members need a login and password, these also may be obtained from The Annual Lecture by Peter Barber will be available to all immediately after the AGM.

This notice will be updated as circumstances change.

In the meantime the office remains open remotely – please contact the Administrator at if you have any queries.

Results of the Essay Prize Competition 2020

The Hakluyt Society Essay Prize for 2020 is awarded to Dr Katie Bank (University of Sheffield), for her essay: ‘Truth and Travel: The Principal Navigations and “Thule, the Period of Cosmographie”’.

An Honourable Mention is awarded to Ellen Smith (University of Leicester), for her essay: ‘Crafting Traditional Families in the British Empire: The Biography of Caroline Cuffley Giberne, 1803-1885

Our thanks to all the participants and warmest congratulations to the winners.

More news and upcoming events.

Latest Member Volume

From: "The Arctic Journal of Captain Henry Wemyss Feilden"
From: “The Arctic Journal of Captain Henry Wemyss Feilden” courtesy of the RGS

Trevor H. Levere: The Arctic Journal of Captain Henry WemyssFeilden, RA, the Naturalist on HMS Alert, 1875-1876. The first publication of the daily diary of Feilden, one of the two full-time naturalists on what was the first major British naval expedition to the high Arctic.

431 pages, 10 maps, 17 colour plates, 68 figures; including a 34-page Introduction, appendices, bibliography, indexes. The book was issued free of charge to Society members and was distributed in November / December 2019.

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The Hakluyt Society Blog

For more about Hakluyt Society activities, sponsored events and news related to our fields on interest, we recommend visiting the Hakluyt Society Blog from time to time. Our posts relate to historical exploration, expeditions, navigators, voyages of discovery, nautical history, maritime history, geographical discovery, travel journals, accounts of pilgrimages, sailing ships, historical log books, topographical discovery, narratives of discovery, the history of cartography and much more. The Hakluyt Society Blog.

The Hakluyt Society website is written, maintained and updated by Raymond John Howgego FRGS (Hon. Editor Online Publications) who will be happy to answer enquiries relating to website content and the online Journal of the Hakluyt Society. These and any new material that might be of interest to members of the Society may be sent to For all other enquiries please go to the Contact page.