Like other Europeans, Germans ventured into the Pacific to explore the vast landmasses bordering the globe’s largest ocean as well as the innumerable islands scattered in between. They came as missionaries in the seventeenth century to be joined later on by scientific explorers, colonialists, entrepreneurs, and world travelers. This German presence shaped the region’s history and it created a wealth of documentation about the peoples, geography, fauna and flora in and around the Pacific. The increasing flow of German information coincided with a rising interest in the cultures of the Pacific in Europe.
Materials in the exhibition are drawn from the UC San Diego Library’s Special Collections & Archives. The exhibition was curated by Dr. Ulrike Strasser, and Sky Michael Johnston, graduate student, of the UC San Diego History Department.