Conrad Martens: Sketchbooks on board HMS Beagle

Scope and Content

Sketchbooks of 1833-1834 and 1834-1835, and loose copies of sketches by Martens.

Administrative / Biographical History

Conrad Martens (1801-1878), painter, was born in London on 21 March 1801. He studied landscape painting under Anthony Vandyke Copley Fielding, and undertook sketching tours in Kent and Devon. In 1832 he joined Charles Darwin at Montevideo as topographer on HMS Beagle. He left the expedition at Valparaiso in 1834, and travelled via Tahiti and New Zealand to Sydney, where he arrived in April 1835. Martens worked in Sydney as a professional artist, and in 1863 was appointed assistant librarian at the Australian Parliamentary Library. He died in Sydney on 21 August 1878.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Lady Nora Barlow, 1973.

Other Finding Aids


Alternative Form Available

Digital images made from the sketchbooks are available to view at

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.