A search has begun to find the final resting place of Captain Cook's HMS Endeavour, after a marine archaeologist has said she knows where it is.

Kathy Abbass and the Australian National Maritime Museum will work together to locate and salvage the wreck from the bottom of Rhode Island's Newport Harbour in the US.

Abbass, from Rhode Island, has been searching for years to locate the shipwreck, and believes she can find it in time for the 250th anniversary of Cook's voyage.

She is signing an agreement this week with the museum, which has pledged to help her in the search for the ship, as it is such an important part of Australian maritime history.

"To be able to find the last resting place of the Endeavour would truly be a nationally significant event, if not internationally," Kevin Sumption, director and CEO of the museum, told news.com.au.

The Endeavour was a British Royal Navy research vessel, which Cook captained from 1769 to 1771, on his first voyage of discovery to Australia and New Zealand.

Despite the ship being renamed and sold to a private owner in 1775, Abbass discovered it under a different name, the Lord Sandwich, during an archive search in 1998.

The Endeavour had been part of a fleet of 13 ships that the British used to blockade Newport Harbour, during the Revolutionary War.

Abbass and her team have already uncovered nine of the ships and she is hoping that the Endeavour is still out there.

There is a possibility that pieces were salvaged from the initial wreck, or it could have been destroyed over the years by the traffic of boats going in and out of the harbour, she said.

Cook is considered by many Australians as the founding father of European-settled Australia, and to find his vessel would be a cause for national celebration.