Maps Collections

Getting started

This guide will help you to find and use maps in our collections, both online and in the Library.

The guide covers finding and viewing maps, getting copies, and information about significant maps in our collection. You will also find online resources for learning more about maps.

The State Library of NSW holds one of the most significant collections of maps and charts in Australia.

The estimated size of the collection is over 200,000 maps. It includes:

  • important maps and charts documenting the discovery and exploration by Europeans of Australia's coast and inland regions; 
  • many thousands of cadastral maps (showing land ownership) including over 40,000 real estate agents' subdivision plans; 
  • topographical and thematic maps; and
  • maps that chart the development of urban and regional areas.

The current collection covers Australia, in particular NSW, the Pacific region, Antarctica and extends to the rest of the world.

The collections have developed over the past 150 years with major bequests made by David Scott Mitchell and Sir William Dixson and they continue to be added to via bequests, donations, purchase and 'Legal Deposit' whereby publishers in NSW are obliged by law to provide us with a copy of any maps they produce. 

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