Maps Collections

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Key to library resources

Access anywhere with a library card In the Library (or anywhere with a Library card for NSW residents)
Available to access in the library Only in the Library
Publicly available online Publicly available

Map Collections

Digitised Map series

The Bonaparte Tasman map Digital order no. a127035h

Collection highlights

The Bonaparte Tasman map and Mitchell Library vestibule mosaic

The map combines the results of Tasman's first (1642-43) and second (1644) voyages with those of earlier Dutch navigators. It shows a surprisingly accurate general outline of Australia.

Princess George of Greece presented the original Tasman Map to the Library in 1931. The origins of the map are uncertain. Once thought to have been drawn under Tasman's personal supervision - possibly by his chief pilot, Franz Jabobszoon Visscher - it now seems likely that the map was created c. 1695, derived from an imperfect original map, itself compiled in 1644 from authentic original maps, including those of Tasman's two voyages.

In recognition of the Tasman Map's significance, a marble mosaic reproduction forms part of the floor of the Mitchell Wing vestibule at the State Library of New South Wales.

Voyages of Discovery

It would take until the 18th century before this mysterious continent was finally located, charted and later named Australia. Explore the State Library's incredible maps, journals, drawings and books to understand how the pieces of our continent were gradually put together.

Voyages of Discovery - the Great South Land is made possible through a partnership with the Bruce & Joy Reid Foundation.

The Dixson Map Collection 

This selection from Sir William Dixson's wonderful map collection reflects his interest in early navigation, geography and the European exploration and settlement of the Pacific, in particular, Australia.

The collection includes examples from the 16th through to the 20th century including hand coloured maps by Dutch mapmakers, Ortelius, Blaeu, de Wit, and Jansson.

Many of the maps are rare manuscript copies by inland explorers including Sir Thomas Mitchell, Ludwig Leichhardt and Augustus Gregory.

Thomas Livingstone Mitchell: Mapmaker

Explorer, surveyor, road-builder and mapmaker, the story of his extraordinary life and work is revealed through the collections of the State Library of New South Wales.

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