Forgotten 300 Year Old Map Of Australia To Go On Display
A 17th century map of New Holland will go on display for the first time after being forgotten for a century, local media reported.
The master cartographer for the Dutch East India Company, Joan Blaeu, created the map in 1663. It formed the basis for all other maps of New Holland, which is the historical name for Australia.
Captain James Cook used the large-scale map to complete the mapping of Australia in 1770, local media said.
The map, which no-one knew existed for about a century, features the first detailed sightings of Tasmania by Abel Tasman's crew aboard the Zeehaen in 1642, local media said.
It is the first time Australia and New Zealand are named by the Dutch and it's the first time Tasmania appears on a map, local media added.
The National Library of Australia acquired the map after it was uncovered in 2010 in a storage facility in Sweden.
The map is very fragile. Four conservators are working full-time to stabilise it.
For Preservation Manager Robin Tait it has been a privilege to be part of the team.
"It's been a great thrill actually. You don't see things like this very often," she said.
The ancient map will go on display at the National Library in November. It will be presented as part of the Mapping Our World: Terra Incognita to Australia exhibition.
Curator Martin Woods called the map a remarkable piece of Australian history.
"It's 350 years old, 130 years before Cook mapped the east coast of Australia. This is the first time that most of Australia was brought to the rest of the world," he said.
The exhibition will feature many of the world's greatest maps, including pieces from the the Vatican, the British Library, and the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, local media said.
The Mapping Our World exhibition will open to the public on November 7.