Was Australia Chartered Before 1606?

The National Library’s latest publication Was Australia Chartered Before 1606? The Jave la Grande Inscriptions poses an intriguing question about the discovery of Australia.

Dutchman Willem Janszoon’s arrival on the shores of Cape York in the Duyfken in 1606 is universally regarded as the first reliably documented non-Aboriginal arrival on Australia’s shores. Yet claims abound that the Portuguese, French, Spanish, Indonesians, and most recently, the Chinese were earlier visitors.

Much of the Portuguese claim rests on the evidence of a series of sixteenth-century French maps showing a charted landmass—Jave la Grande, south of Indonesia—which some have identified as Australia.

The author William A.R. Richardson examines the evidence for these claims and considers the issue in detail, in particular, the information that place-names can provide in identification.

It is illustrated throughout with charts and maps, some of which are beautifully embellished, showcasing the exquisite art and skill of the mapmakers of the day.

NOTE:
All Images are in high resolution JPEG format approximately A4 @ 300dpi.

Cover image; (detail) The east coast of Jave La Grande in the ‘Vallard’ atlas (1547)
By permission of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California

Download (5.42 Mb zip)

Guillaume Brouscon’s world map (11543)
By permission of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California

Download (5.88 Mb zip)

Southern Hemisphere on Fine’s 1531–32 world map
National Library of Australia

Download (6.33 Mb zip)

Bünting’s world map (1581)
National Library of Australia

Download (8.41 Mb zip)

Ortelius’ world map of 1570
National Library of Australia

Download (8.38 Mb zip)

Collingridge’s comparison of part of Jave la Grande’s west coast
National Library of Australia

Download (3.18 Mb zip)

Collingridge’s ‘explanation’ of the westward shift of ‘ Australia’
National Library of Australia

Download (5.09 Mb zip)

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