Reconciliation Day Public Holiday

All National Library reading rooms will be closed on Reconciliation Day, Monday 28 May.  Regular reading room hours will resume on Tuesday 29 May. See our holiday opening hours for more information.

Mapping our World: Terra Incognita to Australia

Mapping our World: Terra Incognita to Australia

Atlas open to an early double hemisphere map of the world, lavishly illustrated and coloured, showing parts of Europe, Asia and Africa.
16 January 2014, 10:00-21:00
Exhibition Gallery, Ground floor


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This remarkable exhibition brings together some of the world's greatest maps, atlases, globes and scientific instruments, many of which have never before been seen in the southern hemisphere.


Treasured items from some of the world's greatest map collections will tell the remarkable story of how Australia came to be on the map, and will reveal the history and struggle to imagine and document the world; from the earliest imaginings of the earth and the night sky through to Matthew Flinders' landmark General Chart of Terra Australis or Australia in 1814.


The exhibition will take you on a spiritual, artistic and scientific journey, showing how European explorers gradually unravelled the secrets of the south land.  Highlights of the exhibition include the magnificent Fra Mauro, Map of the world; the remarkable Boke of Idrography presented to Henry VIII; an intricate world map by the Benedictine monk Andreas Walsperger (1448); a fifteenth-century Ptolemy manuscript; magnificent and controversial ‘Dieppe’ charts; one of only four surviving copies of Mercator’s groundbreaking 1569 projection and original manuscript charts by Pacific navigators including Louis de Freycinet, James Cook and Matthew Flinders.


Last entry at 8.00pm