Map of the proposed seven united provinces of eastern Australia

Lang, John Dunmore, Map of the proposed seven united provinces of eastern Australia, 1857, nla.obj-232290542 

Discussion on uniting the disparate colonies was active throughout the nineteenth century.  This map by John Dunmore Lang in 1857 proposes the Seven United Provinces of Eastern Australia .

Not sure where to start?

Our collection of maps and atlases contains some interesting items which can help provide context and background to Federation.  Much of the maps collection is currently uncatalogued, so readers are advised to contact staff via our Ask a Librarian service for assistance in identifying and requesting material.  Digitisation of our collection is ongoing.

Australian colonies and New Zealand

New South Wales. Government Printing Office, Australian colonies and New Zealand, 1897,nla.obj-231319653

A map prepared for the Federal Convention of 1897 when the inclusion of New Zealand into the new Commonwealth was under consideration.

Catalogue search tips

Pre and post Federation mapping can be found online and in the print collection.  Use the Catalogue option and search for the name of the colony (e.g. Victoria) or Australia.

In the results list, under Limit your search, limit the Format to Maps. A year range limit is also available, so you can limit your results to maps published during the Federation years.

The publisher's name, e.g. H.E.C. Robinson,  is also useful for searching for map material. 

Detail from Map of the Commonwealth of Australia

The first official topographic map of the Commonwealth of Australia was published by the Australian government 1912 and called the Map of the Commonwealth of Australia. This map was published in eight sheets at a scale of 1:2,027,520. The Library holds four of these sheets.

Digitized Australian newspapers on Trove contain a number of articles on the progress of this early co-operative venture between the states over the years leading to publication. An interesting article on the history of the project can be found in The Clarence and Richmond Examiner of 27 January 1912.

Upon receipt of the map at the Royal Geographical Society it was described as having ' ... no great merit as a cartographical production, but will be very useful for reference.' The geographical journal, Vol. 43, no. 1, (Jan. 1914) p. 111.