Library Curator, Susannah Helman, will take viewers behind-the-scenes of the current season’s iteration of the Library’s Treasures Gallery in this series.

The Rivalry of the English and Dutch East India Trading Companies

This week Susannah tells the story of the rivalry between the English and Dutch East India Trading Companies through four 17th and 18th century maps in the collection.

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The maps mentioned in this digital tour are:

  • C. J. Visscher, The Naval Battle of Bantam, 1603,
  • Die Homannischen Erben (Homann Heirs), Batavia, the Dutch east India Company’s World Famous Main Trading and Warehouse City in Asia, on the Great Island of Java, 1762, 
  • John Senex, A New Map of India & China: From the Latest Observations, 1721,
  • Robert Laurie and James Whittle, Laurie and Whittle’s New chart of the Indian and Pacific Oceans between the Cape of Good Hope, New Holland and Japan, 1797,

The Journal of Arthur Bowes Smyth

Discover the journal of Arthur Bowes Smyth, surgeon on the Lady Penrhyn – one of the 11 First Fleet ships that carried convicts to Australia in 1788. In his journal, Bowes Smyth gives personal insights and opinions of his experiences, as well as recognising moments of beauty on the long voyage to Australia.

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The journal mentioned in this digital tour is: 

Sarah Stone's Birds

In 13 beautiful watercolours in the National Library of Australia’s collection, 18th-century artist, Sarah Stone, captures the spirit and cheekiness of some of Australia's iconic birds.

Library Curator, Susannah Helman explains the history and highlights details of some of these paintings currently on display in our Treasures Gallery. Although you may not be able to come see these paintings in person, just yet, most of these watercolours are digitised and available for you to view online

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You can also read Susannah’s blog about Sarah Stone’s birds.

The artworks mentioned in this digital tour are: 

Model of Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Development

Started over 70 years ago, the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme was an incredibly large project that took several decades to complete. With electric lights showing the lakes and power stations, the National Library holds a silver-plated relief model of the scheme. This model was commissioned for the start of construction and presented by the Commonwealth Government to His Excellency the Right Honourable W.J. McKell on the 17th October 1949.

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The model mentioned in this digital tour is: 

  • Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Authority, Model of Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Development, 1949, 

Joseph Banks and the Account of Cook’s Voyage

Have you ever considered what goes into publishing a book? How about a book published in 1784? Come behind the scenes with Curator, Susannah Helman and discover the remarkable manuscripts that show us how Joseph Banks project-managed the official account of Cook's last voyage.

View the list of people who received copies of the book.

Read Susannah’s blog post, Publishing a book in 1784

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The manuscripts mentioned in this digital tour are:

  • An Account of the Expence of the First Edition of Capt. Cook’s Voyage, 1783–1784, Papers of Sir Joseph Banks (Manuscripts),
  • Joseph Banks, Presents (Distribution List for Copies of the Official Account), 1783–1784, c.1783, nla.obj-222988718 

The Library warmly thanks our Treasures Gallery supporters. Their generosity has made it possible to bring these treasures to life for the whole community.