News

19 June 2015

Come and see the world’s largest atlas!

The latest addition to the State Library’s rich collections – a mammoth atlas standing at almost two metres tall – is on public display in the Mitchell Library Reading Room until 19 July 2015.

Earth Platinum is the world’s largest atlas, according to the Guinness World Records, with pages spanning 2.7 metres when opened.

Only 31 copies of the 150 kilo, limited edition atlas were released by publisher Millennium House (Sydney) in 2012 – the State Library holds Australia’s only copy. It joins the Library’s copy of the world’s first atlas, produced in 1570 by Ortelius.

More than 100 international cartographers, geographers and photographers from across the globe were involved in the production.

The atlas’s 128 pages contain 61 pages of maps, 27 images of famous locations (including St.Peter's Basilica, the Antarctic and Machu Picchu) and a double-page spread of the world’s national flags. Many of the images were made from stitching together 1,000 individual photos, and the largest image has 12,000 photos joined together.

The atlas was printed in Italy and bound in Hong Kong. Now Australians can see it in person for the first time at the State Library of NSW.

17 December 2014

Help transcribe our World War 1 diaries

The State Library of NSW has released 50,000 pages of digitised World War One diaries for the public to transcribe. This unique collection of soldiers’ intimate accounts of war has been included on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register.

Having just completed the major digitisation of its entire collection of World War One diaries and letters, 180,000 pages, made possible through the support of the NSW Government, the Library has launched its very own purpose built transcription tool.

“The State Library has for a long time relied on its dedicated volunteers who have worked to transcribe over 700 diaries to date. Now, with this new tool, we are turning to the wider community for help so that we can provide global access to this extraordinary content,” said Alex Byrne, NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive.

“We are seeking the community’s support in the important task of transcribing our diaries and letters to help unlock the compelling stories held within them.”

According to Elise Edmonds, the State Library’s World War One curator, “This important crowd sourcing project will introduce participants to the day to day experiences of the Australian men and women who served in the war, and help bring their tales of adventure, heartache and bravery to a global audience.

“The story of the ‘Great War’ cannot be fully understood without reference to these very personal and moving firsthand accounts,” said Ms Edmonds.

Learn more about transcribing or view our full media release