The Tasman Map
The Tasman Map is hand drawn on delicate Japanese paper. It bears the arms of the City of Amsterdam. Just below the Tropic of Capricorn are the tracks of Abel Tasman's two ships Heemskerck and Zeehaen.
The map combines the results of Tasman's first (1642-43) and second (1644) voyages with those of earlier Dutch navigators. It shows a surprisingly accurate general outline of Australia.
Princess George of Greece presented the original Tasman Map to the Library in 1931. The origins of the map are uncertain. Once thought to have been drawn under Tasman's personal supervision - possibly by his chief pilot, Franz Jacobszoon Visscher - it now seems likely that the map was created c. 1695, derived from an imperfect original map, itself compiled in 1644 from authentic original maps, including those of Tasman's two voyages.
In recognition of the Tasman Map's significance, a marble mosaic reproduction forms part of the floor of the Mitchell Wing vestibule at the State Library of New South Wales.