The Map Rooms Appeal

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The Map Rooms

Though the past few months have been a challenging time, the Library has recently moved forward with an exciting new project that will permanently display highlights from our map collection for the first time. The Map Rooms, to be located in the Mitchell Building, will present an extraordinary selection of rare maps, atlases, globes, subdivision plans, charts, and more. Visitors to this new public area will have the opportunity to discover the history and beauty that lives within our cartographic collection.

In recognition of their immense historical and research value, the State Library holds, preserves and adds to a collection of over 200,000 maps, atlases, charts and globes. This collection, one of the most significant in the country, spans over 500 years and covers NSW, Australia, the Pacific region, Antarctica and extends to the rest of the world.

Highlights from the collection that will be on display in the Map Rooms include: 

Map of the Colony of New South Wales, 1834, created by Sir Thomas Mitchell, following a detailed survey of the 19 counties that defined the limits of the settlement at that time.

The first printed map to show the world as a sphere — a collaboration between Albrecht Dürer and Johann Stabius in 1515. With no surviving copies from 1515, the Library’s 1781 printing is extremely rare.

Polus Antarcticus, 1657, one of the earliest printed maps dedicated to the south pole, with this edition also showing Abel Tasman's discoveries from his first voyage.

Grande mappemonde céleste, terrestre, historique & cosmographique, a lavish hand-coloured wall map created in the brief period between the voyages of Captain James Cook (between 1768 and 1779) and the French Revolution (in 1789).

The Sydney Harbour Bridge Map, 1932, a delightful illustrated map created as a memento for the bridge opening. 


With the proliferation of digital mapping, future generations may never puzzle over their location on a paper map.  Providing a space for our visitors to engage with the physical map is now more imperative than ever.

The Foundation is pleased to be fully funding this important new addition to the Library. Please consider making your donation to the Map Rooms today. In doing so, you will support greater public access to our remarkable collection.


Make a donation

Should you wish to contribute, click the button below and fill in our secure online form.
If you would like to make your gift over the phone or by email, please contact Susan Hunt, Director of the Foundation at:, +61 2 9273 1529.  

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