Map Rooms

FIRST FLOOR, Mitchell Building
Woman looks at map on wall in State Library of NSW Map Rooms.

Explore five centuries of cartography from around the world in our new Map Rooms, open every day.

Across two beautiful rooms you will find some of the most important maps, globes and navigation instruments from the Library's maps collection - arguably the most significant in Australia.

One of the major highlights is a chart of the Indian Ocean and Asia — one of only four copies in the world — printed on vellum by Jacob Colom in 1633.

Other highlights include:   

  • an extremely rare 1515 map by Albrecht Dürer and Johannes Stabius depicting the world as a sphere;   
  • a beautiful hand-coloured copy of the iconic nineteen counties (the legal boundaries of the colony up to that date) map produced by Sir Thomas Mitchell in 1834;  
  • a silver punchbowl in the shape of a globe (with Antarctica sitting on its lid) commissioned by botanist Sir Joseph Banks in 1772;   
  • the 1940 Tindale map showing the distribution of Aboriginal nations in NSW; and   
  • a selection of rare early maps showing the gradual colonisation and expansion of Sydney from a penal settlement to a bustling metropolis.

The Map Rooms have been made possible by the Library Foundation, thanks to the generosity of private donors.

View items on display