This extraordinary collection of natural history illustrations, purchased with the generous support of TAL & Dai-ichi Life and the NSW Government, is the Library’s most significant addition of early colonial material since the 1930s.
Containing 745 watercolours in six volumes, the collection conveys Europe’s naïve yet genuine sense of wonder at Australia’s unique natural history.
... the whole appearance of nature must be striking in the extreme to the adventurer, and at first this will seem to him to be a country of enchantments. The generality of the birds and the beasts sleeping by day, and singing or catering in the night, is such an inversion in nature as is hitherto unknown.
Letters from an exile at Botany Bay (1794)