Coming to a bookshop near you – the story of the Tasman Map
Every visitor who passes through the vestibule of the Mitchell Library stops to admire the magnificent marble mosaic of the Tasman Map which fills the entire vestibule floor.
This story of the first Dutch voyages to discover Australia is set against the background of the struggle of the newly formed Dutch Republic to gain its independence from the Kingdom of Spain and the struggle of the Dutch East India Company for trade supremacy in the East Indies against its Portuguese, Spanish and English rivals.
Over a period of only forty years from 1606 to 1644 and based on sixteen separate discoveries the first map of Australia took shape. The Tasman Map shows a recognizable outline of the north, west and south coasts of Australia that was not to change for another 125 years until the British explorer James Cook charted the east coast in 1770.
It was in 1925 and 1933 that the Mitchell Library in Sydney, Australia, acquired both the Tasman Huydecoper Journal and the Tasman Bonaparte Map. The story of how the library managed to acquire these treasures of Dutch exploration and cartography will bring new recognition to these icons of both Dutch and Australian history.
It is intriguing to speculate that the Tasman Bonaparte Map and the Tasman Huydecoper Journal may have both been compiled in Batavia in late 1644 or early 1645 for the Directors of the Dutch East India Company under Abel Tasman’s personal supervision. According to Paul Brunton, the Curator Emeritus at the Mitchell Library, it is certainly extraordinary that two key documents relating to Tasman’s voyages, the Tasman Huydecoper Journal and the Tasman Bonaparte Map were acquired by the Mitchell Library from different sources at around the same time. It would be even more extraordinary if these documents had been compiled together in Batavia under Abel Tasman’s watch and are now reunited at the Mitchell Library after almost 400 years of separation.
It’s done, it’s dusted, its gone to the printers. Copies will be available in September and you can pre-order from your favorite bookshop.
Well done Ian. A rich history that deserves attention as part of our national memory.
Yes and many people will already be familiar with the Tasman Map mosaic in the vestibule of the Mitchell Library.
Wonderful Ian, congratulations to you for yet another major research and writing achievement to add to your previous publications.
Thanks, this is a sbject that has often been lost in Australian history so I hope it will be of interest
Ian! Congratulations on another major addition in writing about the history of the East Indies. I am thrilled to hear that you have finished the book and it is going to be available in bookstores, hopefully also in my corner of the globe. Hopefully, Amazon will be making it available here in the USA. Sia
Thanks Sia and I would be happy to send you a personal copy.
What a coincidence Ian, we just visited Tasmania last October, this will be a must have book for me!
Thanks Ruud. Now you will have to visit Lutjegast, the birthplace of Abel Tasman in northern Holland.