263 Year Old Map On Display At State Library Of Western Australia Exhibition

263 Year Old Map On Display At State Library Of Western Australia Exhibition

Western Australia Minister for Culture and the Arts John Day

Rare Documents Map WA’s 400-Year Dutch Links

Victor P Taffa

  • Historic maps revealed for first time
  • Exhibition helps mark four centuries since 1616 Dirk Hartog landing
  • Explores Dutch maritime, migrant and military stories

West Australians will be able to delve into the rich history of Dutch exploration of the State and gain a greater understanding of the contribution migrants from The Netherlands have made, through the new State Library of Western Australia exhibition, Dutch Journeys to the Western Edge.

Opening the exhibition today, Culture and the Arts Minister John Day said one of its most significant pieces was a 263-year-old map, one of two rare documents recently acquired by the library and on display for the first time.

“This precious map was the first detailed drawing of the WA coastline and is a key part of our documentary heritage.” Mr. Day said.

“It was prepared in 1753 by Johannes van Keulen, mapmaker for the Dutch East India Company, using explorer Willem de Vlamingh’s manuscript chart of his 1696-97 voyage.”

“Also on display is the historic 1703 Thornton map, which includes many Dutch discoveries along the WA coast.”

The new exhibition is a major part of this year’s commemorations to mark the 400th anniversary of Dirk Hartog’s historic landing at Shark Bay on October 25, 1616.

“While it explores in detail these early maritime links, this exciting exhibition also includes many inspiring and engaging stories highlighting more contemporary Dutch connections with WA.” Mr. Day said.

“Recognising the important contribution that migrant communities have made to this State, the exhibition uses innovative displays to help bring 400 years of WA’s Dutch history to life.”

Mr. Day said the van Keulen and Thornton maps would undergo conservation work, before being digitised and made available for free access on the State Library website.

Fact File

  • Dutch Journeys To The Western Edge is a free exhibition running at the State Library until September 25, 2016
  • The State Library’s heritage team worked on the exhibition with guest curator Dr. Nonja Peters, Curtin University