RAHS Day Lecture – The Tasman Map: The Biography of a Map

Every visitor who passes through the vestibule of the Mitchell Library stops to admire the magnificent marble mosaic of the Tasman Map. Over a period of only forty years from 1606 to 1644 and based on sixteen separate discoveries, the first map of Australia took shape and was not to change for another 125 years until the British explorer James Cook charted the east coast in 1770. The story of these voyages of discovery and how the Mitchell Library managed to acquire this cartographic treasure will bring new recognition to an icon of both Dutch and Australian history.

About the speaker: Ian Burnet has a B.Sc. degree in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Melbourne. He is the author of four books on Maritime History including Spice Islands and East Indies, which concerns the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the history of the spice trade from Eastern Indonesia. In his latest book, The Tasman Map – The Biography of a Map, Ian uses his knowledge of this history to put the early Dutch exploration of Australia and the first European mapping of Australia into historical context.


  • When: Wednesday 3 March 2021, 1pm – 2pm
  • Where: Streamed online via Zoom
  • Cost: Free