Collecting and conserving early Australian Maps Symposium

Grimwade Conservation Services is proud to present a free public symposium on the collection and conservation of early Australian Maps.

Blaeu map conservation

Grimwade conservators restoring Joan Blaeu’s Archipelagus Orientalis, sive Asiaticus, 1663. Photo by Keep Left.

9 speakers and a world of maps

Join us for a free public symposium exploring three of the most important early map collections in Australia with a particular focus on Dutch Golden Age maps showcasing recent innovations in their care and conservation.

This symposium will feature engaging presentations from historians and researchers formative in the development of the map collections of the National Library of Australia, the Kerry Stokes Collection, and MONA as they discuss the history, significance, and motivation for these collections in the context of Australian mapping.

Conservators from the University of Melbourne will describe their recent award-winning journey to conserve two different copies of the rare and beautiful 17th-Century wall map, Archipelagus Orientalis, sive Asiaticus (Eastern and Asian archipelago), from the workshop of Master Cartographer for the Dutch East India Company Joan Blaeu, and share the insights they gained into the materials and construction of these rare, beautiful, and complex maps.

Archipelagus Orientalis, sive Asiaticus is the first published map depicting in detail the journeys of Abel Tasman including the sighting of Tasmania by the crew of the Zeehan on 24 November 1642, and Tasman's mapping of New Zealand; it is the first large-scale published map of New Holland and the map on which all subsequent maps of Australia were based until the additions of Cook over a century later. The National Library of Australia map has recently been added to the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register.

Only five complete copies are known to exist, and of these the only two wall maps are held in Australian collections and were conserved by the University of Melbourne.

Date: Saturday 15 July 2023 - Symposium recordings are available on our Grimwade Conservation Services YouTube channel.

Location: Arts West Forum Theatre, University of Melbourne. Note that this is an in-person event. A recording of the symposium will be made available in early August.

Program: View the Symposium Program online.

Further information: or call Grimwade Conservation Services contact Libby Melzer on (03) 9348 5700.

Presented by:

The University of Melbourne's Grimwade Conservation Services.

Restoring Joan Blaeu’s Archipelagus Orientalis, sive Asiaticus, 1663

Over 1.5 metres wide, the Blaeu map is the first large-scale map of New Holland, and one of only four complete copies known to exist. It is the earliest large-scale map of Abel Tasman's discoveries, and is regarded as the first wall map of Australia. National Library of Australia Collection. Video: Paul Burston.

Further details

  • Where is Arts West Forum Theatre?

    Arts West Forum Theatre is located in Parkville on campus at the University of Melbourne. The lecture theatre is on Level 1 of Arts West building. A map directing you to the theatre can be found here.

    The lecture theatre has lifts and wheelchair access.

    Forum Theatre

    Inside Arts West Forum Theatre

    Arts West

    Exterior of Arts West building

  • Do I need to register?


    The symposium is free but registration to attend is essential to ensure you secure a seat.

    Register today via this link.

  • Who is presenting at the symposium?

    Speakers include:

    Dr Martin Woods

    Former Director, Curatorial and Collections Research, National Library of Australia, Canberra

    Erica Persak

    Kerry Stokes Collection, Perth

    Jane Clark

    Museum of New and Old Art (MONA), Hobart

    Libby Melzer

    University of Melbourne

    Peter Mitchelson

    University of Melbourne

    Victoria Thomas

    ArtLab Australia

    Briony Pemberton

    Pemberton Conservation

    Marion Parker

    Marion Parker Textiles Conservation

    Christine Mizzi

    State Library of Victoria

  • Do you have a program with speaker abstracts?


    A full program featuring speaker abstracts can be found here. Symposium attendees will receive a copy of the symposium program on the day.

Contact us

Have a question about the symposium? Get in touch.

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