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This prodigious map is Stanford’s Library Map of Australasia. The map was constructed by A. Keith Johnston. This is the first edition and was published in London by Edward Stanford in 1859. The large-scale engraved map features original hand-coloring. It is in sections backed with linen. The map shows Australia, New Zealand, and much of the islands north of Australia. The map is contained in a decorative bas relief tooled leather portfolio binding. This is a map found housed in important Australian collections including that of National Library of Australia, State Library of New South Wales, and University of Queensland Library.
Australian Mail reviewed the map in 1859 stating: “… It is a real pleasure to study a good, bold, well-executed map, brought up to the latest date. Mr. Stanfords new Library Map of Australasia fulfills every requirement. It is quite a work of art. Engraved in the finest style on copper plates, upon the large scale of 64 miles to an inch… it is worthy of a place in any noblemans library.
“It forms the second of a series of large library Maps, delineating the great terrestrial divisions of the globe. The Map of Europe was the first; the Map of Australasia is the second; Asia, Africa, North America, and South America will follow. Instead of giving Australasia as an appendage to the Asiatic continent, the publisher recognises the great and growing importance of the English colonies, by giving them a special map.
“The ?’insertion of several new and important surveys and discoveries, never before published together; the introduction of new administrative boundaries; the boldness and perspicacity as well as the precision of the delineation and names; the distinctive colouring; and the comprehensive scope of the Map,’ form only a few of its meritorious features. The manner in which Mr. A.K. Johnston has performed his task is deserving of the highest praise.
“To prove that the work has been brought down to the latest date, it may be mentioned that the lately-formed province of Hawke Bay, in New Zealand, is distinctively marked; not so, however, Queensland, to the north of New South Wales, the boundaries being yet undetermined.
“The remarkable additions made to Australasian geography by exploring parties and new surveys are fully given. The explorations of Mr. McDougal Stuart, far beyond the Gawler Ranges, in South Australia; those of Mr. Herschel Babbage and Mr. Augustus Gregory, the latter of whom made the first overland journey from Moreton Bay to Adelaide; the researches of Captain Sturt from the South and of Mr. Kennedy from the NorthEast, together with those of Mr. F. T. Gregory in Western Australia; and the investigations in Northern Australia by eight or nine different explorers all receive due notice.
“It is justly remarked that ?’the vast extent of unexplored country forming the northern and central parts of Australia must derive fresh interest from these successes, as they prove that the blank spaces on the Map, instead of being wholly desert, may include an abundance of valuable territory, and still hold out rich rewards to colonial enterprise.’
“The last surveys in New Zealand are likewise embodied. Embraced within the extended scope of the Map are in addition to Tasmania and New Zealand Norfolk Island, ?’once a pest-house of crime, but now a thriving settlement,’ the French settlement of New Caledonia, New Guinea, and a large portion of the Asiatic Archipelago. (Australian Mail, 15/9/1859)