(ORDO NEWS) — The Australian National University has opened free and free online access to the rare and unique maps of the Asia-Pacific region that are stored in its collection.
According to the university’s website, in total over 5,000 cards have been posted for free access. Many of which are extremely rare. The collection of the university as a whole contains many topographic, cadastral, aviation and thematic maps. Their age, at times, amounts to hundreds of years.
“The earliest map dates from 1662,” says Jenny Sheehan, who runs the collection. “This is a complete map of Batavia, the old capital of the Dutch East Indies, with all its forts. In total, we have more than 120 ancient maps of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, 60 of which were generously presented to us by writer Clive Cussler.”
Some cards are truly unique. These include a map of the Indonesian island of Roti, which was drawn before 1907. All settlements belonging to the colonial era of the Netherlands were carefully marked on it. Perhaps it was painted by an eyewitness who was moving from settlement to settlement.
According to Ms. Sheehan, this card was analyzed by experts. They called it unique, since no one had ever found anything like it in either the Indonesian or Dutch archives.
“Of course, the value of maps is the story they tell about a specific time period,” she says. “Our collection also features a 76-year-old inclinometer. This tool was created in Australia in 1942 to help Allied forces conduct reconnaissance World War II time.”
A rare map of 1896 is now openly accessible, on which Catholic missions are marked throughout New Zealand, as well as in Tahiti, Samoa, Hawaii, Tonga and other islands. In addition, visitors can view a booklet of 30 historical photographs of Papua New Guinea.
By the way, the cards posted on the Web are used for practical purposes. Scientists draw from them reference material in the implementation of research projects. Maps help in comparing modern and ancient infrastructure and allow you to recreate various historical travels.
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