22 October 2013

Preserving Blaeu's 'Archipelagus Orientalis'

[A look at the conservation work being done on the National Library of Australia's copy of Joan Blaeu's map, the Archipelagus Orientalis, sive Asiaticus (1663), acquired by the NLA earlier this year. The map, as noted in the post below, is just one of four surviving copies known.]
[Reposted from the NLA's Behind the Scenes blog]
Opening on 7 November, our summer blockbuster Mapping Our World: Terra Incognita to Australia features one of the Library’s recent major map acquisitions – Archipelagus Orientalis, sive Asiaticus (Eastern and Asian archipelago), 1663 by Dutch master cartographer Joan Blaeu (1596-1673).
This remarkable wall chart – one of only four surviving copies in the world, is in an exceedingly fragile state, but conservators from the Library’s Preservation Branch have embarked on a meticulous and time-consuming preservation treatment to stabilise it for display. Fortunately, the areas of greatest interest, illuminating the story of the Dutch discovery of Australia – the mention of the first sighting of Tasmania and the text naming the continent – are intact and clearly visible.
We produced this video to highlight the significant preservation work that is underway:

If you would like to make a financial contribution to the preservation of the Blaeu map, you can make a tax-deductible  donation online or download and return the donation form. You can learn more about the preservation effort on our webpage dedicated to the map.
We are pleased to release this video under a Creative Commons licence that makes it available for everyone to share and re-use. Because of that, we have been able to upload the video to Wikimedia Commons which allows it to be used directly within Wikipedia articles – notably on the biography of Blaeu himself. We would like to especially acknowledge the Wikipedian in Residence at the National Library of the Netherlands for translating the captions to this video into Dutch.

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