Finding Antarctica: Mapping the Last Continent
3rd Dec 2011 - 19th Feb 2012
Antarctica has always been the subject of much speculation, the idea of an unknown southern land began with the ancient Greeks. They believed that the earth was a sphere and that a southern land mass 'Antarcktikos' must exist as a counterweight to balance the northern world which lay beneath the constellation 'Arktos', the Bear. In the 21st century, seven countries, including Australia, claim territory in Antarctica, all of these countries have put their claims to one side and cooperate with other countries in studying and conserving Antarctica for the benefit of the world. Antarctica is now recognised as a key indicator in the debate over global warming.
The exhibition will showcase the magnificent collection of rare maps and charts held by the State Library of NSW, accompanied by rare published accounts and original sketches from Antarctica exploration by Cook, D’Urville, the United State Exploring Expeditions and the Australasian Antarctic Expedition.
The exhibition has been programmed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (1911-14) which left Hobart on 2 December 1911. A section of the exhibition will focus on this important Australian expedition with additional access to collection items through multimedia.
The exhibition will be held at the Mitchell and Dixon Galleries, State Library of NSW, Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000. For further information please telephone (02) 9273 1530 or contact the Exhibitions Coordinator.