Found Maps: Tally No. 506238

Found Maps: a semi-regular post about the lovely maps I come across in my research.

These past weeks I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at old maps at the SRO. While I was looking for something very specific, I was constantly being distracted by all the lovely detail and general ‘old-ness’ and ‘map-ness’ of them.

The SRO has a digitization project happening at the moment, in fact it is pretty much finished, to create the Maps Online database. This is nowhere near all the maps in its collection, but it is a pretty good spread of useful maps for Western Australia. It has been wonderfully useful for the research I’m currently doing, but I’ve still needed to request original maps too.

The maps I’m mostly looking at are known as Cancelled Plans. These are the plans and maps that were superseded by later editions when they became too out of date or messy with changes. I guess they had their map drawers (is there a special name for them – cartographers perhaps?) create a new map. There are series of a map’s incarnations across time which means you can follow the changes for a particular piece of land – maybe! Nothing works out perfectly of course, but any excuse to order old maps for retrieval and I’m there!

This image is just a tiny square at the top of a map known as South West [Tally No. 506238]. I love this little bit in particular as it is a map of one of my favourite places in WA: Rottnest Island. I also love that it is torn and half missing but still beautiful in its detail – look at the shades of blue around the island!

Just one of the many treasures I get to spend my days with.

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