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Loke Wan Tho map collection
Bib ID 1765449
Format MapMap, OnlineOnline [cartographic image, sheet]
Loke, Wan Tho, Dato, 1915-1964
Online Versions
Related Online
Access Conditions Available for reference. Not for loan. 
Scale Scales differ. 
Description [1942-1962] 
54 maps : some colour, some manuscript ; 93.6 x 99.6 cm or smaller + 10 pamphlets, 22 identical bookplates 

Loke Wan Tho map collection.


Dato Loke Wan Tho (1915-1964) was the son of Loke Yew, one of Malaya's first millionaires and philanthropists. He was born in Kuala Lumpur and educated at the Victorian Institution, Chillon College at Montreaux, Switzerland, King's College, Cambridge, and the London School of Economics.

In 1946 he became Chairman of the Cathay Company, which at the time owned two cinemas in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Within 15 years the company had built up a chain of 60 cinemas, as well as two studios and four hotels. He was chairman of about 30 other companies concerned with banking, trading, insurance, rubber, tin, shipping, and film production and distribution, as well as chairing such bodies as the Straits Times, Malayan Airways, the Singapore Telephone Board and the National Library of Singapore Board.

Loke Wan Tho was a man of wide interests and extraordinary energy. In 1942 he met Salim Ali, the curator of the Natural History Museum in Bombay, and developed a passion for ornithology. Often in the company of Ali and the British proconsul Malcolm MacDonald, he travelled to India, Kashmir, Sarawak, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Finland and other countries and states photographing birds and archaeological monuments. Many of his photographs were reproduced in MacDonald's book Angkor: with one hundred and twelve photos (1958).

In 1961 Wan Tho visited Australia, staying with Professor Jock Marshall and camping in the Murray Mallee region with Eric Worrell, Russell Drysdale and others. His book A Company of Birds was published in 1957. He was the leading art collector in Malaysia, with a collection extending from pre-Han pottery to modern paintings. Loke Wan Tho and his third wife Mavis Chew were killed in a plane crash in Taiwan in 1964.


Collection of manuscript and printed maps formerly belonging to Dato Loke Wan Tho, Singapore businessman and ornithologist, mainly relating to his travels in North America, Europe and Asia.

Collection also contains 10 tourist pamphlets, including one duplicate, and 22 identical bookplates.

List available.

Some maps folded in covers.

National Library of Australia holds various copies of some sheets in this collection.

National Library of Australia's collection does not contain an item no. 14.

MAP Loke Wan Tho Collection/1-65 copy Also available online

Related Material Related material: Loke Wan Tho photographic collection, ca. 1930-1964; Located at; National Library of Australia Pictorial Section, PIC/8034/1-2053 PIC LOKE A Folders 1-6 and PIC/8034/2054-2065 LOC Drawer PIC/8034.  Related material: Papers of Dato Loke Wan Tho, 1896-1974; Located at; National Library of Australia Manuscript Section, MS 6057. 
Index/Finding Aid Note Finding aid available in Special Collections Reading Room and online.  Finding Aid reference no.: MFC 32. 
Subjects United States -- Maps.  |  Europe -- Maps.  |  Asia -- Maps.
Time Coverage 1942-1962 
Form/genre Manuscript maps.  |  Tourist maps.

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Collect from: Special Collections Reading Room - Conditions may apply
Call Number: MAP Loke Wan Tho Collection/1-65
Status: Available

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