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Ferguson rare map collection
Bib ID 8541761
Format MapMap, OnlineOnline [cartographic image, sheet]
Ferguson, John Alexander, 1881-1969
Online Versions
Access Conditions Available for reference. Not for loan. 
Scale Scales differ. 
Description 1792-1969 
approximately 954 maps : some colour 

Ferguson rare map collection.

John Alexander Ferguson collection of maps and real estate plans.


Academic, judge, book collector, bibliographer and benefactor. John Alexander Ferguson was born in Invercargill, New Zealand in 1881 and moved to Sydney with his father in 1894. He attended the University of Sydney and later gained the George Wigram Allen scholarship for the most distinguished Arts graduate entering the Law School. Ferguson was admitted to the New South Wales Bar in 1905. He came to specialise in industrial law and was the first lecturer in industrial law at Sydney University. In 1935 he was appointed a judge of the New South Wales Industrial Commission.

As a young man, Ferguson developed an interest in Australian history thus complementing other interests he held in bibliography and book collecting. These areas of interest were embodied in Ferguson's major work, The bibliography of Australia, 1784-1900, published in seven volumes between 1941 and 1969. His collection of early Australiana, having expanded to include manuscripts, maps, printed ephemera and graphic materials, was progressively transferred to the National Library from 1938. The Ferguson Room at the National Library is named in his honour. Ferguson died in Sydney in 1969. Further biographical information available at:


The Ferguson rare map collection contains over 1,000 published and unpublished maps and plans, the great majority being cadastral plans of New South Wales. They mostly date from the period 1830–1920 and include plans of counties, towns, villages, parishes, sections, estates, land grants and building allotments. Many were published by the New South Wales Surveyor General’s Department, while others are the work of private surveyors. There are a much smaller number of plans for the other states, with Tasmania being the best represented. Among the Tasmanian holdings are a group of maps produced by the Van Diemen’s Land Company in 1827–31.

There are a small number of general maps of Australia, the various states, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and the New Hebrides. There are also charts of ports and maps of railways, goldfields, exploration and local government. The growth of Sydney is well documented, the earliest map in the collection (F 306) being a survey of settlement in New South Wales, with manuscript notes by Arthur Phillip dated 2 December 1792. Supplied from

Title supplied by cataloguer.

Collection published in various places by various publishers.

MAP Ferguson Collection copy Also available online

Subjects Ferguson, John Alexander, 1881-1969 -- Map collections.  |  Real property -- New South Wales -- Sydney -- Maps.  |  Railroads -- Australia -- Maps.  |  Sydney (N.S.W.) -- Maps.  |  Australia -- Maps.  |  Tasmania -- Maps.  |  Papua New Guinea -- Maps.  |  New Zealand -- Maps.  |  Vanuatu -- Maps.  |  Australian
Time Coverage 1792-1969 
Form/genre Cadastral maps.  |  Manuscript maps.
Other authors/contributors New South Wales. Surveyor-General  |  Van Diemen’s Land Company

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Collect from: Special Collections Reading Room
Call Number: MAP Ferguson Collection
Status: Available

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