Sydney, Thomas Richards, Government Printer, 1882 (Second Issue)/ 1881.
Octavo, ii (title leaf), [ii] ('Note by the Compiler', verso blank), iii-vi ('Contents', last verso blank), [ii] ('Illustrations', verso blank), 144 pages plus 24 full-page plates ('Photo-types'), a large folding colour map and 2 folding tables (one, on brittle acidic paper, is now discoloured and chipped, with the last two panels detached in one piece).
Gilt-decorated full morocco, all edges gilt ('Edition de luxe', see below), lettered and decorated in gilt on the spine and front cover; leather lightly scuffed and marked, a little rubbed at the extremities and along the joints, with a little wear to the corner-tips; endpapers and adjacent leaves a little foxed; a very good copy, with the plates in fine condition.
Ferguson 14893 ('Edition de luxe'), noting only the frontispiece portrait of Captain James Cook, and citing only the Mitchell Library copy. The State Library of NSW has now digitised that copy (Mitchell's own, with his signature on the title page), and it has the same plate content as the present copy (albeit miscounted as only 21 in the catalogue description). These 'Photo-types' are essentially autotypes, a contemporary photo-mechanical process capable of producing high-quality plates, and we have not previously identified any other Australian-produced examples. (Perhaps the title best-known to Australian audiences for autotypes is 'Picturesque New Guinea', featuring 50 superb examples by John Lindt; it was published in London in 1887.) This prosaic title contains some interesting and uncommon images among the 24 plates, including the Garden Palace, two of the Randwick Racecourse, two of the Association Cricket Ground, Moore Park, and one of the Detached Squadron under command of the Earl of Clanwilliam (taken in Port Jackson, 29 July 1881). The 'Note by the Compiler (Second Issue)', dated 16 January 1882, offers an explanation for the absence of any copies of the first issue in Ferguson and Trove: 'The first issue was made on the 28th ultimo, to enable the Colonial Secretary to take a supply of copies with him to America. As the editing and compiling had to be done upon short notice, chiefly in unofficial hours, and at intervals snatched during the very busy time incident to a closing Session of Parliament, it is not surprising that some errors escaped detection; none of them, however, of a very serious character. Since the first issue, the work has been revised throughout, and in some of the most important particulars brought up to the end of the year'.