It has been described as Australia's birth certificate.
Archipelagus Orientalis, the first large-scale map of Australia, has been restored painstakingly by a team of curators for display at the National Library of Australia in Canberra this summer.
One of the rarest examples of its type in the world, the map was created in 1663 by Joan Blaeu, chief cartographer of the Dutch East India Company.
It was found in a warehouse in Sweden in 2010 and the library snapped it up this year for an undisclosed sum.
The document was first listed for sale at just $10,000, but when auctioneers realised it was a Blaeu the price rocketed.
The map of the southern continent - or New Holland as it was then known - would be the best measurement of Australia's coast until Capt. James Cook plotted the eastern seaboard.
For its age, the map is remarkably accurate, marking most of the Australian west coast, the north to the Torres Strait and much of the south coast to Tasmania.
National Library of Australia Council chairman Ryan Stokes said the fact the map was still in one piece - albeit in a very fragile state - after so many years was remarkable.
He took delight as a West Australian that so much of the State was mapped so early when most of the east coast was unknown.
"This is a Dutch map . . . there were a number of Dutch wrecks off WA and the Abrolhos Islands," he said.
"And so they were very aware of the WA coastline and it is very interesting that in the early days there was a much greater understanding of the west coast."
The map is the centrepiece of a major exhibition of historic maps at the library called Mapping our World: Terra Incognita to Australia.
The exhibition, from November 7 to March 10, will be launched by actor Russell Crowe.
Mr Stokes said he had "reached out" to Crowe, who once portrayed a sea captain in the Hollywood hit Master and Commander and is said to have a long interest in historic maps.Other maps included in the exhibition are some from the British Library, the Vatican and numerous major private collections.