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General History of the Things of New Spain by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún: The Florentine Codex. Book XI: Natural Things
Historia general de las cosas de nueva España (General history of the things of New Spain) is an encyclopedic work about the people and culture of central Mexico compiled by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590), a Franciscan missionary who arrived in Mexico in 1529, eight years after completion of the Spanish conquest by Hernan Cortés. Commonly referred to as the Florentine Codex, the manuscript consists of 12 books devoted to different topics. Book XI, the longest in the codex, is a treatise on natural history. Following the traditional division ...
Contributed by
Medicea Laurenziana Library, Florence
Back Door Scene at the American Circus
In the American circus, the area directly behind the circus tent or arena where performers prepared for and staged their entrances through the “back door” came to be known as the “backyard.” This glass-plate negative from 1928 reveals a typical backyard scene of an American circus just prior to performance of the spectacular production number. The spectacle, or “spec,” was a procession that took place around the hippodrome track inside the big top, or circus tent, featuring as many of the performers and animals as the circus director was able ...
Contributed by
Circus World Museum
Free Street Parade of the Sells-Floto Circus
This colorful lithograph advertises the upcoming street parade of the Sells-Floto Circus, promoting ticket sales to the local residents for the twice-a-day shows. The artwork captures the grandeur of the American circus parade in the 1920s. The parade is led by a rider wearing an 18th-century costume and carrying a circus banner. Behind the rider is a group of mounted horsemen, elephants in costumes worn in big production number during the show (“spec costuming”), a band, and a number of circus wagons. Several of the elephants and wagons promote the ...
Contributed by
Circus World Museum
The Uganda Journal, Volume I, Number 1, January 1934
The Uganda Literary and Scientific Society was established at Entebbe, Uganda Protectorate, in 1923. Its main activity consisted of the reading of papers and the delivery of lectures on topics relating to Uganda. In 1933 the society moved its headquarters to Kampala and decided to issue a regular publication, The Uganda Journal. The journal’s declared aim was “to collect and publish information which may add to our knowledge of Uganda and to record that which in the course of time might be lost.” Four issues per year were published ...
Contributed by
National Library of Uganda
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Trevelyon Miscellany, 1608
Thomas Trevilian, or Trevelyon, a London craftsman of whom little is known, created his miscellany in 1608 when he was about the age of 60. The bulky manuscript of 290 double-sided folios contains texts and images appropriated from books, woodcuts, and engravings of his day. Part one of the manuscript (leaves 3–36) consists of historical and practical information: a time line; an illustrated calendar; moralizing proverbs; a series of computational tables and astronomical diagrams; lists of families linked to William the Conqueror; distances between London and cities around the ...
Contributed by
Folger Shakespeare Library
On Plants
Historia Plantarum (On plants) is a natural science encyclopedia, in which animals, plants, and minerals are illustrated and described for their medicinal properties, in keeping with the medieval tradition of the tacuina medievali (medieval health handbooks), and from which the codex derives its most common name, Tacuinum sanitatis. The work was first compiled as Taqwim al-Sihhah (The maintenance of health) by the 11th-century Baghdad physician Ibn Buṭlān, and chief among his Greek sources was Dioscorides, a physician in the first century. The court in Sicily commissioned a Latin translation in ...
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Casanatense Library
Immigrant's Home, Argentina
This photograph of an immigrant’s home in Argentina is from the Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection at the Library of Congress. Frank G. Carpenter (1855–1924) was an American writer of books on travel and world geography, whose works helped to popularize cultural anthropology and geography in the United States in the early years of the 20th century. Consisting of photographs taken and gathered by Carpenter and his daughter Frances (1890–1972) to illustrate his writings, the collection includes an estimated 16,800 photographs and 7,000 glass and ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Map of the Strait of Magellan Developed by the Schouten and Le Maire Expedition, 1616
In June 1615, Dutch navigators Jacob Le Maire (circa 1585–1616) and Willem Corneliszoon Schouten (circa 1567–1625) set out in two ships, the Eendracht and the Hoorn, from the Dutch port of Texel, seeking to find a new route to the East Indies. They made landfall on the coast of South America in early December, at Port Desire (present-day Puerto Deseado, Argentina). This near-contemporary print shows the sailors from the Hoorn and the Eendracht at work on shore. Seeking to replenish their supplies after nearly six months at sea ...
Contributed by
National Library of Chile
Scenes of the Everglades
Businessman and adventurer Homer Augustus Brinkley produced this film in 1928 after living for several months among the Seminole Indians in the Everglades. He later used the film in a traveling show that featured a live, caged bear and himself dressed as a Seminole. Photographed by William B. Feeland, the film contains some of the earliest moving footage of the Seminole. Beginning with panoramic shots of vegetation, waterways, and abandoned structures, the film includes footage of wildlife, such as an owl, raccoons, water moccasins, alligators, deer, a wild turkey, and ...
Contributed by
State Library and Archives of Florida
Papers of Joseph Ingraham, 1790-1792: Journal of the Voyage of the Brigantine "Hope" from Boston to the North-West Coast of America
Joseph Ingraham was the master of the brigantine Hope, a 70-ton American ship that was designed and equipped to make the trip around Cape Horn to the west coast of North America, from there to China, and from China back to Boston. In the late 18th century, American fur traders undertook expeditions to the northwestern Pacific, where they obtained furs, which they brought for sale to the Chinese port of Canton (present-day Guangdong). There they acquired tea, silk, porcelain, and other goods for sale in the U.S. market. This ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Tenochtitlán, 1521
This topographical map of Mexico City and its surroundings dates from around 1550, some three decades after the conquest of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán by Hernán Cortés in 1521. Tenochtitlán was founded in the 14th century on an island in the salt lake of Texcoco. Upon occupying the city, the Spanish pulled down its central parts and replaced the Aztec temples with buildings constructed in the Spanish style, but they left the street layout virtually intact. The map shows the new buildings. The cathedral (Iglesia Major) is in the ...
Contributed by
Uppsala University Library
Reynard Cycle
Roman de Renart (Reynard cycle) is the most famous set of animal stories produced in the Middle Ages. It is not one story but a collection of 26 chapters composed by several clerks and minstrels around the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th. It was inspired by the Fables of the ancient Greek writer, Aesop, and by a mock epic poem in Latin by Nivardus, written in Ghent in around 1150, called Ysengrimus. Under the guise of the endless war between Reynard the Fox and ...
Contributed by
National Library of France
Book of Animals
The artist, engraver, xylographer, publisher, and entrepreneur Jost Amman (1539–91) was involved in a huge number of printing projects, several of them together with the Frankfurt-based publisher Sigmund Feyerabend. One such project was the Thierbuch (Book of animals). Printed for the first time in 1569, it comprises nearly 100 woodcuts executed by Amman, based on designs by the Augsburg painter Hans Bocksberger the Younger. The illustrations feature 70 different kinds of animals, including domestic animals (such as horse, ox, and pig), wild animals (such as bear, fox, and eagle ...
Contributed by
Bavarian State Library
Men and Creatures in Uganda
This book is a first-hand account of a trip taken by John Bland-Sutton (1855–1936) in 1910 from the port of Mombasa (present-day Kenya) to Uganda and back to the coast via the Rift Valley of Ethiopia and Kenya. Bland-Sutton was a distinguished British surgeon who did pioneering work in several areas of medicine. His interest in the natural sciences is reflected in his careful descriptions of the animals he observed, which included antelopes, gazelles, lions, crocodiles, and many species of birds. The book also provides descriptions of the Masai ...
Contributed by
National Library of Uganda