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The Islands and Mainland of the West Indies
Joan Vinckeboons (1617–70) was a Dutch cartographer and engraver born into a family of artists of Flemish origin. He was employed by the Dutch West India Company and for more than 30 years produced maps for use by Dutch mercantile and military shipping. He was a business partner of Joan Blaeu, one of the most important map and atlas publishers of the day. Vinckeboons drew a series of 200 manuscript maps that were used in the production of atlases, including Blaeu’s Atlas Maior. This pen-and-ink and watercolor map ...
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Library of Congress
Map of Santiago Bay
Joan Vinckeboons (1617–70) was a Dutch cartographer and engraver born into a family of artists of Flemish origin. He was employed by the Dutch West India Company and for more than 30 years produced maps for use by Dutch mercantile and military shipping. He was a business partner of Joan Blaeu, one of the most important map and atlas publishers of the day. Vinckeboons drew a series of 200 manuscript maps that were used in the production of atlases, including Blaeu’s Atlas Maior. This pen-and-ink and watercolor map ...
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Library of Congress
Map of Atlantic Coast of North America from the Chesapeake Bay to Florida
Joan Vinckeboons (1617–70) was a Dutch cartographer and engraver born into a family of artists of Flemish origin. He was employed by the Dutch West India Company and for more than 30 years produced maps for use by Dutch mercantile and military shipping. He was a business partner of Joan Blaeu, one of the most important map and atlas publishers of the day. Vinckeboons drew a series of 200 manuscript maps that were used in the production of atlases, including Blaeu’s Atlas Maior. This pen-and-ink and watercolor map ...
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Library of Congress
Map of the Peninsula of Florida
Joan Vinckeboons (1617–70) was a Dutch cartographer and engraver born into a family of artists of Flemish origin. He was employed by the Dutch West India Company and for more than 30 years produced maps for use by Dutch mercantile and military shipping. He was a business partner of Joan Blaeu, one of the most important map and atlas publishers of the day. Vinckeboons drew a series of 200 manuscript maps that were used in the production of atlases, including Blaeu’s Atlas Maior. This circa 1639 map of ...
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Library of Congress
Java and Australia
This manuscript map of Java and the tip of northern Australia is a copy of an earlier work by the Malaysian-Portuguese cartographer Emanuel Godinho de Eredia (1563-1623). In the 16th century, Portugal sent several expeditions to explore the islands south of Malaysia; it is possible that they gained some knowledge about the geography of Australia from these missions. Some scholars have speculated that the Malays had a knowledge of Australia, which Eredia somehow absorbed. The first documented European sighting of Australia was by the Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon, in 1606.
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National Library of Brazil
Map of Greenland
This map of Greenland is by Hans Poulsen Egede (1686–1758), the Norwegian-born Lutheran clergyman and missionary known as the “Apostle of Greenland.” Egede made two journeys, in 1723 and in 1724, to explore the west coast of Greenland with the goals of mapping the coastline and obtaining information about the ancient Norse settlements on the island. Egede lived and worked in Greenland from 1721 to 1736. Upon his return to Denmark, he had this map made and published a book, Omstændelig og udførlig relation, angaaende den grønlandske missions begyndelse ...
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Royal Library (The), Denmark
Travels in Arabia
Travels in Arabia provides an overview, intended for a general audience, of the most important European travelers to Arabia in the 18th and 19th centuries. The book was compiled and written by Bayard Taylor (1825–78), an American poet, translator, and travel writer, and first published in 1872. Shown here is a slightly revised and updated edition, published in 1892. Following brief introductory chapters about the geography of Arabia and ancient travelers to Arabia, the book devotes one or more chapters to the following explorers: Carsten Niebuhr (1733–1815), a ...
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Library of Congress
The Penetration of Arabia: A Record of the Development of Western Knowledge Concerning the Arabian Peninsula
David George Hogarth (1862–1927) was a British archaeologist and scholar who between 1887 and 1907 worked on excavations in Cyprus, Greece, and several countries of the Middle East. In 1904 he published The Penetration of Arabia, a work which, as the subtitle indicates, was an attempt to chronicle the growth of Western knowledge about the Arabian Peninsula, rather than a first-hand account based on travel to the region.  The book has two sections. “The Pioneers” analyzes the historical geography of the region from the time of Claudius Ptolemy (second ...
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Library of Congress
Map of the New Discoveries in the Eastern Ocean
This Russian map of 1781 depicts parts of eastern Siberia and the northwestern part of the North American continent, including places reached by the Russians Mikhail Gvozdev and Ivan Sind, the English explorer Captain James Cook, and others. In 1732, the expedition led by Gvozdev and the navigator Ivan Fedorov crossed the Bering Strait between Asia and America, discovered the Diomede Islands, and approached Alaska in the vicinity of Cape Prince of Wales. The expedition landed on the shore of the North American mainland, marked on the map as the ...
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National Library of Russia
Map Presenting the Discoveries of Russian Navigators in the Pacific Ocean, as Well as Those of Captain Cook
This 1787 map shows the voyages of the leading Russian explorers of the North Pacific: Bering, Chirikov, Krenitsyn, Shpanberg, Walton, Shel'ting, and Petushkov. It also shows the 1778-79 voyage of British Captain James Cook. The route of each voyage is depicted in great detail, with ship locations plotted by the day. Other details on the map include administrative borders, population centers, Chukchi dwellings, and impassable ice. The inset map is of Kodiak Island, Alaska, denoted here by its Russian name of Kykhtak.
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National Library of Russia
“Shipwrecked” by Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, and the Description of the Journey Which he Made Through Florida with Panfilo de Narvaez
Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca (1490-1560) was second in command of an expedition led by Pánfilo de Narváez (1478-1528) that left Spain in June 1527 with five ships and 600 men with the mission of establishing a colony in “Florida.” The expedition suffered storms, desertions, disease, and other difficulties in the Caribbean. On November 5 and 6, 1528, 80 surviving members of the expedition were shipwrecked on or near Galveston Island, Texas. After living among the local Native Americans for six years, Cabeza de Vaca and three other survivors headed ...
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Library of Congress
St. Augustine: Part (Below Thirty Degrees Latitude) is on the Mainland of Florida, but the Sea Coast is More Low-Lying and thus Torn Away and Rendered Island-Like
This map is the earliest engraving of any city or territory now part of the United States. It also includes the dorado fish, one of the natural history subjects drawn by John White, governor of the first Anglo-American settlement in America, in the Hatteras region, then part of Virginia (now North Carolina). Sir Francis Drake’s 1585-86 raid on the West Indies picked up the Virginia settlers and returned them to Europe. In the course of the return voyage, the author of this view-plan was able to copy the figure ...
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Library of Congress
A Journal of Captain Cook's Last Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, and in Quest of a North-West Passage Between Asia & America, Performed in the Years 1776, 1777, 1778, and 1779
The American explorer and adventurer John Ledyard was born in Groton, Connecticut, in 1751. After studying briefly at Dartmouth College, he went to sea as a common sailor. He was forced to join the British Navy, and from June 1776 to October 1780 was a marine on Captain James Cook’s third voyage to the Pacific. This book recounts his observations of Alaska, Kamchatka, southern China, and the islands of the South Pacific. Ledyard later conceived of a plan to cross Russia, continue across the Bering Strait to Alaska, and ...
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Library of Congress
Explorations in Africa, By Dr. David Livingstone, and Others, Giving a Full Account of the Stanley-Livingstone Expedition of Search, under the Patronage of the New York Herald, as Furnished by Dr. Livingstone and Mr. Stanley
David Livingstone (1813-73) was a Scottish missionary and medical doctor who explored much of the interior of Africa. In a remarkable journey in 1853-56, he became the first European to cross the African continent. Starting on the Zambezi River, he traveled north and west across Angola to reach the Atlantic at Luanda. On his return journey he followed the Zambezi to its mouth on the Indian Ocean in present-day Mozambique. Livingstone’s most famous expedition was in 1866-73, when he explored central Africa in an attempt to find the source ...
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Library of Congress
The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa. From Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-five to his Death. Continued by a Narrative of his Last Moments and Sufferings, Obtained from his Faithful Servants, Chuma and Susi, by Horace Waller, F.R.G.S., Rector of Twywell, Northhampton
David Livingstone (1813–73) was a Scottish missionary and medical doctor who explored much of the interior of Africa. Livingstone’s most famous expedition was in 1866–73, when he traversed much of central Africa in an attempt to find the source of the Nile. This book contains the daily journals that Livingstone kept on this expedition, from his first entry on January 28, 1866, when he arrived at Zanzibar (in present-day Tanzania), to his last on April 27, 1873, four days before he died from malaria and dysentery in ...
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Library of Congress
This Chart was Compiled on the Siberian Expedition under the Command of Navy Captain Bering from Tobolsk to the Chukotkan Corner
Vitus Jonassen Bering (1681–1741) was born in Denmark but spent most of his adult life in the Russian navy. In 1725, Tsar Peter I (Peter the Great) instructed Bering to undertake an expedition to find the point at which Siberia connected to America. In what became known as the First Kamchatka Expedition (1725–30), Bering traveled overland from St. Petersburg via Tobolsk to the Kamchatka Peninsula, where he had a ship, the Saint Gabriel, constructed. In 1728 he sailed north along the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula. In August ...
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National Library of Sweden
The Special Features of French Antarctica, Otherwise Called America, and of Several Lands and Islands Discovered in Our Time
André Thevet (1516/17-92) was a Franciscan friar who traveled widely and, through his writings, helped to establish cosmographie--as geography was called at the time--as a science in 16th-century France. After making trips to Africa and the Middle East in the 1540s, he was appointed chaplain to the expedition of Nicolas Durand de Villegagnon, which set out from Le Havre in May 1555 to establish a colony in Brazil. The expedition landed near present-day Rio de Janeiro in November of the same year. In January 1556, Thevet fell ill ...
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Library of Congress
Concerning Discovered Islands: Letter of Christopher Columbus, to Whom Our Age is Greatly Indebted, Concerning Islands Recently Discovered in the Indian Ocean
This small work, published in 1493, is a Latin edition of a letter by Christopher Columbus announcing his discoveries of the previous year. It most likely was produced in Basel, Switzerland, by Jakob Wolff, a well-known printer who was active in Basel from 1488 to 1518. The work contains some of the first published images purporting to show the New World, including one depicting Columbus landing on a shore and making contact with indigenous people, and one showing the building of a town. At the top of both illustrations are ...
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John Carter Brown Library
On the New World or Landscape Recently Discovered by the Illustrious King of Portugal Through the Very Best Pilots and Sea Experts of the World
This work is the only known copy of a Dutch translation of a letter from Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512) to Lorenzo de Medici (1463-1503), describing Vespucci's third voyage to America, undertaken in 1501-02 in the service of the king of Portugal. The work was published in Antwerp circa 1507 by the famous Flemish printer Joes van Doesborgh. The book is a translation of a Latin text, published in Paris in 1503, under the title Mundus novus (New world), which was itself a translation from Vespucci’s original Italian. In the ...
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John Carter Brown Library
Concerning the Savages, or, the Voyage of Samuel Champlain, from Brouage, Made in New France in 1603...
This book is an account of Champlain’s first voyage to New France, or Canada, in 1603. Amyar de Chastes, the governor of Dieppe, received from King Henry IV of France a grant of land in Canada, and asked Champlain to accompany him on a voyage to explore the territory. The expedition left Honfleur on March 15, 1603, and reached Tadoussac after a 40-day Atlantic crossing. Champlain first explored some 50-60 kilometers up the Saguenay River. He then proceeded up the Saint Lawrence River to near present-day Montreal. He returned ...
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John Carter Brown Library
The Splendid Narrative of Ferdinand Cortes About the New Spain of the Sea and Ocean Transmitted to the Most Sacred and Invincible, Always August Charles Emperor of the Romans, King of the Spaniards in the Year of the Lord 1520: In Which is Contained Many Things Worthy of Knowledge and Admiration About the Excellent Cities of Their Provinces…Above All About the Famous City Temixtitan and Its Diverse Wonders, Which Will Wondrously Please the Reader
Between July 1519 and September 1526, Hernando Cortés (1485-1547), the soldier and adventurer who in 1519-21 conquered for Spain what is now central and southern Mexico, sent five extended letters to Emperor Charles V in which he described his exploits and placed himself and his actions in a favorable light. This book contains the first Latin edition of Cortes’s second letter. In it, Cortés gives an account of his first meeting with the Aztec emperor, Montezuma II. Dated October 30, 1520, the letter was translated from Spanish into Latin ...
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John Carter Brown Library