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Type of Item
Map Showing the Different Routes Surveyed for the Union Pacific Rail Road Between the Missouri River and the Platte Valley
President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act into law on July 1, 1862. The act gave two companies, the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad, responsibility for completing the transcontinental railroad. The Union Pacific was to lay track westward from a point near Omaha, Nebraska toward Ogden, Utah; the Central Pacific was to build eastward from Sacramento, California. The Union Pacific began construction on December 2, 1863. This map, submitted to Secretary of Interior James Harlan on September 18, 1865, by Lieutenant Colonel J.H. Simpson of ...
General Map of the Swedish Kingdom
In 1683 Swedish cartographer Carl Gripenhielm (1655–94) was appointed the first director of the Swedish Land Survey. Much of Sweden was at that time sparsely populated and not well surveyed. Gripenhielm undertook an ambitious program of mapping and surveying, extending over several decades. The completion of detailed maps of Sweden’s agricultural land, forests, and surrounding seas coincided with the country’s economic development and its rise to great power status under the rule of strong monarchs and a centralized state bureaucracy. By the 18th century, Sweden’s cartographical ...
Overview Map of Arabia. Based on C. Ritter's Geography Book III, West Asia, Parts XII−XIII
German geographer and cartographer Heinrich Kiepert (1818–99) is generally regarded as one of the most important scholarly cartographers of the second half of the 19th century. He was head of the Geographical Institute in Weimar between 1845 and 1852 and professor at the University of Berlin from 1852 until his death. Shown here is Kiepert’s 1852 map of Arabia. As indicated in the title, it is based on “C. Ritter’s geography book.” The latter refers to Die Erdkunde im Verhältnis zur Natur und zur Geschichte des Menschen ...
Northeast Africa and Arabia Drawn to the Scale of 1:12,500,000
This map of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula is from the sixth edition (1875) of Stieler's Hand-Atlas über alle Theile der Erde (Stieler’s portable atlas of all parts of the Earth), edited by August Heinrich Petermann (1822−78) and published by the firm of Justus Perthes. The map reflects the high quality of German cartography in the latter part of the 19th century and the advances made by German mapmakers in incorporating into their work findings from geology, hydrography, ethnography, and other scientific fields. The map uses ...
Bukhara, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Etcetera
This mid-19th century British map shows Bukhara (an independent khanate located in what is today Uzbekistan), Afghanistan, Baluchistan (in present-day Iran and Pakistan), and the eastern part of Persia (present-day Iran). Five different geographic scales are provided on the left and right margins of the map: Indian cos (i.e., kos, a measure of distance dating from ancient India and still used in the 19th century), Persian farsangs (or parasangs; one farsang was equal to approximately 5.56 kilometers), French leagues, English miles, and “Hours of a Karavan of Camels ...
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 ...
Through the Brazilian Wilderness, by Theodore Roosevelt: With Illustrations from Photographs by Kermit Roosevelt and Other Members of the Expedition
After failing to win a third term in the elections of 1912, former U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt planned a speaking trip to Argentina and Brazil and a cruise up the Amazon. The government of Brazil suggested that Roosevelt join the famous Brazilian explorer Cândido Rondon in an expedition down the recently discovered River of Doubt. Roosevelt accepted the invitation and, accompanied by his son Kermit, reached the river with Rondon on February 27, 1914. From the beginning, the expedition was fraught with difficulties, including disease, lack of supplies, and ...
Journal of a Tour through Part of the Snowy Range of the Himālā Mountains, and to the Sources of the Rivers Jumna and Ganges
James Baillie Fraser (1783-1856) was a Scot who in 1813 went to Kolkata (Calcutta) to join the family firm of Becher and Fraser. He remained there until 1820. In 1815, he accompanied his brother William, who was taking part in the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814-16, on an expedition into the Garwhal Hills to find the sources of the Jumna and Ganges rivers. James and William Fraser were the first Europeans to reach many of the places they visited, which James vividly described in this account of the journey. He characterized ...
Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi and its Tributaries; and of the Discovery of the Lakes Shirwa and Nyassa. 1858-1864
Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone (1813–73) made three great African voyages: across the continent in 1852–56, up the Zambezi River in 1858–64, and the unsuccessful attempt to find the source of the Nile in 1866–73. Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambezi and Its Tributaries is Livingstone’s account of the second journey. It was on this voyage, in 1859, that Livingstone reached and named Lake Nyasa. In contrast to his first expedition, which made Livingstone a national celebrity, establishing him as an explorer, promoter ...
Sketch Map of Africa with a Comparative Overview of the Journeys of Dr. Barth and Dr. Livingstone
This map compares the voyages of the British explorer David Livingstone (1813-73), who traveled down the Zambezi River in 1851-56, and the German Heinrich Barth (1821-65) who, between 1850 and 1855, explored much of western Africa and the Sahara. Barth traveled to western Sudan, Chad, and northern Nigeria, where he researched the decline of the Fulani Empire and the history of the Hausa people, and recorded local languages and histories. In 1855, he spent eight months in Timbuktu, where he studied the Islamic culture of West Africa. Barth later published ...
Profile Showing the Grades upon the Different Routes Surveyed for the Union Pacific Rail Road Between the Missouri River and the Valley of the Platte River
President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act into law on July 1, 1862. The act gave two companies, the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad, responsibility for completing the transcontinental railroad. The Union Pacific was to lay track westward from a point near Omaha, Nebraska, toward Ogden, Utah; the Central Pacific was to build eastward from Sacramento, California. Under the authorizing legislation, the railroad was not to have grades or curves exceeding the maximums on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the first U.S. railroad to cross the ...
Through Unknown African Countries: the First Expedition from Somaliland to Lake Rudolf
A. Donaldson Smith was an American medical doctor and amateur big-game hunter who, in 1894-95, undertook an 18-month expedition from Berbera, Somalia (then British Somaliland) to Lake Turkana (then Lake Rudolf) in Kenya. He explored the headwaters of the Shabeelle River in Ethiopia and, on his return journey, descended the Tana River to the Kenyan coast. This book is his account of the expedition. Its appendices contain detailed descriptions and illustrations of the fishes, spiders and scorpions, moths, geological specimens, fossils, plants, and ethnographic objects collected on the expedition. Also ...
Report of the Expedition in 1892 to the Trans-Ural Steppe of the Urals Region and to Ust-Urt
In 1892, the shareholders of the Ryazan–Uralsk Railroad Company sponsored an expedition to the Trans-Ural steppe region of the Urals and to Ust-Urt for the purpose of determining the type and volume of cargo that could be carried on a projected rail route from Ryazan to Uralsk. The engineer and geologist S.N. Nikitin directed the expedition and prepared this report. Nikitin also investigated the deposits of oil, common salt, and other minerals found along the route. When completed in 1894, the Ryazan–Uralsk Railroad linked the center of ...
Essays on Northwestern Mongolia: Results of the 1879–1880 Travels for the Imperial Russian Geographical Society
Grigorii Nikolaevich Potanin (1835–1920) was a Russian scholar and public figure, a pioneer of regional studies, and an expert on the cultural life of Siberia. Learned as a geographer, historian, ethnographer, and naturalist, he traveled extensively to parts of present-day Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and China, beginning with his military service. He studied mathematics and physics at the University of Saint Petersburg in 1859–61. He and a friend, Nikolai Yadrintsev (1842–94), were accused of fostering Siberian separatism, convicted, and sentenced to hard labor and exiled to Siberia. Rehabilitated in ...
The U.S. Grinnell Expedition in Search of Sir John Franklin: a Personal Narrative
Elisha Kent Kane (1820–57) was an American Arctic explorer. He studied medicine in his native Philadelphia and in 1843 entered the U.S. Navy as a surgeon. In 1850 he sailed as the senior medical officer and naturalist on an expedition in search of Sir John Franklin (1786–1847), the British naval officer and explorer who had been missing in the Canadian Arctic since 1845. Funded by New York merchant Henry Grinnell and carried out by the U.S. Navy, the expedition explored Lancaster Sound and Wellington Channel and ...
South: The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition, 1914–17
After the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole in December 1911, the British explorer Ernest Henry Shackleton, who had come within 180.6 kilometers of the pole in 1909, decided that the last great Antarctic journey to be achieved was a crossing of the continent. After fitting out the ship Endurance, Shackleton headed south from England in September 1914. The Endurance left the whaling station at Grytviken, South Georgia Island on December 5. In January 1915 the ship encountered heavy pack ice in the Weddell Sea, and eventually ...
The Heart of the Antarctic; Being the Story of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907–1909
The British Antarctic Expedition of 1907–9, led by Ernest H. Shackleton, left Port Lyttelton, New Zealand, in the ship Nimrod on January 1, 1908. On February 3, the Nimrod deposited Shackleton and a party of 14 men at Cape Royds, on Ross Island. The men divided into three groups. One would try to reach the South Pole, a second went north to reach the South Magnetic Pole, while a third was to explore the mountains west of McMurdo Sound. Shackleton, three companions, and four ponies set out for the ...
Sahara and Sudan: The Results of Six Years Travel in Africa
Sahǎrâ und Sûdân (Sahara and Sudan) is a detailed account of the six-year journey across the Sahara undertaken in 1869–75 by German explorer Gustav Nachtigal (1834–85). The son of a Lutheran pastor from the town of Eichstedt in Saxony-Anhalt, Nachtigal trained as a doctor and for several years practiced as a military surgeon in Cologne. After contracting a severe lung disease, in October 1862 he moved to Bona (present-day Annaba), Algeria, in hopes of regaining his health in the warm, dry climate. The following year he settled in ...
Roald Amundsen's "The North West Passage"; Being the Record of a Voyage of Exploration of the Ship "Gjöa", 1903-1907
Attempts to find the Northwest Passage—a water route from Europe to Asia through the Arctic archipelago north of the Canadian mainland—began as far back as the late-15th century. After numerous failures, many involving disaster and great loss of life, the Northwest Passage finally was successfully navigated in 1903–6 by the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen (1872–1928). Amundsen and a small crew of six left Christiania (present-day Oslo, Norway) in the converted 47-ton fishing boat Gjöa on June 16, 1903. They proceeded to the west coast of Greenland ...
Sacred Images of the Indians, Province of Antioquia
The figures depicted in this watercolor by Henry Price (1819–63) represent sacred symbols, probably made of gold. The province of Antioquia, Colombia, was famous for its abundance of gold, prized by both the indigenous people and the Spanish colonizers. Price was a British painter and musician who was one of the draftsmen of the Comisión Corográfica (Chorographic Commission), a body tasked with studying the geography, natural resources, natural history, regional culture, and agriculture of the Republic of New Granada (present-day Colombia and Panama). He was born in London but ...
Antique Pottery: Brazier, Pitcher, or Vessel for Offerings, Province of Antioquia
This watercolor by Henry Price (1819–63) depicts pottery from Colombia decorated with zoomorphic figures. The term brasero in the lower-left corner suggests that these items may have been used as braziers, but they also could have been ritual vessels for sacred offerings. Price was a British painter and musician who was one of the draftsmen of the Comisión Corográfica (Chorographic Commission), a body tasked with studying the geography, natural resources, natural history, regional culture, and agriculture of the Republic of New Granada (present-day Colombia and Panama). He was born ...