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The Luminous Treasure with Acceptable Answers to Matters of Faith
Aḥmad ibn ʻAbd al-Laṭīf ibn Aḥmad al-Bashbīshī (1631–85) was an Islamic jurist of the Shāfiʻī school of jurisprudence. He was born and died in the village of Bashbīsh in the region of Al-Mahalla in the Nile delta of Egypt. He studied Islamic jurisprudence in Cairo and taught at the Cairo-based Al-Azhar Mosque, long considered the foremost institution in the Islamic world for the study of Sunni theology. Al-Tuhfa al-Saniyya bi Ajwibat al-Masaa’il al-Mardhiyya (The luminous treasure with acceptable answers to matters of faith) is a collection of writings ...
Contributed by
King Abdulaziz University Library
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
Final Concord Between William Shakespeare and Hercules Underhill
The final concord between William Shakespeare and Hercules Underhill is the confirming title to Shakespeare's New Place house in Stratford-upon-Avon, signed Michaelmas 1602. Shakespeare originally purchased New Place in May 1597 from William Underhill. Underhill was poisoned two months later by Fulke Underhill, his oldest son and heir, who was hanged for the crime in 1599. When Hercules Underhill, Fulke's younger brother, came of age, Shakespeare protected his title to New Place by paying him to reconfirm the purchase. As was the custom, three copies of the final ...
Contributed by
Folger Shakespeare Library
Traditional Chinese Medical Methods of Treatment of Smallpox and Measles
This work was compiled by Wan Quan (1495–1580), a famed physician of the Ming dynasty. A native of Luotian, Hubei Province, Wan Quan came from a family of physicians. His works, such as one on Su wen (Basic questions), followed the schools of Zhang Zhongjing, Liu Hejian, Li Dongyuan and Zhu Danxi, the four great physicians of the Jin and Yuan dynasties (1115–1368). At least ten works are known to have been written by Wan Quan. His subjects cover a wide range of topics, including fevers, maintenance of ...
Contributed by
National Central Library
General Ledger, 1600–1608
The Officina Plantiniana, also known as the Plantin Press or Plantijnse Drukkerij, was established in 1555 by Christopher Plantin (1520–89), the greatest typographer and printer-publisher of his day. The Officina grew to become the largest printing and publishing house in Europe and helped to make Antwerp, along with Venice and Paris, one of the most important centers of printing in the West. Shown here is a ledger that provides a summary of the daily journaux (account books) of the activities of the press in the years 1600–1608 when ...
Contributed by
Museum Plantin-Moretus/Print Room
The Tales of Ise
Ise monogatari (The tales of Ise) is a collection of some 125 brief episodes, combining elements of prose and poetry, that dates from the early Heian period (9th−10th centuries). The protagonist is believed to be modeled on Ariwarano Narihira (825−80), a handsome aristocrat who had many romantic affairs. The main character’s romances, friendships, heartbroken wandering life, and various other stories are narrated in a style that owes much to waka (literally, Japanese poems). The work had a great influence on later Japanese literature, including Genji monogatari (The ...
Contributed by
National Diet Library
New and Precise Depiction of the Southern Part of America, Which Includes: Brazil, the Carribean, the New Kingdom of Guiana, Castilia del Oro, Nicaragua, the Antilles, and Peru: And Beneath the Tropic of Capricorn, Chile, the Rio de la Plato, Patagonia & the Straits of Magellan
This folding map of South America and the West Indies, printed on two separate sheets, with uncut margins, was engraved for the second edition of the fourth part of Hulsius' collection of voyages, which consists altogether of 26 parts. The "Vierte Schiffart" (Fourth voyage) is an account of Ulrich Schmidel's voyage to Brazil and the Rio de la Plata from 1534 to 1554. In this second edition of the map, three islands have been inserted below the bottom border of the lower map, with the name "Francisci Draco Ins ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Verses in Persian and Chaghatay
This calligraphic fragment includes a number of verses in Persian and Chaghatay Turkish (Turkish spoken in Central Asia). A continuous Persian lyrical poem (ghazal) is written in the top and bottom horizontal rectangular panels. Another ghazal appears written in diagonal in the right and left vertical columns. Both ghazals are by the famous Persian poet Shaykh Sa'di (died 1292) and address moral issues. In the central text panel, verses in Chaghatay Turkish are written in black nasta'liq script on beige paper, surrounded by cloud bands on a gold ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Description of the Coasts, Points, Harbours and Islands of New France
This portolan-style chart on vellum was compiled by Samuel de Champlain (1567-1635), the founder of New France, and was originally intended for presentation to the King of France. One of the great cartographic treasures of America, the map offers the first thorough delineation of the New England and Canadian coasts from Cape Sable to Cape Cod, showing Port Royal; Frenchman's Bay; the St. John, St. Croix, Penobscot, and Kennebec Rivers; and Mount Desert Island, which Champlain himself named. The place names and coast line correspond closely to Champlain's ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
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 ...
Contributed by
John Carter Brown Library
Zemaitija Land Court Year Book for 1604
At the height of its power in the 15th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania ruled over the territory of present-day Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine, and parts of Estonia, Moldova, Poland, and Russia. In the Union of Lublin of 1569, the Grand Duchy and the Kingdom of Poland merged to form the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The commonwealth had a highly developed legal and administrative system, based on local land courts that decided civil cases involving the gentry and castle courts that dealt with other local matters, including criminal cases. Courts ...
Contributed by
Vilnius University Library
An Arabic Translation of the Astronomical Tables of Ulugh Beg
This manuscript contains a 15th–16th century translation from Persian into Arabic by Yaḥyā ibn Alī al-Rifā‘ī of the introduction of the celebrated zīj (astronomical tables or records of daily occurrences) by Ulugh Beg (1394–1449). In the introduction to his work, al-Rifā‘ī states that he undertook the project at the behest of Egyptian astronomer Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Abū al-Fatḥ al-Ṣūf ī al-Miṣrī (died circa 1494), who was involved in studying and revising Ulugh Beg's zīj for Cairo's geographical coordinates. The present manuscript copy of ...
Contributed by
National Library and Archives of Egypt
Great Universal Geographic Map
Contributed by
James Ford Bell Library, University of Minnesota
Instruments for the Restoration of Astronomy
Tycho Brahe (1546–1601) was a Danish astronomer who built the best observatory in Europe and set a new standard for accurate celestial observations in the era before the invention of the telescope. His noble birth enabled him to pursue his true interests in the humanities and the sciences, particularly astronomy. He became adept at designing scientific instruments and making observations during his early travels in Europe. Upon his return to Denmark he won favor with King Frederick II, who provided him with monetary support to continue his astronomical researches ...
Contributed by
Smithsonian Institution
Memorials of Lü Xinwu
Memorials were personal memoranda presented by officials to the emperor, often with proposals for action. They were one of the chief media for communication between the emperor and his officials. The memorials provide insight into the range of views held at the time on various subjects, and are important historical sources. This is a collection of memorials by Lü Kun (1536–1618), style name Xinwu. Lü Kun was a scholar and thinker who achieved his jin shi degree in 1574 at age of 38, after he had observed the period ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
A Letter Confirming Nobility
This manuscript from Mexico City is the record of testimony offered by Sebastián Vizcaíno (1550?-1615) in 1597-1600 to prove the noble status of his wife, Magdalena Martínez Orejón, and her brother, Francisco Martínez Orejón. Vizcaíno was a prominent Mexico City merchant and an explorer of Baja California. The proofs of nobility were important to defend Vizcaíno's brother-in-law, Francisco Martínez Orejón, in a lawsuit that put him in debtor's prison. The text is written in an italic style in black ink within ruled frames, on both sides of ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha
In 1829, the Spanish scholar and bibliographer Vicente Salvá determined that this book was the true editio princeps (first printed edition) of the first volume of El ingenioso hidalgo don Quixote de la Mancha (The ingenious gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha). Until then, it had been considered a second edition, printed in the same year. Encouraged by the success of other fictional works, such as Mateo Alemán’s Guzmán de Alfarache (The life of Guzman de Alfarache), Francisco de Robles, printer to the king, bought the rights to publish ...
Contributed by
National Library of Spain
New Hydrographic Map of the Sea and New Southern Lands: Made by the Cosmographer and Mathematician Emanuel Godinho de Eredia
This hydrographic map is the work of Malaysian-Portuguese cartographer Emanuel Godinho de Eredia (1563-1623). At the turn of the 17th century, the Portuguese were exploring southeast Asia from their base in Malacca, searching for the “Islands of Gold” that figured prominently in Malaysian legends. Around 1602, the Viceroy of Portuguese India commissioned an expedition around the islands south of Malaysia and India.  Eredia served as a soldier and engineer on the mission and completed this map around the same time. His work, however, is suspected to be based more on ...
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
Description of the Eight Pageants Held during the Games on the Occasion of the Christening of Princess Elisabeth of Hesse, 1596
In 1596 Landgrave Moritz of Hesse (1572–1632) celebrated the christening of his daughter, Elisabeth von Hessen-Kassel (1596–1625), with four days of lavish games, tournaments, and fireworks. This manuscript was compiled and executed by an unknown hand. It details the costumes of eight inventions (pageants) accompanying the central Ringelrennen (game of skills as a late variant of the medieval tournament games), which took place on August 27, 1596. Each pageant presents an allegorical or mythological motif, using an abundance of 165 finely detailed fantastic costumes. The eight pageants presented ...
Contributed by
Bavarian State Library
Conrad Grünenberg’s Armorial
Conrad Grünenberg was an important burgher and knight and a descendant of a patrician dynasty from Konstanz, located on Lake Constance in southwestern Germany. There is no evidence for the exact date of his birth or death. His name first appears when he is mentioned as a builder commissioned by the town of Konstanz in 1442. Grünenberg occupied himself with heraldry and composed an armorial that came to bear his name. Several copies later were produced from Grünenberg’s original autograph copy, one of which is this splendid manuscript from ...
Contributed by
Bavarian State Library
Hieroglyphs: Commentaries on the Sacred Letters of the Egyptians and Other Peoples
Hieroglyphica by the Italian humanist Pierio Valeriano (1477–1560), also known by the Latinized version of his name, Pierius Valerianus, is the first modern study of Egyptian hieroglyphs. Originally published in Basel, Switzerland, in 1556, the book became very popular in Europe. It was reprinted in the 16th and 17th centuries and translated from the original Latin into French and Italian. This Latin edition was published in Lyon, France, in 1602. Valeriano partly based his book on the Hieroglyphica of Horapollo, who is said to have been an Egyptian priest ...
Contributed by
Museum Plantin-Moretus/Print Room