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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.
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
El melopeo y maestro: Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Music
Pedro (Pietro) Cerone (1566–1625) was born in Bergamo, Italy. After training as a musician, singer, and priest in Italy, he travelled to Spain as a pilgrim to Santiago de Compostela in about 1593. A year later, mired in poverty and living in Madrid, he came under the protection of Santiago Gratii (Caballero de Gracia), in whose music academy he was able to work. Thanks probably to Caballero de Gracia, he was able to serve in the Royal Chapel of Phillip II and later that of Philip III. Around 1603 ...
Contributed by
National Library of Spain
Fabrica, or Dictionary of Vernacular Arabic and Italian Language
Dominicus Germanus de Silesia (1588–1670) was a German priest and missionary. Born in Schurgast (present-day Skorogoszcz, Poland), he entered the Franciscan order in 1624 and devoted himself to learning Arabic, Persian, and Turkish. In 1630 he went to Palestine as a pastor, where he continued with his language studies. In 1635 he returned to Rome where he joined the Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda de Fide (Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith). In 1636 he became a teacher at the Mission of San Pietro in Montorio, Rome, and ...
Contributed by
Qatar National Library
New Image of Brazil
This map of Brazil is the work of Willem Blaeu (1571-1638), the founder of a famous Dutch mapmaking dynasty. Blaeu studied astronomy, mathematics, and globe-making with the Danish scholar Tycho Brahe before establishing his mapmaking studio in Amsterdam. In 1633, he was appointed mapmaker of the Dutch East India Company. In 1635, together with his sons Joan and Cornelis, Blaeu published the Atlas Novus (New atlas), an 11-volume work consisting of 594 maps.
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
Paraguay, or the Province of the Rio de la Plata, with the Adjacent Regions Tucamen and Santa Cruz de la Sierra
This map of Paraguay and the Rio de la Plata basin is the work of Willem Blaeu (1571-1638), the founder of a famous Dutch mapmaking dynasty. Blaeu studied astronomy, mathematics, and globe-making with the Danish scholar Tycho Brahe before establishing his mapmaking studio in Amsterdam. In 1633, he was appointed mapmaker of the Dutch East India Company. In 1635, together with his sons Joan and Cornelis, Blaeu published the Atlas Novus (New atlas), an 11-volume work consisting of 594 maps.
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
A Most Accurate Picture of Brazil
This early map showing Bahia state in Brazil is the work of Henricus Hondius (died 1638), a member of a famous Dutch mapmaking family. His father, Jodocus Hondius (1563-1612), acquired the plates for Gerard Mercator’s Atlas in 1604, and in 1606 published a new edition of this work. Henricus and his brother-in-law, Jan Jannson (died 1664), published the Novus Atlas (New atlas) in 1637. Dutch maps of the 16th century were marked by illustrated inserts, as seen on this map, and were generally the work of mapmaking families.
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National Library of Brazil
Bill of Sale from Henry Walker to William Shakespeare, 1613
This deed of bargain and sale, dated March 10, 1613, records William Shakespeare's purchase of a gatehouse in the Blackfriars district of London, from Henry Walker, citizen and minstrel of London. Shakespeare paid £80 of the £140 selling price up front, and on the day after the conveyance he mortgaged the remaining £60 back to Walker. William Johnson, citizen and vintner of London, and John Jackson and John Heminge, gentlemen, acted as trustees in Shakespeare's interest. They also were in charge of the sale of the property following ...
Contributed by
Folger Shakespeare Library
The First Folio of Shakespeare
Printed in the large “folio” size, the First Folio is the first collected edition of the plays of William Shakespeare. It was put together after his death in 1616 by two fellow actors, John Heminge and Henry Condell, and was published in 1623. The book contains the complete text of 36 of Shakespeare’s plays. The principal publishers were Edward Blount (1565–1632), a London bookseller and publisher, and Isaac Jaggard (died 1627), son of William Jaggard (circa 1568–1623), a printer and publisher long associated with Shakespeare, who died ...
Contributed by
Folger Shakespeare Library
The Administrative Maps of the Ming Dynasty (Incomplete Copy)
The author of this work was Chen Zushou (died 1637), a late-Ming literary author. A native of Yanling (present-day Changzhou, Jiangsu Province), Chen Zushou received his jin shi degree in 1634 and became, in the following year, an official at the Bureau of Operations, one of the four bureaus in the Ministry of War. In 1636, while working at the ministry, he wrote this book, based on a large number of earlier works and contemporary local records, including maps. The original edition, very rich in content, had three juan in ...
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National Central Library
Two of the Master Jāmī’s Works on Prosody; Anonymous Treatise on Astronomy
This Persian manuscript dated 1025 AH (1616) contains two works on prosody by Nūr al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Rahmān Jāmī (1414–92), as well as an incomplete, anonymous work on astronomy. Jāmī was a great poet, scholar, and mystic who lived most of his life in Herat, present-day Afghanistan. The 69 leaves of the manuscript are on a variety of papers: thin, pink-colored laid paper (folios 1a−31b); cream-colored laid paper (folios 32a−35b); pink-colored laid paper (folios 36a−37b); cream-color laid paper (folios 38a−40b); light-green-colored laid paper (folios 41a−45b ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Selections from the Shāhnāmeh of the Learned Abū al-Qāsim Firdawsi, May he be Blessed and May his Sins be Pardoned
This manuscript from the early 17th century contains selections from the Shāhnāmeh (Book of kings), the epic-historical work of Persian literature composed at the end of the tenth century by the poet Abū al-Qāsim Firdawsī (940–1020). This beloved epic of pre-Islamic Persia (present-day Iran) was widely read in Persia, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. The manuscript contains three half-page paintings showing different battles. The text is preceded by an introduction and table of contents (folios 1b−6b) and is written in black ink in a nastaʻliq script. The pages are ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Tsukishima
Tsukishima is a Kōwaka-mai (dance drama) ballad that dates from the Muromachi period (1336−1573). It is also called Hyōgo or Hyōgo tsukishima. The literal meaning of “tsukishima” is "making an island," and the ballad is based on an episode in which Taira no Kiyomori (1118−81), a general and noble, built a new port in Fukuhara, Hyōgo. The story starts with Kiyomori's decision to build the port. To ensure the success of the construction, 30 people are captured in order to be made human sacrifices to the gods ...
Contributed by
National Diet Library
Military Epic about the Life of Yoshitsune
Gikei ki tells a fictional story based on the life of Minamoto Yoshitsune, a famous military commander of the 12th century. In the book, Yoshitsune’s elder brother Minamoto Yoritomo, the first shogun in the history of Japan, becomes suspicious of his younger brother’s ambition after his glorious victories in a series of battles. By order of Yoritomo, Yoshitsune is expelled from Kyoto, hounded, and finally forced to commit suicide. The tragic story of Yoshitsune has long been popular in Japan and was often described in novels and dramas ...
Contributed by
National Diet Library
A Modern Depiction of the World, Done by Philippus Eckebrecht, Citizen of Nuremberg, for the Sole Reason of Bringing the Depiction into Line with the Equator According to the Astronomical Tabulae Rudophinae: Financed by Ioannes Kepler and Engraved at Nuremberg by J. P. Walch
Although dated 1630, this “modern depiction of the world,” by Philippus Eckebrecht appears to be a later reprinting. It is dedicated to Emperor Leopold I of the Holy Roman Empire, who came to the throne only in 1658. The map was originally produced at the behest of astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) to reflect his new calculations of longitude and latitude based on planetary observation. First published in 1627, Kepler’s astronomical tables were vastly more accurate than any previously existing. Framed by the two-headed eagle of the Holy Roman Empire ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Curious Designs
Braccelli’s Bizzarie di varie figure contains a suite of 50 etchings that celebrate the human figure in geometric forms. Squares, triangles, circles, and parallelograms take the place of muscle, bone, and tissue, defining the body in a new visual vocabulary. Braccelli’s designs are unique in the history of book illustration. They represent a high point in the Mannerist style of etching that flourished in the 17th century. Mannerism incorporated the techniques of the Renaissance but rejected the classical imagery and harmonious style that is the hallmark of much ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Venezuela Together with the Southern Part of New Andalusia
Henricus Hondius (1597-1651) was the son of Jodocus Hondius (1563-1612), a Flemish cartographer and engraver who settled in Amsterdam in about 1593 and established a business that produced globes and the first large maps of the world. In 1604, Hondius acquired the plates for Mercator’s world atlas and in 1606 published a new edition of this famous work. Following Hondius’ death in 1612, Henricus and his brother Jodocus carried on the family business. With his brother-in-law Johann Jansson, Henricus continued publication of what became known as the Mercator-Hondius atlas ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Chronicle of Foreign Lands
The Zhifang waiji (Chronicle of foreign lands) is a concise geography of the world, the first of its kind written in Chinese. The Italian Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci produced a map of the world in Chinese in 1584. The map, which followed Western principles of cartography then unknown in China, underwent several revisions between 1584 and 1602. Ricci’s fellow priests Diego de Pantoja and Sabatino de Ursis were instructed by imperial order to compose a book explaining the map. Pantoja died in 1618 and the work eventually was completed ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Belgium as a Lion
In the 16th and 17th centuries, maps of the Low Countries frequently were drawn in the form of a lion, known by its Latin designation, Leo Belgicus. The “Belgian” lion usually included all of the 17 provinces variously referred to as the Netherlands or the Low Countries, even though the seven provinces of the north broke away in 1581 to form the Dutch Republic. Symbols of Dutch patriotism, these maps often appeared in 17th-century Dutch paintings, hanging on the walls of inns or private homes, as in Jan Vermeer’s ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Manual Vocabulary of the Spanish and Mexican Languages: In Which are Contained the Words, Questions, and Answers Commonly and Usually Found in the Treatment and Communication Between Spaniards and Indians
This work, published in Mexico City in 1611, is the first edition of the most important and most frequently reprinted Spanish work on Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs. It contains both a Spanish-Nahuatl (pages 1-100) and a Nahuatl-Spanish (pages 101-160) dictionary, in which the Nahuatl words are spelled out phonetically. Classical Nahuatl, the language of the Aztec Empire, was written with a pictographic script. About 1.5 million people in Mexico still speak dialects of Nahuatl that are descended from the language spoken by the Aztecs.
Contributed by
John Carter Brown Library
The Travelers Guide on Drawing the Circle of Projection
This is a work on timekeeping and the determination of the direction of prayer (qibla), particularly intended for people who travel. The author, Abu al-‛Abbās Shihāb al-Dīn Ahmad b. Zayn al-Dīn Rajab b. Tubayghā al-Atābakī, known as al-Majdī or Ibn al-Majdī (1366-1447 [767-850 A.H.]), was descended from a powerful family with ties to Mamlūk rulers and was a renowned and prominent mathematician, geometrician, and astronomer. He served as the timekeeper of the Al-Azhar Mosque. This work is an abridgment of his other major book, Irshād al-ḥā’ir ilā ...
Contributed by
National Library and Archives of Egypt
Two Illustrations from "Selected Arias of the Yuan Dynasty"
These prints from around 1615 show two figures from Yuan-dynasty (1279-1368) poetry. The right-hand picture illustrates a play about Zheng Kongmu, a law clerk, and Song Bin, a young man who accidentally killed a man. Zheng recognizes Song Bin as an honorable man and convinces the judge not to execute him. Instead, he is exiled to a penal colony where he has many adventures, including meeting up with and helping Zheng Kongmu when he himself runs afoul of the law by killing a woman who mistreated his children. The other ...
Contributed by
National Central Library