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His Excellency: George Washington Esq: L.L.D. Late Commander in Chief of the Armies of the U.S. of America and President of the Convention of 1787
In 1787, the confederation of the 13 American states was descending into disarray. The coffers were empty, New York and New Jersey were in a dispute over duties charged on goods crossing state lines, farmers in Massachusetts were rebelling, and Spain and Britain were encroaching on American territories in the west. The Federal Convention was called to address the problems of governing the young republic under the existing Articles of Confederation. The convention responded by framing the document that became the United States Constitution. The convention delegates elected George Washington ...
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Library of Congress
The Art of Making Mechanical Timepieces for Church Towers, Rooms, and Pockets
Manuel del Río was a Spanish Franciscan, said to have been a skilled watchmaker, who probably learned the trade in Oporto, Portugal, with Tomás Luis de Sáa. Del Río belonged to the Franciscan community in Santiago, where in 1759 he published Arte de los reloxes de ruedas (The art of making mechanical timepieces). The work was reissued in 1789 in Madrid by del Río’s disciple Ramón Durán. That edition is presented here. The prologue states that one of the reasons for writing the book was the lack of manuals ...
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National Library of Spain
Declaration of Independence. In Congress, July 4, 1776, a Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress Assembled.
This document is the first printed version of the American Declaration of Independence. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduced a resolution urging Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, to declare independence from Great Britain. Four days later, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston were appointed as a committee to draft a declaration of independence. The committee’s draft was read in Congress on June 28. On July 4, Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, containing a list of grievances against the British ...
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Library of Congress
Topographical Notes on Notable Places Visited by Her Imperial Majesty in Belarusian Vicegerencies
This book, published in Saint Petersburg in 1780 by the Russian Imperial Academy of Science, is about the history of and conditions in the eastern Belarusian lands visited by the Empress Catherine (the Great) in May of that year. The work includes detailed information about localities in the Polotsk and Mogil'ov territory (namestnichestva), including the population and descriptions of castles, palaces, churches, and monasteries. Descriptions of places in Belarus start on page 38. The book also contains information about places along the route from Saint Petersburg to Belarus, such ...
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National Library of Belarus
The Precious Book on Noteworthy Dates
This short work, entitled Kitāb al-yawāqīt fī ma‘rifat al-mawāqīt, and copied by an anonymous scribe in Shawwāl in June-July 1775 (AH 1168), is attributed to Ḥusayn (or Ḥasan) b. Zayd b. ‘Alī al-Jaḥḥāf, who is said to have dedicated it to Abū ‘Alī Manṣūr al-Ḥākim bi Amr-Allāh, the sixth Fāṭimid ruler (died 996). The manuscript lists the 12 months of the year, each on one sheet, in the form of an almanac. The last page is a one-page guide to the interpretation of dreams, reportedly prepared at the behest ...
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National Library and Archives of Egypt
Map of Holland: According to Astronomical Observations, Measurements of Schnellius & c. and the Superiorly Redesigned Special Maps of F. L. Güssefeld
This map of the Netherlands coast is the work of Prussian cartographer Franz Ludwig Güssefeld (1744-1807). It was drawn based on the calculations of the renowned Dutch mathematician Willebrord Snellius (1580-1626), a professor of mathematics at the University of Leiden, who conceived the idea of measuring the earth using triangulation. Snellius’s discoveries helped to determine the radius of the earth as well as led to more accurate ways of measuring the distance between two cities.
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National Library of Brazil
Letters, Essays, and Sermons by Saint Gregory Nazianzus
This 18th-century manuscript is a collection of letters, essays, and sermons by Saint Gregory Nazianzus (died circa 389). The manuscript is thought to be the first Arabic translation from the original Greek and has not yet been edited or published. It is the second volume of a two-volume work. Gregory of Nazianzus, also known as Gregory the Theologian, is recognized as a Father of the Church in both the Eastern and Western traditions. He was born in Cappadocia (eastern Anatolia), where he spent much of his life. He was a ...
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The American University in Cairo Rare Books and Special Collections Library
Extent and Location of the Governments of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Matogroso, Cuyaba, and Towns of Native Americans Called Chiquitos
This map shows the present-day Bolivian provinces of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Chiquitos, and the Brazilian state of Mata Grosso. The map indicates the settlements of native people, known at that time as Chiquitos. This area was a center of Jesuit activity and many of the settlements may have been the remnants of Jesuit centers, called reducciones (reductions or townships). The Jesuits began their missionary work in South America in 1609. At the height of their activity, they sponsored 40 communities that were home to more than 150 ...
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National Library of Brazil
Guide to Astronomy
This handwritten copy of Tian wen bei kao (Guide to astronomy) was made in 1790 by Pingbo, whose seals are on the cover of the first of the two juan. No other information on the copyist is available. Juan one is a collection of texts taken from Xing jing (Star manual) by Shi Shen (circa 350 BC), Tian wen xing zhan (Astronomic star observation) by Gan De (between 475 and 221 BC), Shi ji (The records of the grand historian), Tian wen zhi (Astronomy treatise) in Han shu (History of ...
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National Central Library
A Summary View of the Rights of British America: Set Forth in Some Resolutions Intended for the Inspection of the Present Delegates of the People of Virginia, Now in Convention / by a Native, and Member of the House of Burgesses
This pamphlet is Thomas Jefferson’s personal copy of A Summary View of the Rights of British America, which he originally drafted in July 1774 as a set of instructions for the Virginia delegates to the first Continental Congress. Jefferson argued that the British Parliament had no rights to govern the colonies, which he claimed had been independent since their founding. He also described the usurpations of power and deviations from law committed by King George III and Parliament. Jefferson was not present in the Virginia House when his draft ...
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Library of Congress
The Macedonian Landscape
Franz Johann Joseph von Reilly (1766−1820) was an Austrian writer and poet, geographer, bookseller, and art dealer. His cartographic works included a world atlas, published in 1794−96, an atlas of Germany (1803), and his Allgemeiner Postatlas (General postal atlas), a work of 1799 with 40 maps showing postal routes, the first such atlas published anywhere in the world. Shown here is von Reilly’s map of Macedonia, which includes parts of present-day Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Bordered on the north by Serbia and ...
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National and University Library “St Kliment Ohridski” – Skopje
Album of Appreciation of the Fragrance of Spring
Takuhanga is a printing technique in which a cloth-covered cotton ball containing black ink is patted on wet paper placed on an intaglio-engraved woodblock. The technique derives from takuhon, the art of rubbing found in Chinese copybooks printed from the works of old masters of calligraphy. This late-18th-century takuhanga album includes poems in the Chinese style celebrating the spring scenery of Kyoto written by learned men from the city who were students of Chinese literature, including Iwagaki Ryūkei (1741−1808). The drawings are by prominent Kyoto artists from the time ...
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National Diet Library
The Insect Book
Ehon mushi-erami (The insect book) is by the ukiyo-e painter Kitagawa Utamaro (circa 1753−1806). It was created by him before he produced the bijin-ga (pictures of beautiful women) for which he is famous. Each double page of the book contains a painted illustration of a plant and two species of insects, along with two kyōka (a poem style originating from waka, literally, Japanese poems). The kyōka are ostensibly insect-themed love poems. In all, 15 colored wood-block prints are included. The work demonstrates Utamaro’s skill at drawing, as well ...
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National Diet Library
Edict Prohibiting Traveling Shows Throughout Tuscany
This edict, dated February 1, 1780, was promulgated by Domenico Brichieri Colombi, fiscal auditor of the city of Florence, in execution of orders issued by Pietro Leopoldo of Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany (reigned 1765−90). It prohibited public performances by traveling entertainers so as not to give to the people “opportunities to dissipate themselves vainly.” The edict applied to “Charlatans, Cantimbanchi [street singers], Storytellers, Puppeteers, Peddlers, Jugglers, and all those who carry on freak shows, exhibit Machines, Animals, or who sell secrets, and to any other foreigner who goes ...
Contributed by
Educational Documentation Centre of Circus Arts (CEDAC)
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
A Map of Saint Petersburg Province and County
The complete title of this 1792 watercolor manuscript map is “A map of Saint Petersburg province and county including parts of other counties belonging to the province, such as Shlisselburg, Sofeisk, Оranienbaum and Rozhdestveno with Saint Petersburg as the administrative center from which it radiates for 40 versts.” The text goes on to explain that part “of this province, previously called Ingria, was conquered from Sweden in 1702 and according to the Treaty of Nystad, in 1721 Ingria was formally ceded to Russia by Sweden. On May 16, 1703 Saint ...
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Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library
Palestine, Tribes, and Jerusalem
Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville (1697-1782) was one of the most important French geographers of the 18th century. He worked during the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI. D’Anville’s approach to geography was geometric; he believed that man’s presence was worthy of acknowledgement only insofar as it helped the cartographer to establish the boundaries of a place. He focused on fidelity to what was documented about the territory in question using knowledge gleaned from travel journals, historical accounts, old maps, poems, and more. D’Anville was ...
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Library of Congress
The Facilitator of Utility on Medicine and Wisdom
This manuscript copy is a 15th-century work by a Yemeni author, Ibrāhīm ibn ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn Abū Bakr al-Azraq, or Azraqī. It is a book of remedies dealing with medicinal uses of seeds, grains, and other foods and their nutritional value. The material is based in part on two earlier works: Shifā’ al-ajsām (The curing of bodies) by Muḥammad ibn Abū al-Ghayth al-Kamarānī, and Kitāb al-raḥmah (The book of mercy) by Ṣubunrī. Included at the end is yet another work, Burʼ al-sāʻah (Speedy recovery), a short treatise by the renowned ...
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Sultan Qaboos University Library
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Tobias Conrad Lotter (1717-77) was a publisher of maps in Augsburg, Germany. He inherited the family mapmaking business from his father-in-law, Matthias Seutter. Lotter published atlases and numerous sheet maps, including this 1770 Latin map of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. At the height of its power in the 14th-16th centuries, the Grand Duchy comprised the territories of present-day Lithuania, Belarus, and western Ukraine. In the late 16th century, Lithuania came under the increasing influence of Poland. In 1569 the two countries united to form the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. As shown ...
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Library of Congress
Map of the Empire of Germany: Including All the States Comprehended Under that Name with the Kingdom of Prussia
Produced on the eve of the Industrial and French revolutions, this 1782 map by Louis Delarochette represents the German Empire nearly a century before Otto von Bismarck’s unification of the country. It is part of Thomas Kitchen’s General Atlas, originally created by Louis Stanislas d'Arcy Delarochette and purportedly designed to show the entire universe. Kitchen, whose name was also frequently spelled “Kitchin,” was a London-based cartographer and engraver of maps of England, greater Europe, and parts of the British Empire who was employed as a senior hydrographer ...
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Library of Congress