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Gulzar Calligraphic Panel
This calligraphic panel executed in black and red on a white ground decorated in gold contains a number of prayers (du'a's) directed to God, the Prophet Muhammad, and his son-in-law 'Ali. The letters of the larger words are executed in nasta'liq script and are filled with decorative motifs, animals, and human figures. This style of script, filled with various motifs, is called gulzar, which literally means 'rose garden' or 'full of flowers.' It usually is applied to the interior of inscriptions executed in nasta'liq, such as ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
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 ...
Contributed by
National Library of Spain
Priest Puncho Miscellany of 1796
This intriguing manuscript was written in the vernacular Bulgarian of the late 18th century and was intended to be printed. The content of the manuscript consists of literary texts compiled from older manuscripts, Russian printed books, apocrypha, a reworked version of the first real Bulgarian chronicle, Paisiĭ Khilendarski’s Istoriia slavianobolgarskaia (Slaveno-Bulgarian history), as well as texts of unspecified or unknown origin. The illumination, although stylistically naive, is very rich. It includes two self-portraits of the scribe and compiler Puncho, together with numerous miniatures, some of them with unusual iconography ...
Contributed by
National Library of Bulgaria
History of the Expedition Under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark: To the Sources of the Missouri, thence Across the Rocky Mountains and down the River Columbia to the Pacific Ocean
This account of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, published in 1814, is based on the detailed journals kept by Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, the leaders of expedition. The book begins with “Life of Captain Lewis,” written by Thomas Jefferson, which reproduces Jefferson’s detailed instructions to Lewis regarding the goals of the expedition. “The object of your mission is to explore the Missouri River, and such principal streams of it, as, by its course and communication with the waters of the Pacific Ocean, whether the Columbia, Oregan [sic ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
The Fire of the Church of Our Lady
This vivid color print shows the burning of the Church of Our Lady, the cathedral of Copenhagen, on the night of September 4–5, 1807, during the Anglo-Danish war of 1807–14. Britain initiated the war in August 1807, after the Danes refused to surrender their fleet, which the British feared would fall into the hands of Napoleonic France. The British landed troops on Danish soil and on September 2 began a three-day bombardment of the city. On the third night of the attack, the steeple of the cathedral was ...
Contributed by
Royal Library (The), Denmark
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 ...
Contributed by
National Library of Belarus
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.
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
Map of the Colony of Berbice Located in Batavian Guiana in America between the Colonies of Demerara and Suriname
This detailed 1802 map, drawn by a Dutch military officer and issued by the distinguished Amsterdam cartographic publishing firm of Covens and Mortier, shows the Dutch colony of Berbice as it appeared at the beginning of the 19th century. Located along the Berbice River in present-day Guyana, Berbice was established in 1627 under the authority of the Dutch West India Company. The inset map in the upper left, oriented with north at the bottom, shows Berbice in relation to Suriname, its larger sister colony. The main map is oriented with ...
Contributed by
Columbus Memorial Library, Organization of American States
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 ...
Contributed by
The American University in Cairo Rare Books and Special Collections Library
Pentateuch
This manuscript is an Arabic translation of the first five books of the Old Testament (Pentateuch), which is called on the first leaf, “The Holy Torah.” The book contains little information about its production other than a note at the end indicating that it is of Coptic origin. Framed cruciform patterns appear at the top of the first leaf and are the only illustrations in the work. There are chapter and verse headings in red as well as guidewords and occasional directions for recitation during fasts and feasts. At the ...
Contributed by
The American University in Cairo Rare Books and Special Collections Library
Spherical Map That Shows the North of the Santo Domingo Island and the Eastern Part of Canal Viejo of Bahamas
This early-19th century Spanish naval map shows the eastern Caribbean, from the northern coasts of Hispaniola (present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic) and Cuba to the Bahamas. The map was engraved by Fernando Selma (1752-1810), a well-known Spanish engraver who produced not only maps, but also portraits of notable Spaniards.
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
The Great Song Baoyou Calendar Produced in 1256
This work is a rare Qing copy of the 1256 Southern Song manuscript calendar, copied by painter Cheng Xugu in 1815. The first page records the location of the god of the year 1256, the nine constellations, the seven-color spectrum, and the size of the moon. Following this page is the report, dated the tenth month of the third year of the Baoyou reign of the Southern Song (1255) and submitted by the Astrological Service Bureau, responding to the imperial order to print the calendar. The report was signed by ...
Contributed by
National Central 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 ...
Contributed by
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 ...
Contributed by
National Central Library
View and Map of the Affair at Ratan, of August 20, 1809
This watercolor by the Swedish artist and draftsman Carl Gustaf Gillberg (1774–1855) depicts the fighting at Ratan on August 20, 1809 between the armies of Sweden and Russia. Contemporaneously with the Napoleonic wars, at the beginning of the 19th century Sweden and Russia fought what became known as the Finnish War, which had the effect of radically altering the political topography of the Baltic. Sweden’s defeat put an end to its domination in the region. Finland, previously a province of Sweden, became a grand duchy under the rule ...
Contributed by
National Library of Sweden
Map of Spain and Portugal, Corrected and Augmented from the Map Published by D. Tomas Lopez
Tomás López (1730-1802) was a Spanish cartographer who was sent by the Spanish government to Paris for a number of years to learn cartography and engraving from the great French mapmaker Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville (1697-1782). In 1804, López published his Atlas Geográfico de España (Geographical atlas of Spain), the first atlas of Spain produced by a Spaniard. López’s children republished this work in a new edition in 1810, and again in 1830.
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
Geographical Game of the French Republic
J.N. Mauborgne, a former professor of geography in Paris, created this “geographical game of the French Republic” in honor of the government of the National Convention during the French Revolution. Mauborgne’s game involves traveling around republican France, which was divided into 83 “departments,” the new unit of territorial administration that the Revolution introduced to replace the much larger historical provinces. Each space on the map shows a different department with its departmental capital, or chef-lieu. Players move counter-clockwise about the board from department to department, ending on the ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
The Aeneid
This book is the first printed work of the new Ukrainian literature written in the popular language. It introduced to the world the Ukrainian people with their history, language, traditions, faith, and ethical and aesthetic views, drawing upon materials derived from the social life of Ukraine of the late 18th–early 19th centuries. The work is based on The Aeneid, the epic poem by the Roman poet Virgil (circa 70–19 BC), but the author, Ivan Petrovych Kotlyarevsky, transforms Virgil’s ancient heroes into Ukrainian cossacks. The author used a ...
Contributed by
V.I. Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine
Score of Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom and Other Compositions by Artemiĭ Vedelʹ
This manuscript is the only known work in the hand of Artemiĭ Vedelʹ (1767–1808), one of the most famous Ukrainian composers. It consists of six parts of the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, 12 spiritual choral pieces, and a composition for trio with choir. Different colors of ink reflect the fact that the compositions were written at different times over a period of several years. In 1856 the historian, publicist, and professor at the Kiev Theological Academy, V.I. Askochenskyi, offered the score as a gift to the library ...
Contributed by
V.I. Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine
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 ...
Contributed by
National and University Library “St Kliment Ohridski” – Skopje