106 results in English
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
Supplication Attributed to Caliph Ali
Caliph ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (circa 601−61) is one of the most revered religious and holy figures of Islam. His honorary name, Amīr al-Mu‘minīn, translates from Persian as the “prince of the believers.” Written works by ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib and sayings attributed to him are sacred to the Shiite faithful, particularly among Persian speakers. Shown here is an illuminated 18th-century manuscript copy of the Munājāt (Supplication) of ʻAli ibn Abī Ṭālib. Included are both the original Arabic and a translation into Persian. The text is written on ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
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.
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 ...
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
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Map of Sweden
This map shows the Kingdom of Sweden as it appeared at the end of the 18th century. At the time, the kingdom included present-day Sweden as well as Finland, which, however, was lost to the Russian Empire in 1809. The map is the work of Samuel Gustaf Hermelin (1744-1820), a Swedish industrialist and diplomat who also practiced cartography. Hermelin studied mining at the University of Uppsala before traveling to the United States to study industrialization. While in North America, he was instrumental in establishing diplomatic relations between Sweden and the ...
A New Map of Arabia: Divided into Its Several Regions and Districts
This map of Arabia, published in London in 1794, is an English translation of a map by the French cartographer and geographer Jean-Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville (1697−1782). Appointed the first geographer to the king of France in 1773, d’Anville was one of the most important mapmakers of the 18th century, known for the accuracy and scientific quality of his maps. The work presented here is said to contain “Additions and Improvements from Mr. Niebuhr,” a reference to Carsten Niebuhr (1733–1815), a German-born Danish explorer and civil engineer ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Arabia: According To Its Modern Divisions
“Arabia According to Its Modern Divisions” shows the Arabian Peninsula with the three-part division traditionally used in European sources into Arabia Petraea, Arabia Deserta, and Arabia Felix. Deserts, seaports, and the pearl beds along the coast are indicated. Qatar is shown as Catura. Four different distance scales—Arabian miles, Turkish miles, Persian parasangs, and British miles—are provided. Published in 1794, the map was compiled and drawn by Samuel Dunn (circa 1723−94), a teacher of mathematics and navigation who made original contributions to solving the problem of determining longitude ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Map of Tobol'sk Province (16 Districts)
This map of the vast Siberian province of Tobol’sk shows the borders of the province and its districts, population centers, monasteries, winter encampments, fortresses, mines, salt and fish industries, and the routes of voyages by Malygin (1734, 1735), Skuratov (1734, 1735), Ovtsyn (1735), Murav'ev (1737), Pavlov (1737), Rozmyslov (1768), and the location where Dutch ships wintered in 1596. The title is in an artistic cartouche with a drawing of a hunting scene, mining symbols, and a maiden with an urn–an allegorical symbol of the Ob' River. The ...
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 ...
Fathers of the Solovetsky Monastery and Their Sufferings
This manuscript was made around 1800 by an often-persecuted group of Russian Christians, the Old Believers. Because books were frequently confiscated from this group and its members were denied the use of printing presses, they continued to write important books such as this one by hand. This text chronicles and illustrates the story of a group of monks at the Solovetsky Monastery who opposed the controversial reforms introduced by Nikon (Patriarch of Moscow, 1652−58) and who endured a siege of eight years (1668−76) before they were finally betrayed ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
A Complete Portrayal of the Earth
This 1795 impression of a woodcut based on Oronce Fine’s 1534 heart-shaped map of the world is attributed to a cartographer from Tunis named Hajji Ahmad. At first glance, the map’s accompanying Ottoman Turkish text appears to be a captivating, first-person account of Hajji Ahmad’s remarkable odyssey across the Mediterranean. Upon closer inspection, cartography scholars have questioned the map’s authenticity and authorship. The text contains errors, and European sources such as Giovanni Battista Ramusio’s Delle Navigationi et Viaggi (Travels and voyages) appear to have influenced ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Dream of the Red Chamber in 120 Chapters
Xin jian quan bu xiu xiang Hong lou meng (Newly printed complete illustrated edition of the Dream of the red chamber) is also known as the Cheng-A edition. It is the first printed edition of the classic novel written by Cao Xueqin (circa 1715−63), one of China’s greatest novelists. Included here are the preface and comments by Zhang Ruzhi at the tops of the pages, the table of contents, and three chapters. The book was in the collection of Zheng Zhenduo (1898–1958) before entering the collections of ...
Contributed by National Library of China
Modern Asia
John Wilkes was a London publisher best known for his Encyclopaedia Londinensis; or, universal dictionary of arts, sciences, and literature (1801-28). Wilkes frequently worked with Samuel John Neele, the engraver of this hand-colored map of “modern Asia.” The map reflects late 18th-century European geographic conceptions and terminology. India is referred to as “Hindoostan,” while much of the interior is shown as comprised of “Western Tartary” and “Chinese Tartary.” “Tartary” was a designation applied by Europeans to those parts of Asia inhabited by nomadic Turkic and Mongol peoples. This map shows ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map Showing the Presumed Headwaters of the Das Velhas River and Part of the Captaincy of Minas Gerais
This late-18th century hand-drawn map shows the Das Velhas River, one of the tributaries of the São Francisco River in southern Brazil that flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Gold was discovered on its banks in 1698-99.
Iconographic Plan of Mexico City Showing the General Layout of its Pleasant and Beautiful Streets: As well as the repair and elimination of the negative features of the various neighborhoods, with their myriad hidden places, deserted alleyways, ruins and the negligent residents who cause them, in spite of all the efforts of the officers of public law and order under the command of His Excellency Count Revilla Gigedo, in the administration of Metropolitan Mayor Don Ignacio Castera
This map of Mexico City was made to support an early effort at urban improvement carried out by Viceroy Juan Vicente Güemes Pacheco de Padilla Revillagigedo (1740-99), who served as the 52nd viceroy of New Spain in the period from 1789 to 1794. During his tenure, this enlightened official undertook a massive overhaul of the social, financial, and administrative organization of New Spain. He ordered the first census, reorganized the militia, strengthened frontier garrisons, and promoted further exploration of the Pacific coast. This map reflects the viceroy's interest in ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A General Chart of the West Indies: With Additions from the Latest Navigators
Captain Joseph Smith Speer was an English mariner who served 21 years on the Mosquito (Miskito) Coast in what is now Nicaragua. He later created detailed maps of the West Indies based on his first-hand knowledge of the region. In 1766 he published The West-India Pilot containing 13 maps, followed by an enlarged edition with 26 maps in 1771. A General Chart of the West Indies, shown here, is a large, detailed map (71 by 117 centimeters). It is based on an earlier map from 1774, “with Additions from the ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Instructions and Travel Diary that Governor Francisco Joze de Lacerda e Almeida Wrote about His Travel to the Center of Africa, Going to the River of Sena, in the Year of 1798
This manuscript diary by the Brazilian mathematician, geographer, and explorer Francisco José de Lacerda e Almeida (1750-98) describes Almeida’s journey into the interior of southern Africa in 1798. Almeida was born in Brazil, studied at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, and rose to the position of royal astronomer. In 1780, he returned to Brazil as part of a commission established to determine the borders between Spanish and Portuguese territories in South America under the recently concluded Treaty of San Ildefonso (1777). He spent ten years in Brazil, where ...
Topographic Map of De Centa Valley
This clear and beautifully executed late 18th century Spanish map of the vicinity of Oran in the extreme north of Argentina was intended to promote settlement in this region. The map was prepared at the behest of Ramón Garcia de Leon y Pizarro, Governor and Captain General of the Province of Salta, who founded Oran in August 1794, possibly as an outpost to strengthen Spanish territorial claims along the then Spanish-Portuguese frontier. The map shows the planned and partially settled community of Oran, other settlements, a sugar plantation, individual land ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Austrian Circle
The Holy Roman Empire (962-1806) was organized, beginning in the early 1500s, into ten Imperial Circles, each of which had its own diet or parliament, and which had certain responsibilities with regard to defense, tax collection, and other functions. (Some territories of the empire, for example, Bohemia and parts of Italy, were not grouped in circles.) This late-18th century French map shows the Austrian Circle, which largely coincided with those lands ruled by the House of Habsburg from Vienna. In addition to Austria proper, the Austrian Circle included parts of ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Diploma
This ijazah, or diploma of competency in Arabic calligraphy, was written by 'Ali Ra'if Efendi in 1791 (1206 AH). The top and middle panels contain a saying (hadith) attributed to the Prophet Muhammad. It reads: "Secret charity quenches the wrath of the Lord. / The best of you is the best for his family. / The best of the followers is Uways." In the two lowermost panels are the signed and dated approvals of two master calligraphers, Mustafa al-Halimi and Husayn Hamid. Each section of writing appears on a separate piece ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Memoirs and Travels of Mauritius Augustus Count de Benyowsky: Consisting of His Military Operations in Poland, His Exile into Kamchatka, His Escape and Voyage from that Peninsula through the Northern Pacific Ocean, Touching at Japan and Formosa, to Canton in China, with an Account of the French Settlement He Was Appointed to Form upon the Island of Madagascar
Maurice Benyowsky (1741 or 1746-1786) was born near Trnava in present-day Slovakia, at the time part of Hungary and the Austrian Empire. After service in the Austrian Army, he joined a Polish nationalist movement fighting for freedom against Russia. He was arrested and exiled to Kamchatka in the Russian Far East. He escaped captivity and undertook an expedition to explore Kamchatka and the North Pacific. In 1772, he made his way to France, where he secured permission from King Louis XV to establish trading posts on Madagascar. In Paris, he ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Atlas of Livonia, or of the Two Governments and Duchies Livonia and Estonia, and of the Province of Oesel
This work containing 14 maps is the first complete atlas of Latvia and Estonia. The compiler of the atlas, Count Ludwig August Mellin (1754-1835), was a Baltic German who was born in Tuhala, Estonia, then a province of the Russian Empire. On a visit to Riga in 1782, Crown Prince Paul of Russia reportedly asked to see a map showing the location of the Livonian division of the Russian Army. When it turned out that no such map existed, Mellin, then a young officer in the army trained in technical ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Europe, A Prophecy
The English poet, illustrator, and engraver William Blake (1757–1827) first published Europe, A Prophecy in 1794, one year after the appearance of his America, A Prophecy. In both books, Blake attempted to discern the pattern behind human history, and in particular in the momentous events occurring on both sides of Atlantic between the end of the American Revolution in 1783 and the outbreak of war between France and Great Britain in 1793. At first an enthusiast for the French Revolution, Blake saw a world of deprivation and misery emerging ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Chronicle of a Javanese Court in Yogyakarta
This illuminated page in Javanese script is from a chronicle of a Javanese court in Yogyakarta. Located in central Java, Yogyakarta was one of two main pre-colonial royal cities in Java and a center of Javanese culture. The history of local leaders and royal families was recorded in chronicles such as this one. The document is from the collections of the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in Leiden.
Indian Demons Attacking Fort Defended by European Troops
This unsigned watercolor by an unknown Indian artist depicts the events of the Third Mysore War (1790-92). The Anglo-Mysore wars were a series of conflicts in the late 18th century that were fought between the Kingdom of Mysore, located in southwestern India, and the British East India Company. After victories in the first two wars, Mysore, led by Tipu Sultan, invaded the nearby coastal state of Travancore, which was a British ally. This led to the Third Mysore War, which the British won. Although the royal family of Mysore was ...
Contributed by Brown University Library
British Artillerymen Pulling a Gun
This unfinished ink sketch by Benjamin West (1738-1820) shows British artillerymen from the Napoleonic Wars straining at a rope to drag a canon. The tenth child of a Pennsylvania innkeeper, West became one of the foremost artists of his day, despite having had very little formal education. In 1763, he moved to London, where he became a co-founder of the Royal Academy of Arts. He was a close friend of Benjamin Franklin, and was commissioned by King George III to paint portraits of the royal family. West later became the ...
Contributed by Brown University Library
World's Marvels and Substances Book
This text contains sections extracted from the second part of the well-known and highly popular work of cosmography known as ʻAjāʼib al-makhlūqāt, written in the 13th century (7th century AH) by Abū Yaḥyā Zakarīyā al-Qazwīnī. The work begins with a section on the sources and properties of gems and stones, followed by sections on herbs, seeds, nuts and fruits, spices, the body parts of animals, and so forth. It also contains geographical information, for example the names and locations of major bodies of water such as the Mediterranean Sea ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Three Excellent New Songs: Bonny Mally Stewart; The Soldier's Return; Answer to the Soldier's Return
Robert Burns (1759-96) is best known for his poems and songs that reflect Scotland's cultural heritage. He was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland, the first of seven children belonging to William Burnes, a tenant farmer, and his wife Agnes Broun. Burns had little formal education, but he read English literature and absorbed the traditional, largely oral Scots-language folk songs and tales of his rural environment. He began to compose songs in 1774, and published his first book, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, in 1786. The work was a ...
Four Excellent New Songs: Duke of Gordon's Daughter; The Golden Glove; The Answer; The Caledonian Hunt Delights
Robert Burns (1759-96) is best known for his poems and songs that reflect Scotland's cultural heritage. He was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland, the first of seven children belonging to William Burnes, a tenant farmer, and his wife Agnes Broun. Burns had little formal education, but he read English literature and absorbed the traditional, largely oral Scots-language folk songs and tales of his rural environment. He began to compose songs in 1774, and published his first book, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, in 1786. The work was a ...
The Lover's Songster; a New Song Book; Being a Choice Collection of Celebrated Love Songs
Robert Burns (1759-96) is best known for his poems and songs that reflect Scotland's cultural heritage. He was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland, the first of seven children belonging to William Burnes, a tenant farmer, and his wife Agnes Broun. Burns had little formal education, but he read English literature and absorbed the traditional, largely oral Scots-language folk songs and tales of his rural environment. He began to compose songs in 1774, and published his first book, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, in 1786. The work was a ...
A Garland of New Songs: Jessie the Flower O' Dumblane; O Stay My Love; Lilies of the Valley; Sally Roy; Dear Maid I Love Thee; Just like Love; Green Grow the Rashes, O; Far, Far, at Sea
Robert Burns (1759-96) is best known for his poems and songs that reflect Scotland's cultural heritage. He was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland, the first of seven children belonging to William Burnes, a tenant farmer, and his wife Agnes Broun. Burns had little formal education, but he read English literature and absorbed the traditional, largely oral Scots-language folk songs and tales of his rural environment. He began to compose songs in 1774, and published his first book, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, in 1786. The work was a ...
An Excellent New Song, Called Willie Wastle: To Which are Added Herny's Cottage Maid, the Sheffeld Prentence, Different Humours, and My Love is But a Lassie Yet
Robert Burns (1759-96) is best known for his poems and songs that reflect Scotland's cultural heritage. He was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland, the first of seven children belonging to William Burnes, a tenant farmer, and his wife Agnes Broun. Burns had little formal education, but he read English literature and absorbed the traditional, largely oral Scots-language folk songs and tales of his rural environment. He began to compose songs in 1774, and published his first book, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, in 1786. The work was a ...
The Whistle: A Poem
Robert Burns (1759-96) is best known for his poems and songs that reflect Scotland's cultural heritage. He was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland, the first of seven children belonging to William Burnes, a tenant farmer, and his wife Agnes Broun. Burns had little formal education, but he read English literature and absorbed the traditional, largely oral Scots-language folk songs and tales of his rural environment. He began to compose songs in 1774, and published his first book, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, in 1786. The work was a ...
Jack Tar: To Which is Added, The World's a Stage; Astonishing Abraham Newland; The Sailor's Return
Robert Burns (1759-96) is best known for his poems and songs that reflect Scotland's cultural heritage. He was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland, the first of seven children belonging to William Burnes, a tenant farmer, and his wife Agnes Broun. Burns had little formal education, but he read English literature and absorbed the traditional, largely oral Scots-language folk songs and tales of his rural environment. He began to compose songs in 1774, and published his first book, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, in 1786. The work was a ...
An Historical Survey of the French Colony in the Island of St. Domingo: Comprehending a Short Account of Its Ancient Government, Political State, Population, Productions, and Exports
In August 1791, slaves in the French colony of Saint-Domingue staged a massive revolt, setting in train the chain of events that ultimately led to the founding of Haiti in 1804. In February 1793, war broke out between Britain and France. In September 1793, British troops landed on Saint-Domingue, intent on restoring order, seizing the colony for Britain, and reinstating slavery. This work by a British author is an account of events in Haiti in 1789-94, based in part on his own first-hand observations. The author concludes his work by ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Ayrshire Garland: Containing a Few Celebrated Songs
Robert Burns (1759-96) is best known for his poems and songs that reflect Scotland's cultural heritage. He was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland, the first of seven children belonging to William Burnes, a tenant farmer, and his wife Agnes Broun. Burns had little formal education, but he read English literature and absorbed the traditional, largely oral Scots-language folk songs and tales of his rural environment. He began to compose songs in 1774, and published his first book, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, in 1786. The work was a ...
The Highland Piper's Advice to Drinkers
Robert Burns (1759-96) is best known for his poems and songs that reflect Scotland's cultural heritage. He was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland, the first of seven children belonging to William Burnes, a tenant farmer, and his wife Agnes Broun. Burns had little formal education, but he read English literature and absorbed the traditional, largely oral Scots-language folk songs and tales of his rural environment. He began to compose songs in 1774, and published his first book, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, in 1786. The work was a ...