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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
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 ...
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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.
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National Library of Brazil
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 ...
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The American University in Cairo Rare Books and Special Collections Library
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
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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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National and University Library “St Kliment Ohridski” – Skopje
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 ...
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National Library of Brazil
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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
Contributed by
Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library
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
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 ...
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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.
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National Library of Brazil
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 ...
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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 ...
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National Library of Brazil