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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
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
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
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
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 ...
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
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 ...
Contributed by
National Library of Russia
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 ...
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.
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
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 ...
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
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.
Contributed by
Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and the Caribbean Studies KITLV
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 ...
Contributed by
University of South Carolina
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 ...
Contributed by
University of South Carolina
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 ...
Contributed by
University of South Carolina