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Al-Zaura, No. 422, February 28, 1874
Al-Zaura was the brainchild of the pro-Western, progressive Ottoman wali (governor) of Iraq, Midhat Pasha (reigned 1869–72). He established the newspaper when he brought with him from Paris a printing press, the first in Iraq, upon his assignment to Baghdad in 1869. Al-Zaura’s name was taken from a nickname for Baghdad, literally meaning a bend or curve, as the city sits within a wide bend of the Tigris River. The paper is arguably the most important source on Iraq’s history during the last 50 years of the ...
Contributed by
Iraqi National Library and Archives
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Al-Iraq, Number 1, June 1, 1920
Al-Iraq was a daily newspaper focusing on politics, literature, and the economy, first published in Baghdad on June 1, 1920. Owned by Razzuq Dawood Ghannam, the paper showed an independent editorial streak from its first few issues. Throughout its existence, it recorded the political, social, and economic history of Iraq and was considered the first and last source for news on national issues and causes. The paper did not represent the rising nationalistic, anticolonial elite, but it was pan-Iraqist in orientation and counted among its staff a number of young ...
Contributed by
Iraqi National Library and Archives
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Etymology
Etymologiae (Etymology) is the best known work by Saint Isidore of Seville (circa 560–636), a scholar and theologian considered the last of the great Latin Church Fathers. It takes its name from a method of teaching that proceeds by explaining the origins and meaning of each word related to a topic. Saint Isidore drew on many different sources in his attempt to summarize all ancient knowledge and save it for posterity. The fame of the work led to it being widely copied and disseminated, and its popularity lasted even ...
Contributed by
National Library of Spain
The Uganda Journal, Volume I, Number 1, January 1934
The Uganda Literary and Scientific Society was established at Entebbe, Uganda Protectorate, in 1923. Its main activity consisted of the reading of papers and the delivery of lectures on topics relating to Uganda. In 1933 the society moved its headquarters to Kampala and decided to issue a regular publication, The Uganda Journal. The journal’s declared aim was “to collect and publish information which may add to our knowledge of Uganda and to record that which in the course of time might be lost.” Four issues per year were published ...
Contributed by
National Library of Uganda
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Bombed Copy of “Defensor pacis”
In September 1807, early in the Anglo-Danish War of 1807–14, the British fleet bombarded the city of Copenhagen. Among the buildings struck was the Church of the Holy Trinity, which housed in its attic the University Library of Copenhagen. Some grenades fell through the roof, and this book belonging to the library was among those that were hit. Shown here are the bombed book and the grenade. The book is the first printed edition of, ironically, Defensor pacis (The defender of peace), a major work of medieval political philosophy ...
Contributed by
Royal Library (The), Denmark
Ex Librises by A. Tychina
Anatoly Tychina (1897–1986), one of the major book designers in Belarus in the 20th century, played a significant role in the development of Belarusian national art. He worked in such areas of the graphic arts as book design, easel graphics, newspaper and magazine design, and ex-libris bookplates. His works display expressive realistic forms, contrasts of color and volume, as well as a unique national character. Ex-libris design flourished in Belarus in the 1920s. With help from the Belarusian Society of Bibliophiles, a small edition of 200 copies of Еx ...
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National Library of Belarus
Feminine Elegance: Fortnightly Fashion Review, Number 1
Eleganze femminili: rivista quindicinale di mode (Feminine elegance: fortnightly fashion review) was an Italian fashion magazine, published from January to May 1911, which was sold by subscription in Italy and abroad. In addition to presenting the latest fashions by the most famous designers in Paris, London, and Vienna, Eleganze femminili reported on social occasions in high society and included articles on etiquette, women’s interests, art, and the history of fashion throughout the centuries. It also offered readers the chance to obtain muslin or paper patterns of the designs shown ...
Contributed by
University Library Alessandrina
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Echo of Babylon, Number 4, September 3, 1909
Seda Babel (Echo of Babylon), first published in 1909 in Baghdad, was among Iraq’s earliest newspapers. It appeared weekly on Friday. Until the end of World War I, Iraq was part of the Ottoman Empire and was subject to Ottoman law. In 1908, in line with the liberalizing revolution of the Young Turks, imperial press regulation loosened, allowing Iraq’s intellectuals and writers the freedom to publish newspapers, magazines, and books. Seda Babel was one of more than a dozen newspapers to appear as a result, and part of ...
Contributed by
Iraqi National Library and Archives
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Al-Arab, Volume 1, Number 1, July 4, 1917
The newspaper Al-Arab (The Arabs) was first published in Baghdad on July 4, 1917, some four months after British troops captured the city from the Turks, thereby ending three centuries of Ottoman rule. The paper appeared at a critical period in the history of Iraq. Issued by the British authorities, it served as a mouthpiece for the British administration at a time of rising Iraqi and Arab nationalism. It depicted the Ottomans as foreigners and the British as liberators and sought to advance broader British military and political strategy against ...
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Iraqi National Library and Archives
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Results of the Revolutionary Movement in Russia during a Period of 40 Years (1862-1902)
This book, published in Geneva in 1903, is number 24 in a series of 43 titles produced in 1902−4 by the social democratic organization Zhizn’ (Life) as “The Library of the Russian Proletariat.” The book is a compilation of documents, including programs, manifestoes, and articles, related to the Russian revolutionary movement in 1862−1902. Among the documents in the book are the declaration Molodaia Rossiia (Young Russia) published in 1862; articles from Zemlia i Volia (Land and liberty), the organ of the Narodnik (Populist) society that was published in ...
Contributed by
Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library
Contentment of the Seeker Regarding the Most Famous Arabic Compositions Printed by Eastern and Western Printing Presses
Edward Van Dyck was an American diplomat and author who served as consular clerk and vice-consul in Lebanon and Egypt from 1873 to 1882. He was the son of the missionary Cornelius Van Dyck, a medical doctor who was professor of pathology at the Syrian Protestant College (which became the American University of Beirut), but who is well known for his Arabic edition of the Bible. Kitāb iktifā' al-qanūʻ bimā huwa matbuʻ min ashhar al-ta'ālīf al-arabīya fī al-maṭābiʻ al-sharqīya wa al-gharbīya (Contentment of the seeker regarding the most famous ...
Contributed by
Qatar National Library
Gospels
This Gospel book from the Carolingian period is a product of the Mainz school of calligraphy and illumination, which was a successor to the palace (or court) school of Charlemagne. In its canon tables and portraits of the evangelists, it blends the Ottonian style from the tenth century with the traditions of the earlier Carolingian Ada group (late eighth century). The manuscript received its fine binding in the Ottonian period. Its most valuable parts are the two outstanding ivories. The baptism of Christ is represented on the front cover; on ...
Contributed by
Bavarian State Library
Crown of Roses, Issue 1, August 1904
Klílā d-warde (Crown of roses) was a magazine issued in Mosul (present-day Iraq) between August 1904 and July 1908. It was published by the Dominican Fathers, in the neo-Aramaic language using an East Syriac script, which was common to the Chaldean Catholics of the region. It contained devotional articles, with occasional coverage of cultural topics. The magazine was produced by a small staff of clergy based in Mosul. The Dominican presence in the city goes back to 1750, when Pope Benedict XIV sent a group of Italian friars to establish ...
Contributed by
Iraqi National Library and Archives
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Curious Designs
Braccelli’s Bizzarie di varie figure contains a suite of 50 etchings that celebrate the human figure in geometric forms. Squares, triangles, circles, and parallelograms take the place of muscle, bone, and tissue, defining the body in a new visual vocabulary. Braccelli’s designs are unique in the history of book illustration. They represent a high point in the Mannerist style of etching that flourished in the 17th century. Mannerism incorporated the techniques of the Renaissance but rejected the classical imagery and harmonious style that is the hallmark of much ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
A Catalogue of Palm-leaf and Selected Paper Manuscripts Belonging to the Durbar Library, Nepal
Mahāmahopādhyāya Hara Prasād Sastri, an Indian scholar affiliated with the Asiatic Society of Bengal, and Cecil Bendall, professor of Sanskrit at Cambridge University in England, made a research expedition to Nepal in 1898–99. A major objective of the expedition was to examine and catalog the palm-leaf manuscripts in the Durbar Library, many of which had been acquired by Mahārāja Sir Vīra Sumsher Jung Bahādur Rānā. According to Bendall, this collection, “as regards the antiquity of the documents,” was “surpassed by no Sanskrit Library known to exist.” This book, printed ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Museum: Entrance Hall, I, Algiers, Algeria
This photochrome print is from “Views of People and Sites in Algeria” in the catalog of the Detroit Photographic Company. It depicts the entrance hall and courtyard of a museum in Algiers--most likely the Musée National des Antiquités Algeriennes, opened in 1897, and described by Baedeker’s The Mediterranean (1911) as “containing the finest collection of the kind in Algeria.” The Detroit Photographic Company was launched as a photographic publishing firm in the late 1890s by Detroit businessman and publisher William A. Livingstone, Jr. and photographer and photo-publisher Edwin H ...
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
Understanding the Truth, Issue 1, January 1, 1918
Têgeyştinî Rastî (Understanding the truth) was a semiweekly newspaper published by the command of the British army in Iraq in 1918–19. At the time, Britain was at war with the Ottoman Empire, which had ruled Iraq since the 16th century. When British forces began advancing north toward the Iraqi Kurdistan region in the spring of 1918, the paper became the mouthpiece of the British Empire, propagandizing in support of British positions when dealing with political, social, and cultural issues. The paper sold for one ana, or four fils, a ...
Contributed by
Iraqi National Library and Archives
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Gospel Book from the Bamberg Cathedral (Reichenau Gospel)
The gospel from the cathedral of Bamberg is one of the most important masterpieces of book painting from the Benedictine abbey on the island of Reichenau in Lake Constance in southern Germany. In the 10th and 11th centuries, this abbey was the site of what was probably Europe’s largest and most influential school of book illumination. Book production reached its artistic peak between around 970 and 1010–1020, a period known as the Ottonian Renaissance (after Otto I, Otto II, and Otto III, German kings and Holy Roman Emperors ...
Contributed by
Bavarian State Library
The History of Bologna in Four Books. Poems to Galeatius Marescottus
Under the influence of Italian humanism and of his book-collector tutor János Vitéz, the Archbishop of Esztergom, Matthias Corvinus of Hungary (1443–1490), developed a passion for books and learning. Elected king of Hungary in 1458 at the age of 14, Matthias won great acclaim for his battles against the Ottoman Turks and his patronage of learning and science. He created the Bibliotheca Corviniana, in its day one of Europe’s finest libraries. After his death, and especially after the conquest of Buda by the Turks in 1541, the library ...
Contributed by
Bavarian State Library
Notes to the Complete Library of the Four Treasuries, Edited with Supplements
Even though the title indicates that this work is a supplement to Quan shu bei kao (Notes to the complete library of the four treasures), the existence of such a work cannot be confirmed. This edition contains very finely executed illustrations, which are of sociological and historical as well as artistic importance. Each volume has an inscription certifying that the volume was produced by Zheng Shangxuan at the printing shop, Ren Rui Tang (Hall of auspicious mankind). The contents of the work were mostly taken from Bu qiu ren (Not ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress