64 results in English
The First Russian Book Printer, 1583
This book, published in Kiev in 1895, is a short biography of Ivan Fyodorov (circa 1510–83), intended for the general reader. Along with Schweipolt Fiol and Francysk Skaryna, Fyodorov was one of the fathers of printing in the East Slavic region. He graduated from Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, and later worked in Moscow, where he published liturgical works using movable type, the first books printed in Russia. He was driven from Moscow by scribes who feared competition from his innovation and fled to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania ...
Album of the Coats of Arms of Ukraine
This collection of prints depicts the historic coats of arms and flags of Ukraine. The work is by Mykola Bytynsʹkyĭ (1893–1972), a Ukrainian painter and expert on heraldry. Bytynsʹkyĭ fought in the Ukrainian War for Independence at the end of World War I and later immigrated to Prague where he studied arts and produced several works on heraldry. After World War II, he lived in a displaced persons camp in Germany, before immigrating to Canada. The coat of arms of Ukraine, a trident on a blue shield, was officially ...
Images of the Grand Ducal Radzivill Family from the Originals in the Treasury Collection
Icones Familiae Ducalis Radivilianae ex originalibus in Ganzophylacio ordinationis desumptae (Images of the Grand Ducal Radzivill Family from the originals in the Treasury Collection) is an album containing 165 portraits of the members of the Radzivill family from the period 1346–1780. The Radzivills produced more outstanding political, church, military, and cultural figures than any other family in the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. At the height of its power in the 15th century, the duchy ruled over the territory of present-day Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine, and ...
Memoirs of Babur
This book is a lithograph edition of the Persian translation of Bāburnāmah (Memoirs of Babur), the autobiography of Ẓahīr al-Dīn Muḥammad Bāburshāh (1483–1530), the first Mughal emperor of India. Bāburnāmah originally was written in Chagatai Turkish and was translated into Persian during the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar. The translation was undertaken by Bairam Khan (died 1561), an Afghan bureaucrat and military commander who served under Emperor Humayun and who was briefly appointed regent over his successor, Emperor Akbar, when Akbar was a child. This book was printed ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Worthy Advice in the Affairs of the World and Religion: The Autobiography of Emir Abdur Rahman Khan
This work is an autobiography of 'Abd al-Raḥmān Khān, emir of Afghanistan from 1880 to 1901. It is styled, however, as a manual of advice and a mirror for princes. It is divided into 16 chapters, which are arranged according to the topics on which the author provides advice and worthy examples, in this case drawn from his own conduct. Subdivision by topic of this kind mimics the pattern of books in the advice genre. The colophon dates the work to the month of Muharram of 1303 AH (October–November ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The History of the Roman Provinces of the Near East
This Arabic manuscript is a history of the Roman provinces of the Near East, with special reference to King Herod the Great and the dynasty he founded. The manuscript lacks numerous pages at the beginning and end. The remaining portion contains the history of Roman Palestine during the first century BC until the destruction of the temple by Roman emperor Titus in 70 AD. The author, title, and date of copying are unknown. The work has been tentatively ascribed to the 17th century. The text is unadorned except for marking ...
Memoirs of an Arabian Princess: An Autobiography
Emilie Ruete (1844–1924), also known as Princess Sayyida Salme of Zanzibar and Oman, was born in Zanzibar (part of present-day Tanzania), the daughter of Saʻīd bin Sulṭān, sultan of Zanzibar and Oman. In 1867 she married a German merchant, Rudolph Heinrich Ruete (1839–70). The couple settled in Hamburg. Memoirs of an Arabian Princess is an account of Ruete’s royal youth in Zanzibar and Oman. First published in German in 1886, the book describes the culture and society of Zanzibar as experienced by an Arab girl growing to ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Biographic Sketch of Mohammad Ali, Pacha of Egypt, Syria, and Arabia
Biographic Sketch of Mohammad Ali (1769–1849), composed by an unknown author, was published in Washington in 1837. Muḥammad ʻAlī was pasha and wali (governor) of Egypt within the Ottoman Empire from 1805 until his death. The book begins by comparing him to Napoleon, noting that they shared the same birth year and the same “insatiate ambition.” The author describes Muḥammad ʻAlī’s military service under the Ottoman governor of Kavalla in Rumelia (northeastern Greece). Muḥammad ʻAlī also became a tobacco dealer during this period, an experience that probably inspired ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Book Known as “The Sulṭānī History”
Tārīkh-i Sulṭānī (The Sulṭānī history) is a historical study of the Afghan people and the rulers of Afghanistan from the beginnings of Islam to the mid-19th century. The work was published as a lithographic print in Bombay (present-day Mumbai) in 1881. This copy has been rebound, with “Ṣaḥāfī Sulṭān Muḥammad, Kabul" gold-stamped on the back cover. The title page and pages 3−4 are damaged and repaired with no loss of text. The last page (page 291) has been repaired and missing text added in ink in a later hand ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
History of Nadir Shah Afshar
Waqiat-i Nadiri (literally “Events of Nadir”) is a historical manuscript that chronicles the political and military career of Nādir Shāh, who was born in 1688 and rose to power in Iran during the 1720s; he became shah in 1736. He is known as a military warrior famous for his campaigns in Iran, Afghanistan, northern India, and Central Asia. He was assassinated by his officers in June 1747. The name of the author of this work, Mohammad Mahdi Munshi ibn Mohammad Nasir (also seen as Mahdī Khān Astarābādī), appears on page ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Crown of Histories
Shown here is volume one of the two-volume Tāj al-Tavārīkh (The crown of histories), which is the autobiography of 'Abd al-Raḥmān Khān, ruler of Afghanistan between 1880 and 1901. After long years in exile in Central Asia, Rahman came to power in Afghanistan with the support of the British, by whom he was later patronized financially, politically, and militarily. He began to suppress various social groups who opposed and threatened his rule, such as the Hazarah and Ghilzai tribes of central and eastern Afghanistan. He also exiled rival individuals and ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The History of the Life and Deeds of Scanderbeg, the Prince of Epirus
Historia de vita et gestis Scanderbegi Epirotarvm principis (The history of the life and deeds of Scanderbeg, the Prince of Epirus) is a biography of George Castriota (also seen as Kastrioti, circa 1405−68), the Albanian national hero known by his Ottoman appellation Scanderbeg (a combination of Iskander, or Alexander, and the rank of bey). The work is by Marin Barleti (circa 1460−1512 or 1513),one of the first Albanian historians, a distinguished author, and a priest from Scodra (present-day Shkodër). Scanderbeg, the son of a noble family, was ...
Imperial House of Romanov
This publication was produced in 1913 to mark the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. It contains an introduction, a genealogical sketch on the Romanov boyars, and a short history of the Romanovs in 17 chapters. The volume also includes biographies, portraits, and photographs of the members of the dynasty. In the introduction, “Three Centuries of the House of Romanov,” Elpidifor Barsov (1836−1917) provides a brief historical overview of the context of Romanov rule. He describes first “the time of troubles” preceding the election of Mikhail Fedorovich, the first ...
Album Commemorating the Tercentenary Anniversary of the Imperial House of Romanov
This book is one of many works published in Russia in connection with the celebration, in 1913, of the 300th anniversary of the House of Romanov. The author, Ivan Bazhenov, was a church historian, theologian, and local historian in Kostroma. In his introduction, Bazhenov states that the goal of the publication is “to give the readers an opportunity to understand and evaluate the great significance of this anniversary and at the same time to awaken their gratitude for the founder of the Romanov dynasty.” He begins by describing Russia before ...
Pearls, or Selections of Fond Memory and Immortal Imprint
Al-Durar wa-hiyya Muntakhabat al-Tayyib al-Zikr al-Khalid al-Athr (Pearls, or selections of fond memory and immortal imprint) is a memorial volume that collects the political and literary writing of the influential Arab nationalist Adib Ishaq (1856−85). Born in Damascus, Ishaq was a precocious youngster who received his formative education in Arabic and French at the French Lazarist school there and under the Jesuits in Beirut. His family’s strained circumstances forced him to leave school for work as a customs clerk. Excelling at languages, he supplemented his income by writing ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Life of Cornelius Van Dyck
Hayat Kurnilius Fan Dayk (The life of Cornelius Van Dyck) celebrates the life and achievements of American missionary, scientist, physician, and educator Cornelius Van Dyck (1818−1895). Born in Kinderhook, New York, Van Dyck received his degree from Jefferson Medical College in 1839 and left for the Near East the following year. His initial assignment was the intensive study of Arabic, the language of instruction at the Protestant schools. He also completed his study toward ordination and began work on the Bible translation that would be published some 20 years ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The History of Modern France
Tarikh Faransa al-Hadith (The history of modern France) is a biography of Napoleon Bonaparte rather than, as suggested by the title, a general history of France. The author states that “France is the closest country to us in the Orient commercially and linguistically. We have chosen this topic as serviceable history, that is, the fundamental art upon which public policies, action, and planning are based.” The book is more than 1,000 pages long. Introductory chapters briefly cover geography and history to the 1770s, as well as the French Revolution ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
“History of the Caliphs” by al-Sūyūtī and “Primary Indicators of Well-Regulated States” by al-Hasan al-ʻAbbāsī
This volume contains two works, Tarikh al-Khulafa’ (History of the caliphs) by al-Sūyūtī (1445−1505) and Athar al-Uwal fi Tartib al-Duwal (Primary indicators of well-regulated states) by al-Hasan ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-‘Abbāsī (died circa 1310). Al-Sūyūtī is renowned for his writings in the Islamic sciences, although not necessarily for this historical work. History of the Caliphs remains in print as a standard summation of the Sunni view of the rule of succession after the Prophet Muhammad’s death. The work reveals a gift for selection and synthesis rather than ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Utterances
The 14th-century Turkic-Mongol ruler Timur (Tamerlane) wrote a memoir in Chagatai Turkish, the original of which is now lost. The work was intended as a book of advice for princes and rulers and has been given various titles over the years, including, as in this manuscript, Malfūẓāt (Utterances). The memoir was translated into Persian by Abu Talib al-Husayni, who appears to have been a Shia scholar-official from Khorasan in the service of the Mughal rulers in India in the 1630s. Al-Husayni discovered a Turkish version of the manuscript in the ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
History of the Pashtuns
Tawarikh-e Khurshid-e Jahan (literally, Histories of the sun of the world) is primarily a history of Afghan Pashtun (or Pashton) ancestry. It describes Afghan Pashtun genealogies, the various lineages, and the many political events, wars, and polities, such as the Safavid and Mughal dynasties in Khorasan and India, with which the Pashtuns have historically been identified. The book is arranged in four sections. Section one is a detailed list of contents. Section two begins with a preface containing the names of the author, patron, and contributor and proclaims that the ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
History of Nadir Shah
Tārīkh-i Nādirī (The history of Nadir) is a historical work that chronicles the political and military career of Nadir Shah, who was born in 1688 and rose to power in Iran during the 1720s; he became shah in 1736. (This work is also known as Jahāngushāy-i Nādirī in reference to the celebrated history of Genghis Khan, whom Nadir Shah admired.) Nadir Shah is known as a military warrior famous for his campaigns in Iran, Afghanistan, northern India, and Central Asia. He was assassinated by his officers in June 1747. The ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Memorial Known as the Greatest Flower Meadow
Taz̲kirah-i gulzār-i Aʿẓam (The memorial known as the greatest flower meadow) is a biographical compendium of poets and their poetic output. It belongs to the taz̲kirah (memorial) genre of Persian and Indo-Persian literature. The author, Muḥammad Ghauth Khān, was born on the 29th of Dhū al-Ḥijjah 1239 AH (August 25, 1824) in Chennai, India, and was the last nawab of the Carnatic. In the introduction to Taz̲kirah, Muḥammad Ghauth Khān describes how, after writing an earlier biographical work, ubḥ-i Vaan (Dawn of the homeland ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Biographical Account of Timur
Kulliyat-e Farsi Taymurnamah (literally, The biographical account of Timur) is a biography of Timur or Tamerlane (1336−1405), the Turkic-Mongolian founder of the Timurid dynasty and lineage. It chronicles in detail his personal, political, and military life, including campaigns and conquests, and events in the regions of present-day Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Iran. Many biographies of Timur were produced during his lifetime and after. This lithographed version was published in Tashkent by Matba-e Ghulam Hasan in 1912. The last page of the introduction (pages 2−7) states that this book ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Biography of Zou Rong
Zou Rong (1885−1905), whose original name was Zou Shaotao, was also called Guiwen and had the style name Weidan. He was a native of Baxian, Sichuan. He changed his name to Zou Rong while studying in Japan. In 1903 he published a little book entitled Ge ming jun (The revolutionary army), calling for the Chinese people to carry out revolution, overthrow the Manchu regime, and establish the Chinese republic. Zhang Taiyan (1868−1936), a Chinese philologist, philosopher, and also a revolutionary, wrote the preface. It was published in the ...
Contributed by National Library of China
Emblems: With Many Images from Ancient Works; by Ján Sambucus of Tyrnavia in Pannonia
Emblemata: Cvm Aliqvot Nvmmis Antiqvi Operis (Emblems: with many images from ancient works) is by the notable Slovak poet, polymath, publisher, collector, and university professor Ján Sambucus (also known as János Zsámboki, 1531−84). Born in Trnava (also referred to as Tyrnavia) in western Slovakia, Sambucus was considered to be the outstanding humanistic personality of Central Europe. He maintained contacts with many European scholars, with whom he collaborated in his publishing and collecting activities and his historical research. A substantial part of his life was spent at the imperial court ...
Contributed by Slovak National Library
Chronicle of the World
Weltchronik (Chronicle of the world) is a German translation of an original Latin text attributed to Joannes de Utino (also seen as Giovanni da Udine, died 1366). This copy was produced in the second half of the 15th century and features extensive decorative colored drawings by an unknown painter. It most likely was created in Bratislava sometime after 1458, during the period of Matthias Corvinus´s accession to the Hungarian throne. It was preserved in the library of the Bratislava Capuchins. The chronicle is a didactic work that would have ...
Contributed by Slovak National Library
Protocol of the Convent of Bratislava (Heraldic Codex)
Protocollum Venerabilis Conventus Posoniensis (Protocol of the convent of Bratislava) is a heraldic codex containing a list of the patrons and donors of a religious institution in Bratislava with 67 full-page painted miniatures of their respective coats of arms. The last listing was created in 1763. The armorial book was begun in 1710 in Bratislava at the request of Ľudovít Kirkay, the superior of the local Franciscan convent, who most probably was inspired by a model of the Historia Domus protocol of the Bratislava convent dated 1709. The coats of ...
Contributed by Slovak National Library
Fragment from Major Alfred Dreyfus's Memoirs
Alfred Dreyfus (1859−1935) was a French artillery officer of Jewish background who was wrongly accused and convicted of treason and espionage in 1894. As such, he became the main protagonist in one of the most famous political scandals of the beginning of the 20th century. In this voice recording of a fragment of his memoirs, made in 1912 at the Sorbonne by the Archives de la parole (Voice archives), Dreyfus recounts the events of July 20, 1906. Eight days after he was exonerated by the Cour de cassation (Court ...
Malay Annals
Sometime around the year 1400, a prince from Sumatra named Parameswara founded a settlement at the mouth of the Melaka River on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. One of his successors embraced Islam, and Melaka soon grew to become the greatest Islamic kingdom in Southeast Asia. A center of the spice trade that was known as the “Venice of the East,” it attracted merchants from as far away as Arabia, India, China, and Japan. The wealth of Melaka proved irresistible to the Portuguese, who were the first Europeans ...
Contributed by The British Library
Armorial of Cornelis van Aeken, or Beyeren Armorial
The Beyeren Armorial, also known as the Armorial of Cornelis van Aeken, was compiled by Claes Heynenzoon (also known as the Gelre Herald, circa 1345−1414), who was Ruwieren King of Arms, the chief herald of the Netherlands, around 1400.  Heraldry had steadily increased in importance throughout the Middle Ages. In tournaments and on the battlefield, knights were unrecognizable once they donned their helmet and armor, unless they used a coat of arms as an identifying symbol. The coats of arms also were used to indicate the noble lord to ...
The Armorial of Conrad von Grünenberg
The Armorial of Conrad von Grünenberg is a splendid manuscript containing several hundred colored coats of arms. It was written on parchment and seems to be a contemporary copy from the original version on paper written in 1483, preserved today in Berlin. It formed part of the library of the dukes of Bavaria and was probably in the possession of Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria (1493−1550). Depicted are the coats of arms of barons, dukes, margraves, archbishops, free cities and towns, and orders of knights from throughout Germany, as ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
World Chronicle with the Descent of the Kings of England from Adam and Eve to Richard III
This manuscript, produced in London around 1500, traces the genealogy of the kings of England from Adam and Eve to Richard III. The manuscript was made in the manner of William Caxton (circa 1422–92), the first English printer. Written in English, on vellum, the volume still has its original brown calf binding. Illustrations are mostly large compositions in pen and ink and include images of the Last Judgment and the fall of the rebel angels, the Creation, the fall of Adam and Eve, and Noah’s ark. Also included ...
Contributed by Irish College in Paris
The History of Genghizcan the Great, First Emperor of the Antient Moguls and Tartars
This early Western history of Genghis Khan, the 13th-century Mongol Emperor who established the world’s largest contiguous empire, is by François Pétis (1622-95), an interpreter of Arabic and Turkish at the French court. In a long and distinguished career, Pétis translated a history of France into Turkish, compiled a French-Turkish dictionary, and created a catalog of the Turkish and Persian manuscripts owned by the king of France. François Pétis de la Croix (1653-1713), the son of François Pétis, took over the position of interpreter from his father in 1695 ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Illustrated Family Record (Fraktur) Found in Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land-Warrant Application File W3079, for Philip Frey, Pennsylvania
During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress passed laws promising pensions or grants of government-owned land to officers and soldiers who served in the war, as well as to the survivors of those killed. This illustrated family record in the German Fraktur script, hand-colored with large birds, is a birth and baptismal document submitted as part of the application for a pension by Anna Margaretha Kolb, wife of Revolutionary War veteran Philip Frey. From Pennsylvania, Frey served between April 1776 and January 1778. He fought in the battles at Long ...
Battle Standards
On this scroll are depicted uma-jirushi -- battle standards set up beside a military commander's horse to show his position -- of 170 soldiers. The illustrations are printed in color and also painted by hand. This scroll is important for marking the origin of multicolor woodblock printing (nishiki-e) in Japan. The sixth volume of this work, which was found only recently, is the only scroll still known to exist.
Contributed by National Diet Library
Sketches from the Life of Mahmud Pasa
This manuscript, completed by an anonymous scribe in 1716, is a copy of a late-15th century biography of Mahmud Pasha, who served as grand vizier to Sultan Mehmed II. Mahmud Pasha (surnamed Angelović) came from Byzantine Christian parents, and was known for his military leadership and his patronage of literature and the arts. He fell out of favor with the sultan and was executed in 1474. Mahmud Pasha was popular, and stories from his life were widely read. The author of the original 15th-century work is unknown. The manuscript is ...
Biographical Records of the Royal Mu Family
This work is a faithful copy, by a painter of the Mu clan commissioned by Joseph Rock, to reproduce ancestral portraits that had been handed down through the ages. The body of the work records the Tusi Mu of Lijiang in Yunnan from the 1st through the 33rd generations. Rock (1884-1962) was an explorer, adventurer, and scientist who was born in Austria and later became a U.S. citizen. He spent much of his life in remote areas of western China, sponsored at different times by National Geographic, Harvard University ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Memoirs of the House of Brandenburg
Mémoires pour servir a l'histoire de la maison de Brandebourg (Memoirs of the House of Brandenburg) is a history of the Brandenburg Dynasty by Frederick II, King of Prussia, himself a member of that dynasty. It was read at the Prussian Academy of Sciences in 1747−48 and published in three installments. Shown here is the first complete printing of the work, which dates from 1751. It was produced at Frederick’s private press at the palace of Sanssouci, near Berlin. It was considered as the fourth volume of ...
Genealogy of the Liu Family of Xiuyi Mining
Chinese genealogical works are historical records that document the pedigree, deeds, and events relating to a patriarchal clan. A genealogical work generally was composed of: a preface; table of contents; rules of compilation; rules and instructions to be observed by clansmen; images of the ancestral temple, tombs, and portraits; pedigree charts; and biographies of worthy members of the clan. Also included were the names of the person or persons responsible for issuing the work, as well as a postscript. Such works complement the available general historical records and are an ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Genealogy of the Wang Family
This printed Chinese genealogy is in four volumes. Chinese genealogical works are historical records that document the pedigree, deeds, and events relating to a patriarchal clan. A genealogical work generally was composed of: a preface; table of contents; rules of compilation; rules and instructions to be observed by clansmen; images of the ancestral temple, tombs, and portraits; pedigree charts; and biographies of worthy members of the clan. Also included were the names of the person or persons responsible for issuing the work, as well as a postscript. The title inscription ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Records of Zixia, the Purple Gorge
Cao Zongzai (1754–1824) a native of Haining, Zhejiang Province, a city famous for its dramatic views and for the spectacular tidal bore in the Qiantang River, produced a number of poetry collections. Among them was this manuscript, which he compiled in his studio, Dongshanlou (East Mountain Hall), in two juan, in one volume, entitled Zi xia wen xian lu (Records of Zixia, the Purple Gorge). Another collection of Cao’s was called Xiachuan shi chao (The Xiachuan poetry collection). In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, local literati ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A Letter Confirming Nobility
This manuscript from Mexico City is the record of testimony offered by Sebastián Vizcaíno (1550?-1615) in 1597-1600 to prove the noble status of his wife, Magdalena Martínez Orejón, and her brother, Francisco Martínez Orejón. Vizcaíno was a prominent Mexico City merchant and an explorer of Baja California. The proofs of nobility were important to defend Vizcaíno's brother-in-law, Francisco Martínez Orejón, in a lawsuit that put him in debtor's prison. The text is written in an italic style in black ink within ruled frames, on both sides of ...
Contributed by Library of Congress