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Bill of Sale from Henry Walker to William Shakespeare, 1613
This deed of bargain and sale, dated March 10, 1613, records William Shakespeare's purchase of a gatehouse in the Blackfriars district of London, from Henry Walker, citizen and minstrel of London. Shakespeare paid £80 of the £140 selling price up front, and on the day after the conveyance he mortgaged the remaining £60 back to Walker. William Johnson, citizen and vintner of London, and John Jackson and John Heminge, gentlemen, acted as trustees in Shakespeare's interest. They also were in charge of the sale of the property following ...
Contributed by
Folger Shakespeare Library
The First Folio of Shakespeare
Printed in the large “folio” size, the First Folio is the first collected edition of the plays of William Shakespeare. It was put together after his death in 1616 by two fellow actors, John Heminge and Henry Condell, and was published in 1623. The book contains the complete text of 36 of Shakespeare’s plays. The principal publishers were Edward Blount (1565–1632), a London bookseller and publisher, and Isaac Jaggard (died 1627), son of William Jaggard (circa 1568–1623), a printer and publisher long associated with Shakespeare, who died ...
Contributed by
Folger Shakespeare Library
Titus Andronicus
This 1594 copy of Titus Andronicus is the only known copy of this quarto in existence, and, along with a version of Henry VI, Part 2 from the same year, is the earliest extant printed Shakespeare play. Quartos printed after about 1598 often display the name William Shakespeare; as this is an earlier quarto, the name of the acting company is shown instead. Quarto editions of the plays, which began to appear in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, were inexpensive and were sold unbound, sometimes in small numbers ...
Contributed by
Folger Shakespeare Library
Final Concord Between William Shakespeare and Hercules Underhill
The final concord between William Shakespeare and Hercules Underhill is the confirming title to Shakespeare's New Place house in Stratford-upon-Avon, signed Michaelmas 1602. Shakespeare originally purchased New Place in May 1597 from William Underhill. Underhill was poisoned two months later by Fulke Underhill, his oldest son and heir, who was hanged for the crime in 1599. When Hercules Underhill, Fulke's younger brother, came of age, Shakespeare protected his title to New Place by paying him to reconfirm the purchase. As was the custom, three copies of the final ...
Contributed by
Folger Shakespeare Library
New Records on the Travel Round the Globe
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, in 1876 the United States held a Centennial Exhibition in the same city. The Foreign Office of the late Qing court authorized the Commercial Tax Office for the Western Countries to arrange the Chinese display at the exposition. Li Gui (1842–1903), a secretary at the Customs Office, was dispatched to the United States with a delegation to assist in the arrangements. On his journey he also visited England, France, and other countries. After his ...
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National Central Library
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 ...
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University Library Alessandrina
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Bible Pictures by William de Brailes
This manuscript comprises 24 leaves of Bible pictures by William de Brailes, an English artist active in Oxford in the middle of the 13th century. Seven leaves from the same set of images are now in the Musée Marmottan in Paris. These 31 leaves are all that remain of an image cycle that once contained at least 98 miniatures, and which was the longest cycle of Bible miniatures surviving from the 13th century in England. In all probability these Bible pictures were actually prefatory matter to a psalter (now Stockholm ...
Contributed by
Walters Art Museum
Report of All that Has Happened in Rome, Naples, Venice, Genoa, Sicily, France, Germany, England, and Malta
Relacion de avisos de todo lo qve ha svcedido en Roma, Napoles, Venecia, Genova, Sicilia, Francia, Alemania, Inglaterra, y Malta (Report of all that has happened in Rome, Naples, Venice, Genoa, Sicily, France, Germany, England, and Malta) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1618. The first printing press in South America was established in Lima by Antonio Ricardo (circa 1540−1606), an Italian who had worked for a time as a printer with the Jesuits in Mexico City. This book is part of a collection of 39 first editions in ...
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National Library of Peru
Letter, 1803, September 24, to Dr. Currie, Liverpool
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
To Dr. Currie, M.D., F.R.S.: Holograph, Liverpool, 12 July 1800
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
A Woman Dropping Her Tea-cup in Horror upon Discovering the Monstrous Contents of a Magnified Drop of Thames Water Revealing the Impurity of London Drinking Water
This 1828 caricature shows a woman looking into a microscope to observe the monsters swimming in a drop of London water. In the 1820s, much of London’s drinking water came from the Thames River, which was heavily polluted by the city sewers that emptied into it. A Commission on the London Water Supply that was appointed to investigate this situation issued a report in 1828, which resulted in various improvements. The five water companies that served the north bank of the river upgraded the quality of their water by ...
Contributed by
Wellcome Library
The Life of Meriasek
Until recently, when Beunans Ke came to light, Beunans Meriasek was the only known saint's play in Middle Cornish. St. Meriasek was of Breton origin. The play presents his career, starting with his early education in Brittany and his arrival in Cornwall, recounting the various miracles he performed, then moves on to his return to Brittany, where he became Bishop of Vannes and eventually died a Christian death. Incorporated into the narrative are a number of individual tales, including incidents from the life of St. Sylvester and a miracle ...
Contributed by
National Library of Wales
3 A.M. in a London Station Hut
This poster, produced by an unknown publisher in England in 1915, shows a Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) facility for soldiers, with men sleeping on couches, in chairs, and on the floor in the middle of the night. The YMCA was founded in 1844 by George Williams, a worker in the London drapery trade who was concerned about the welfare of his fellow workers. The YMCA spread to other British cities in the 1840s and became a global organization in the 1850s. During World War I, the YMCA provided ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Remember Scarborough! Enlist Now
On December 16, 1914, a German naval force of battle cruisers under the command of Admiral Franz von Hipper bombarded the English North Sea coastal towns of Scarborough, Hartlepool, and Whitby, killing 122 civilians and wounding 443. The attack was made as part of a German plan to draw the numerically superior British fleet out into the North Sea, where it would be vulnerable to German minefields and submarine attack. Scarborough was undefended, lacking any gun emplacements, and the British government and public opinion strongly condemned the attack on a ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
The Polish Victims' Relief Fund
This World War I poster, published in Britain in 1915, shows refugees with children, carrying their possessions as they flee past a burning village. The text appeals for contributions to the Polish Victims' Relief Fund with the words: “The homeless women and children of Poland are far, but need they be far from your hearts? Pray help us to help them!” The honorary secretary of the fund is listed as Miss Laurence Alma Tadema, the daughter of the painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836–1912). Poland was part of the Russian ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Smith's New Map of London
By 1800, the population of London had reached one million, making it the world’s largest city. By the end of the 1900s, its population was approaching five million. The rapid growth of cities such as London created new challenges for mapmakers, including confused street names, the constant appearance of new streets and buildings, and the problem of aligning the trigonometric measurement of streets with actual measurement. Growth also created new demand for maps -- from businesses, insurance companies, government agencies, and tourists. This 1860 map by C. Smith & Son shows ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Women are Working Day and Night to Win the War
In World War I, all sides used posters as tools to mobilize their populations for the war effort. With men fighting at the front, women played a great role in sustaining industrial production for the war effort and civilian needs, often by working in urban factories located away from their homes. This British poster by an unknown artist shows women working at a lathe in a factory complex with a Young Women's Christian Association structure visible through the window. The YWCA was engaged in housing women workers, and the ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
London Town
This late Victorian book of children’s poetry presents a bright and cheery view of London at the height of its imperial glory. Felix Leigh, who wrote the verses, was a prolific writer whose drawings and poems were featured for many years in the magazine Boy’s Own Paper. The illustrations are by Thomas Crane and Ellen E. Houghton. Crane designed the ornamental pages and Houghton did the figure drawings. Thomas Crane was the older brother of Walter Crane (1845-1915), who brought about revolutionary improvements in illustrated children’s books ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Cruel Tyrant Love
This previously unknown version of the solo cantata, Crudel tiranno Amor (Cruel tyrant Love) by George Friedrich Handel (1685–1759), resurfaced in a newly discovered, complete autograph score among the many posthumous estates housed in the Music Department of the Bavarian State Library. It was found in a miscellany of 18 manuscripts formerly owned by the well-known cultural historian, musicographer, and novelist Wilhelm Heinrich von Riehl (1823–97). The sensational discovery was made in 2004 by the musicologist Dr. Berthold Over, who succeeded in identifying the manuscript’s anonymous Italian ...
Contributed by
Bavarian State Library
Golden Munich Psalter
This manuscript is one of the most lavishly illuminated psalters of the Middle Ages. It includes 91 full-page miniatures, most of which contain gold, in five picture cycles that give an overview of the most important scenes of the Bible, and especially the Old Testament, which is depicted in no fewer than 176 scenes. Among these, several very unusual motifs concerning heroic women are especially noteworthy. The style of the illumination is typical for the transition period between late Romanesque and early Gothic art. With its calendar, the texts of ...
Contributed by
Bavarian State Library
Psalter of Queen Isabella of England
The richly illuminated Isabella Psalter contains the text of the Psalms in both Latin and Anglo-Norman. It is likely that the codex was a wedding gift of King Edward II of England (1284–1327) to his wife Isabella of France (1292/96–1358), presented in 1303–8. The initial to Psalm 119 shows a queen, most likely Isabella herself, kneeling between the coats of arms of England and France. Written for the diocese of York, probably in the workshop of the Augustinian priory near Nottingham (as revealed by the calendar ...
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Bavarian State Library