105 results in English
A Hydrographical and Chorographical Chart of the Philippine Islands
This magnificent map of the Philippine archipelago, drawn by the Jesuit Father Pedro Murillo Velarde (1696–1753) and published in Manila in 1734, is the first and most important scientific map of the Philippines. The Philippines were at that time a vital part of the Spanish Empire, and the map shows the maritime routes from Manila to Spain and to New Spain (Mexico and other Spanish territory in the New World), with captions. In the upper margin stands a great cartouche with the title of the map, crowned by the ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
General Atlas of All the Islands in the World
Islario general de todas las islas del mundo (General atlas of all the islands in the world) is the greatest work by Seville cosmographer Alonso de Santa Cruz (1505–67). The atlas was begun during the reign of Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain Charles V and finished in that of his son King Philip II, to whom it was dedicated. It consists of 111 maps representing all the islands and peninsulas of the world, and showing all the discoveries made by European explorers from 1400 to the mid-16th ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
Java and Australia
This manuscript map of Java and the tip of northern Australia is a copy of an earlier work by the Malaysian-Portuguese cartographer Emanuel Godinho de Eredia (1563-1623). In the 16th century, Portugal sent several expeditions to explore the islands south of Malaysia; it is possible that they gained some knowledge about the geography of Australia from these missions. Some scholars have speculated that the Malays had a knowledge of Australia, which Eredia somehow absorbed. The first documented European sighting of Australia was by the Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon, in 1606.
Codicil of Queen Isabel the Catholic, Executed at Medina del Campo, on November 23, 1504
On November 23, 1504, three days before her death, Queen Isabella of Spain signed, in Medina del Campo, a codicil before the same notary, Gaspar de Gricio, and five of the seven witnesses who had been present on October 12 for the signing of her last will and testament. In the testament, the queen addressed the fundamental aspects of government by the Catholic monarchs. In the codicil, besides reaffirming what she had stipulated in the testament, she addressed questions directly affecting peninsular government and showed her concern for Spanish policy ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
The Dutch Republic, Enlarged and Edited: Produced with the Care and Work of Matthaeus Seutter
This map of the United Provinces of the Netherlands was engraved by Matthaeus Seutter (1678-1757), an engraver and publisher from Augsburg, Germany. Seutter studied printing in Nuremburg and in Augsburg, as an apprentice to Jeremias Wolff, before setting up his own printing house in 1710. Seutter generally enlarged and engraved the work of others but did very little drawing of original maps. This map was printed by Tobias Conrad Lotter (1717-77), Seutter’s son-in-law, who took over the business after Seutter’s death.
Settlement in the East Indies
This sketch is from a collection of 27 drawings on 15 sheets in the National Library of South Africa presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi people, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The drawing shows a Dutch East Indies country scene with tropical flora, simple human dwellings, and a solitary figure in the foreground. The artist who made the drawings in this collection has not been identified. He most likely was a Dutchman, born in the 17th century, who was attached in some capacity to the Dutch ...
Settlement in the East Indies
This sketch is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The sketch depicts a Dutch settlement in the East Indies, showing a street with buildings and trees. A similar drawing depicting the same structures in the Rijksprentenkabinet in Amsterdam has been ascribed to Cornelis de Bruyn (circa 1652–circa 1727). This drawing in pencil is the ...
Sumatran Muntjac
This depiction of what is probably Muntiacus muntjak muntjak or Muntiacus muntjak montanus (the Sumatran muntjac) is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in 1986 in the National Library of South Africa. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi people, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The artist most likely was a Dutchman, born in the 17th century, who was attached in some capacity to the Dutch East India Company and possibly en route to the Dutch ...
Malaysian Tapir
This depiction of Tapirus indicus (the Malaysian or Asian tapir) is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in 1986 in the National Library of South Africa. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi people, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The artist has not been identified. He most likely was a Dutchman, born in the 17th century, who was attached in some capacity to the Dutch East India Company and possibly en route to the Dutch East ...
The Complete World Map
The author of this work is unknown. The name of the person who copied the manuscript appears at the end of the work, signed Zhou Yousheng. Some have attributed authorship to Ai Nanying (1583–1646), a late-Ming essayist and literary critic, who wrote a work entitled Yu Gong tu zhu (Explanatory text to the map of the Yu Gong), the central concept of which was the traditional Chinese view on geography. According to that view, Yu of the Xia dynasty (circa 2070–circa 1600 BC) divided the Middle Kingdom into ...
Contributed by National Central Library
The Administrative Maps of the Ming Dynasty (Incomplete Copy)
The author of this work was Chen Zushou (died 1637), a late-Ming literary author. A native of Yanling (present-day Changzhou, Jiangsu Province), Chen Zushou received his jin shi degree in 1634 and became, in the following year, an official at the Bureau of Operations, one of the four bureaus in the Ministry of War. In 1636, while working at the ministry, he wrote this book, based on a large number of earlier works and contemporary local records, including maps. The original edition, very rich in content, had three juan in ...
Contributed by National Central Library
Java and Madura
In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Java and Madura is Number 82 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Java was the most populous island in what was then the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia). Madura is ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Siam
In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Siam is Number 74 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Written by Josiah Crosby, the British consul-general in Bangkok, the study is one of relatively few in the series issued ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Sumatra
In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Sumatra is Number 83 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Part of present-day Indonesia, Sumatra was at that time ruled by the Netherlands as part of the Dutch East Indies ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Report of What Happened to the Royal Navy of the Philippines, and the Victory Achieved Against the Dutch, Who Had Besieged the City of Manila for Six Months
Relacion del svceso dela armada real de Philipinas, y vitoria que alcanço delos Olandeʃes, que tuuieron ʃitiada ʃeys meʃes ala Ciudad de Manila se publicó (Report of what happened to the royal navy of the Philippines, and the victory achieved against the Dutch, who had besieged the city of Manila for six months) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1619. The book deals with the events of October 1616−April 1617, when a fleet of Dutch ships blockaded the entrance to Manila Bay, before being driven off by a Spanish ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
Letter of Damar Wulan
The Serat Damar Wulan (MSS.Jav.89) is one of the loveliest Indonesian manuscripts in the British Library, with a treasury of illustrations depicting Javanese society in the late 18th century. The pictures are rich in humor and the artist had a marvellous eye for facial expressions and bodily postures (for example, a woman sleeping with her arm across her eyes, a sandal just balanced on a foot). Everyday things are depicted in fascinating detail, from birdcages to garden pots and textiles, with wonderful scenes of music and dance of ...
Contributed by The British Library
Depictions of King Mindon’s Donations at Various Places from 1853 to 1857
This Burmese manuscript (Or 13681) from the British Library shows seven scenes of King Mindon’s donations at various places during the first four years of his reign (1853-57). The artist not only depicted the seven different historical merit-making ceremonies of King Mindon, but he also described the cost of the royal donations in detail. The mid-19th century parabaik (folding book) has red-tooled leather covers, the front cover bearing in gold letters the title “Depictions of King Mindon’s donations at various places beginning in the year 1215, first [volume ...
Contributed by The British Library
Massage Treatise
Traditional Thai medicine is a holistic discipline involving extensive use of indigenous herbal and massage-pressure treatments combined with aspects of spirituality and mental wellbeing. Having been influenced by Indian and Chinese concepts of healing, traditional Thai medicine understands disease not as a physical matter alone, but also as an imbalance of the patient with his or her social and spiritual world. Thai medical manuscripts written during the 19th century give a broad overview of different methods of treatment and prevention, of the understanding and knowledge of the human body, of ...
Contributed by The British Library
Ramayana
The oral tradition of the Burmese Ramayana story can be traced as far back as the reign of King Anawrahta (active 1044−77), the founder of the first Burmese empire. The story was transmitted orally from generation to generation before being written down in prose and verse and as a drama. The earliest known written Burmese version of the Ramayana is Rama Thagyin (Songs from the Ramayana), compiled by U Aung Phyo in 1775. A three-volume copy of the Rama story called Rama vatthu was written on palm leaf in ...
Contributed by The British Library
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
The Tale of Kiều
Truyện Kiều (The tale of Kiều), written by Nguyễn Du (1765−1820) is regarded as the most significant poem in Vietnamese literature. It was composed in Lục-bát (6-8) stanzas and its original title in Vietnamese is Ðoạn Trường Tân Thanh (A new cry from a broken heart). However, it is better known as Truyện Kiều or Kim Văn Kiều. The story is based on a 17th century Ming Chinese novel, which Nguyễn Du discovered while he was on an ambassadorial mission to China in 1813. The plot portrays the chaotic ...
Contributed by The British Library
Qurʼan
This exquisite illuminated Qurʼan (Or 15227) dating from the 19th century originates from the east coast of the Malay Peninsula. On the basis of various codicological features, the manuscript can be attributed to the cultural zone encompassing Kelantan, on the northeast coast of Malaysia, and Patani, in southern Thailand. In many ways, the Qurʼan is typical of manuscript production in Patani, with black endpapers of Thai manufacture, a cloth cover with elaborate stitched headbands, and illuminated frames with typical Patani features, such as the interlocking-wave motif. And yet the exactitude ...
Contributed by The British Library
Buddhist Texts, Including the Legend of Phra Malai, with Illustrations of The Ten Birth Tales
The legend of Phra Malai, a Buddhist monk of the Theravada tradition said to have attained supernatural powers through his accumulated merit and meditation, is the main text in this 19th-century Thai samut khoi (folding book) held in the Thai, Lao, and Cambodian Collections of the British Library. Phra Malai figures prominently in Thai art, religious treatises, and rituals associated with the afterlife, and the story is one of the most popular subjects of 19th-century illustrated Thai manuscripts. The earliest surviving examples of Phra Malai manuscripts date back to the ...
Contributed by The British Library
Letter from Engku Temenggung Seri Maharaja (Daing Ibrahim), Ruler of Johor, to Napoleon III, Emperor of France
This beautiful royal Malay letter from the ruler of Johor, Temenggung Daing Ibrahim, to the Emperor of France, written in Singapore in 1857, is a triumph of style over substance. Its 13 golden lines pay effusive compliments to Napoleon III but convey little else. It is hard to know what either side hoped to gain from the despatch of such a magnificent missive, for in the mid-19th century French interests in Southeast Asia were primarily focused on Indochina, while Johor’s allegiance was firmly with the British. In the letter ...
Contributed by The British Library
Treatise on Cats
This manuscript containing fine paintings of cats is in the format of a samut khoi (Thai folding book) with 12 folios, which open from top to bottom. It was produced in the 19th century in central Thailand. Folding books were usually made from the bark of mulberry trees; minerals, plant liquids, and occasionally materials imported from China and Europe were used as paints. Sometimes the paper was blackened with lampblack or lacquer to make the paper stronger and more resistant to damage by insects or humidity. Such books were mainly ...
Contributed by The British Library
Khmer Alphabet
On April 27, 1858, Alexandre Henri Mouhot, aged 31, sailed from London to Bangkok with the aim of exploring the remote interior regions of mainland Southeast Asia. He was particularly interested in ornithology and conchology, but he also had a passion for philology, photography, and foreign languages. Born in 1826 in Montbeliard, France, Mouhot became a Greek scholar, and at the age of 18 went to teach Greek and French at the Military Academy in Saint Petersburg, where he quickly picked up Russian and Polish. At the same time he ...
Contributed by The British Library
A Campaign in Tonkin
Une campagne au Tonkin (A campaign in Tonkin) is a first-hand account of the military campaign mounted by France in 1883−86 in order to establish a protectorate over Tonkin (northern Vietnam). The author, Charles-Edouard Hocquard (1853−1911), was a military doctor who sailed with a French battalion from Toulon in January 1884. He arrived in the Gulf of Tonkin the following month and immediately proceeded to Hanoi by way of Haiphong. Hocquard’s book recounts important engagements in the campaign, including the capture of Bắc Ninh and the bombardment ...
Historical and Archaeological Study of Cổ-Loa, the Capital of the Old Kingdom of Âu Lạc, from 255–207 BC
Étude historique et archéologique sur Cổ-Loa, capitale de l’ancien royaume de Âu Lạc, 255-207 avant J.-C. (Historical and archaeological study of Cổ-Loa, the capital of the old kingdom of Âu Lạc, from 255–207 BC) was published in 1893, several decades after the French had established their colonial presence in Vietnam. The book documents findings from the mission directed by Gustave Dumoutier (1850−1904) to explore the archaeological sites at Cổ-Loa. Located some 20 kilometers north of present-day Hanoi, this was the ancient capital of Âu Lạc, the ...
Exploratory Expedition through Indochina
Voyage d’exploration en Indo-Chine (Exploratory expedition through Indochina) is an edited and annotated reprint of the account of the Mekong expedition of 1867−68, first published in 1870 in the French geographic weekly Le Tour du Monde. The book is by Francis Garnier (1839−73), the young naval officer who is credited with proposing and being the driving force behind the expedition, which was commanded by a more senior naval officer, Captain Ernest Doudart De Lagrée (1823−68). Garnier was responsible for mapping the river and reporting on its ...
Annamite Bibliography
Bibliographie annamite (Annamite bibliography) is a bibliography of books, periodical articles, manuscripts, and maps from or about Vietnam, going back to the arrival of the first French priest in the country in the 17th century. It lists 470 items, including works in French, English, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian. The bibliography is organized in five parts. Part one lists books and articles published in major journals. Part two is a compilation of documents published in specialized journals, compendia of voyages, collections of letters by missionaries, and other works. Part three ...
An Nam Unification Records
This work consists of eyewitness accounts of events that took place in Vietnam between 1767 and 1804. Evidence points to a high-ranking court official, Ngo Thoi Nham (also called Ngo Thi Nham, 1746–1803) as the author of the first seven chapters. Another contributing author is thought to be Ngo Thoi Chi, a court official who accompanied the last Lê king, Lê Chiêu Thó̂ng, into exile in Beijing where the king died in 1793. The original title of the work was Hoàng Lê Nhất Thống Chí (The royal Lê ...
The Tale of Kiều
This is a manuscript of Truyện Kiều (also known as Kim Văn Kiều; The tale of Kiều) by Nguyễn Du (1765−1820), perhaps the most important poem in Vietnamese literature. It is written in Chữ Nôm (Sino-Vietnamese characters). The story is based on a 17th-century Ming Chinese novel, which Nguyễn Du read while he traveled to China in 1813. The plot portrays the chaotic political and social circumstances of Vietnam in the 18th century, which was beset by dynastic struggles. The theme of the story is filial devotion, one of ...
Mechanics and Crafts of the People of Annam
Henri J. Oger was a colonial administrator in French Indochina with a deep admiration for the people and culture of Vietnam, or Annam, as the French then called it. In 1908−9 he commissioned artists and wood carvers to visit the 36 streets of Hanoi and the surrounding countryside in order to document the material culture, methods of production, and cultural practices of the common people. The artists sketched 4,200 scenes and produced wood engravings from which prints were made. Oger assembled the prints to create the multivolume Technique ...
French Indochina Today. Volume 2: Tonkin-Annam
L’Indo-Chine française contemporaine (French Indochina today) is a comprehensive study of French Indochina, a second edition of which was published in Paris in 1885. The work is in two volumes, each with two parts, covering what at that time were the four regions of French Indochina: Cochinchina (the extreme southern part of present-day Vietnam), Cambodia, Tonkin (the northern part of Vietnam), and Annam (central and southern Vietnam except for the area occupied by Cochinchina). Presented here is volume two, which is devoted to the Protectorate of Tonkin (part III ...
Newly Inscribed Medical Understandings of the Medical Master Hải Thượng. Introductory Volume
Shown here is the introductory volume to an extensive set of medical, philosophical, and literary writings by the famous physician Lê Hữu Trác (commonly known as Hải Thượng Lãn Ông, 1720–91). The full set includes 61 volumes, plus this head volume or introductory volume, and an end or addendum volume. The set also includes two prefaces: one by Hải Thượng, the author, written in the year 1770, the other by Lê Cúc Linh. In this volume, there is one article on common rules and conventions used in the series ...
Khủn Tinh Poems
This work is among the most important written representations of the folklore of the Thai, or Tay, people in Vietnam, an ethnic group that once lived in southwest China, northeast Thailand, and Burma. Thai people migrated south about 1,000 years ago to escape from the Chinese, and in the present day constitute one of the largest minorities in Vietnam. The written language of Vietnamese Thai people has passed from use, although the spoken form is a dialect understandable by other Thai speakers. This book is a novel written in ...
The Attack of Manilla, October 1762
The Seven Years' War (1756-63) was a world-wide conflict between Britain and France that also involved Spain as an ally of France. In 1762, the British sent Admiral William Draper, with an expeditionary force of some 2,000 European and Indian (Sepoy) soldiers, to attack Manila in the Spanish colony of the Philippines. The Spanish offered little opposition, and on October 2, 1762, the acting governor-general, Archbishop Manuel Antonio Rojo, surrendered the city. The British occupation lasted until 1764, when the Philippines reverted to Spanish control as part of the ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Competition Drawing
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, originally designed as a student project by Maya Lin for her degree at Yale University Architectural School, has become a profound national symbol and a seminal piece of American monumental architecture. Undertaken to heal a nation torn apart by the controversial war, the competition attracted proposals from thousands of veterans and architects. Lin envisioned a black granite wall, in the shape of a V, on which the names of the American military dead and missing would be inscribed. The architect hoped that "these names, seemingly infinite ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Comprehensive Map of Vietnam’s Provinces
This undated brush and ink manuscript map of Vietnam during the 19th century combines features of the traditional cartography practiced in both China and Vietnam with some Western elements. The place names and a text block in the lower right-hand corner are in classical Chinese calligraphy, the writing system used by both Chinese and Vietnamese scholar-officials. Traditional elements include its pictorial style (mountains, trees, and structures such as the border gate between Vietnam and China), lack of precise scale, and emphasis on mountains and water. A large number of mountains ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Burmese Empire a Hundred Years Ago, as Described by Father Sangermano, with an Introduction and Notes by John Jardine
Vincenzo Sangermano (1758–1819) was a Roman Catholic priest, a member of the Barnabite religious order, who served as a missionary in Burma from 1783 to 1806. After initially going to the then-capital city of Ava, he settled in Rangoon, where he completed construction of a church and a college of missionaries. While heading the college, Sangermano undertook pioneering research on the political, legal, and administrative system of the Burmese Empire and on Burmese cosmography, science, religion, and manners and customs. Sangermano based his work on personal observations and inquiries ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Burma Under British Rule
Joseph Dautremer was a French scholar specializing in Asian languages who served for a time as the French consul in Rangoon, the capital of British Burma. Burma Under British Rule is a detailed study of Burma, with chapters devoted to the history, people, physical geography, economy, and international trade of the country. A brief concluding chapter deals with the Andaman Islands, where the British maintained a penal colony. Originally published in Paris in 1912, Dautremer’s book was translated from the French into English by Sir (James) George Scott (1851 ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A Narrative of the Mission Sent by the Governor-General of India to the Court of Ava in 1855, with Notices of the Country, Government, and People
In December 1852, at the conclusion of the second Anglo-Burmese War, the British annexed the southern and coastal regions of Burma (known as Lower Burma). Pagan Min, and later his brother Mindon Min, continued to rule Upper Burma. In 1855, Arthur Phayre, the British commissioner for the annexed territories, visited the court of Ava in Upper Burma as part of an effort to improve relations with Mindon. Henry Yule was secretary to Phayre and accompanied him on the mission. This work, written by Yule, is a modified version of the ...
Contributed by Library of Congress