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Map of the City and Bay of Cartagena de las Indias
This hand-colored pen-and-ink manuscript map was drawn by Antonio de Ulloa (1716–95) in 1735, based on an earlier map by Juan de Herrera dating from around 1721. It shows in great detail the bay of Cartagena de Indias and the adjacent coastal area of the present-day city of Cartagena, Colombia. The territory was then part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in the Spanish Empire. The map is oriented by a compass rose with north pointing to the left. Longitude is set in relation to the Royal Astronomical Observatory ...
Contributed by
National Library of Spain
Upper View of the Castillo del Morro Situated at the Mouth of the Bay of Havana
This 18th-century manuscript map shows the plan of Morro Castle, located at the entrance of Havana Bay, Cuba. The fortress was built by the Spaniards, starting in 1585. The Italian military engineer Battista Antonelli (1547–1616) was commissioned to design the fortifications. The structure originally was conceived as a small fort surrounded by a dry moat, but it was expanded and rebuilt on several occasions and became a major fortress of great strategic importance for the island. The map is oriented with north to the left and tilted up at ...
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National Library of Spain
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 ...
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National Library of Spain
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
Region Between Amazon River and São Paulo
This pen-and-ink watercolor map shows the course of the Amazon River, including its minor tributaries and the towns located along its banks. Although much of the area along the Amazon was controlled by indigenous people through the early colonial period, settlers established towns along the riverbanks to support trade and exploration into Brazil’s interior. The largest of these towns was Belem, which appears on the map.
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
His Excellency: George Washington Esq: L.L.D. Late Commander in Chief of the Armies of the U.S. of America and President of the Convention of 1787
In 1787, the confederation of the 13 American states was descending into disarray. The coffers were empty, New York and New Jersey were in a dispute over duties charged on goods crossing state lines, farmers in Massachusetts were rebelling, and Spain and Britain were encroaching on American territories in the west. The Federal Convention was called to address the problems of governing the young republic under the existing Articles of Confederation. The convention responded by framing the document that became the United States Constitution. The convention delegates elected George Washington ...
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Library of Congress
Treatise on Holy War
The first Persian printing press in Iran was established in 1816 in Tabriz, and the first book published by the press was Jihādīyyah (Treatise on holy war), written by Abu al-Qasim ibn 'Isá Qa'im'maqam Farahani (circa 1779–1835), the prime minister of Persia at that time. During the reign of King Fath Ali Shah (1772–1834, reigned 1797–1834), while the Qajar government was absorbed with managing domestic turmoil, rival European colonial powers sought to establish themselves in the region. The British competed for influence in the south ...
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National Library and Archives of the Islamic Republic of Iran
The Art of Making Mechanical Timepieces for Church Towers, Rooms, and Pockets
Manuel del Río was a Spanish Franciscan, said to have been a skilled watchmaker, who probably learned the trade in Oporto, Portugal, with Tomás Luis de Sáa. Del Río belonged to the Franciscan community in Santiago, where in 1759 he published Arte de los reloxes de ruedas (The art of making mechanical timepieces). The work was reissued in 1789 in Madrid by del Río’s disciple Ramón Durán. That edition is presented here. The prologue states that one of the reasons for writing the book was the lack of manuals ...
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National Library of Spain
History of the Expedition Under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark: To the Sources of the Missouri, thence Across the Rocky Mountains and down the River Columbia to the Pacific Ocean
This account of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, published in 1814, is based on the detailed journals kept by Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, the leaders of expedition. The book begins with “Life of Captain Lewis,” written by Thomas Jefferson, which reproduces Jefferson’s detailed instructions to Lewis regarding the goals of the expedition. “The object of your mission is to explore the Missouri River, and such principal streams of it, as, by its course and communication with the waters of the Pacific Ocean, whether the Columbia, Oregan [sic ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Map in Which the Rivers on Argentina, Parana and Paraguay are Described Most Exactly for the First Time, When a Beginning was Made by the New Colony as Far as the Mouth of the Jauru River
This atlas of colonial South America is by Miguel Antonio Ciera. A noted mathematician and professor of astronomy at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, Ciera was part of an expedition sent to demarcate the border between Spanish and Portuguese holdings in South America following signature of the 1750 Treaty of Madrid and the 1756 Guarani War. The atlas focuses on the southern part of the continent, in the watershed of the Paraná River, where the borders were most disputed. The territory in the atlas includes present-day Argentina and Paraguay ...
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
Declaration of Independence. In Congress, July 4, 1776, a Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress Assembled.
This document is the first printed version of the American Declaration of Independence. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduced a resolution urging Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, to declare independence from Great Britain. Four days later, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston were appointed as a committee to draft a declaration of independence. The committee’s draft was read in Congress on June 28. On July 4, Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, containing a list of grievances against the British ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
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.
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
The Fire of the Church of Our Lady
This vivid color print shows the burning of the Church of Our Lady, the cathedral of Copenhagen, on the night of September 4–5, 1807, during the Anglo-Danish war of 1807–14. Britain initiated the war in August 1807, after the Danes refused to surrender their fleet, which the British feared would fall into the hands of Napoleonic France. The British landed troops on Danish soil and on September 2 began a three-day bombardment of the city. On the third night of the attack, the steeple of the cathedral was ...
Contributed by
Royal Library (The), Denmark
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
View of Saint Thomas in America with the Citadel Fort Christian
This colored drawing by an anonymous artist is a view of the Danish settlement on the island of Saint Thomas (present-day U.S. Virgin Islands) as it appeared in the 18th century. The settlement was established in 1672 by the Danish West India Company. Denmark claimed the nearby island of Saint John in 1683 and purchased the island of Saint Croix from France in 1733. The three islands became a Danish royal colony in 1754. The colony prospered as the import of slaves made possible a profitable plantation economy, and ...
Contributed by
Royal Library (The), Denmark
Map of Greenland
This map of Greenland is by Hans Poulsen Egede (1686–1758), the Norwegian-born Lutheran clergyman and missionary known as the “Apostle of Greenland.” Egede made two journeys, in 1723 and in 1724, to explore the west coast of Greenland with the goals of mapping the coastline and obtaining information about the ancient Norse settlements on the island. Egede lived and worked in Greenland from 1721 to 1736. Upon his return to Denmark, he had this map made and published a book, Omstændelig og udførlig relation, angaaende den grønlandske missions begyndelse ...
Contributed by
Royal Library (The), Denmark
Khoikhoi Fording a Stream
This view of a Khoi woman and child fording a stream with a Khoi man behind them 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 Khoikhoi were pastoralists who were derived from the aboriginal hunting population of southern Africa, the San. After establishment of the Dutch colony at Table Bay in 1652, the Khoikhoi were ...
Contributed by
National Library of South Africa
Lion
This depiction of what is probably a lion and a small antelope 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 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 East Indies or on his ...
Contributed by
National Library of South Africa
Khoikhoi in a Storm
This view of a group of Khoi people in a storm 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 drawing shows the traditional dress of the Khoi women: peaked hat, kaross (sheepskin cloak) across the shoulders, a small apron or fuller skin kaross around the waist, and leggings of dried raw-hide. The text on the ...
Contributed by
National Library of South Africa
African Ox and Khoi Couple
These two sketches depicting an African ox and a Khoi couple are 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 annotations provide details about African cattle and about the differing dress worn by Khoi men and women. The cattle owned by the Khoikhoi were of the Sanga breeds, which resulted from the interbreeding of the indigenous ...
Contributed by
National Library of South Africa
Harvesting Scene
This view of a harvesting scene 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 drawing shows a farming scene with the stacking of hayricks from ox wagons, with a Khoi matjieshuis (mat house) in the foreground and a farmhouse at the back. The Khoi are asking for tobacco from a colonist who is smoking as ...
Contributed by
National Library of South Africa