May 7, 2009

Map of the Southern Half of Eastern Siberia and Parts of Mongolia, Manchuria, and Sakhalin: For a General Sketch of the Orography of Eastern Siberia

Orography is a branch of the science of geomorphology that deals with the disposition and character of hills and mountains. The orography of a region concerns its elevated terrain. This general sketch of the orography of eastern Siberia and adjacent areas shows hills, plateaus, lowlands, mountain ranges, and other features. Also shown are provincial and district centers, fortresses, Cossack villages, guard posts, factories and plants, mines, gold fields, monasteries, and postal and country roads.

Map of Doce and Jequitinhonha Rivers Copied from Documents Found in the House of Representatives

This 19th-century map shows the Doce and Jequitinhonha rivers and their tributaries in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. The map, which was copied from an older original, is the work of José Raimundo da Cunha Matos (1776-1839), a Brazilian military historian and founding member of the Brazilian Historical and Geographic Institute. Although Minas Gerais is best known for the gold and diamond mines that gave the region its name, agriculture became more important to the regional economy over the course of the 19th century, as the mines were exhausted.

Kutaisk Province

This card is one of a souvenir set of 82 illustrated cards–one for each province of the Russian Empire as it existed in 1856. Each card presents an overview of a particular province’s culture, history, economy, and geography. The front of the card depicts such distinguishing features as rivers, mountains, major cities, and chief industries. The back of each card contains a map of the province, the provincial seal, information about the population, and a picture of the local costume of the inhabitants. Guberniia kutaiskaia (Kutaisi Province) depicted on this card corresponds to part of present-day Georgia.

Parade, the Three Kings Celebration

This photograph from Uruguay shows men dressed as kings, with crowns, flowing capes, and long beards, mounted on horses to greet their "subjects." Tres Reyes, or Three Kings Day, celebrated on January 6, is traditionally when Uruguayan children receive their Christmas gifts. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April 1948 when 21 countries of the western hemisphere adopted the OAS Charter, in which they reaffirmed their commitment to the pursuit of common goals and respect for each other’s sovereignty. Since then, the OAS has expanded to include the countries of the English-speaking Caribbean as well as Canada. The predecessor organization to the OAS was the Pan American Union, founded in 1910, which in turn grew out of the International Union of American Republics, established at the First International Conference of American States in 1889-90.

Perm Province

This card is one of a souvenir set of 82 illustrated cards–one for each province of the Russian Empire as it existed in 1856. Each card presents an overview of a particular province’s culture, history, economy, and geography. The front of the card depicts such distinguishing features as rivers, mountains, major cities, and chief industries. The back of each card contains a map of the province, the provincial seal, information about the population, and a picture of the local costume of the inhabitants.

Speech Delivered by Mister Houphouet-Boigny, Minister of State at the Geo-Andre Stadium in Abidjan on September 7, 1958

Félix Houphouët-Boigny (1905-93) was the first president of Côte d’Ivoire. He gave this speech shortly before a September 1958 referendum on the future of French West Africa. Houphouët-Boigny outlined the country's path to independence, but also called for the preservation of strong ties with France, within a new French Community. Côte d’Ivoire became a de facto French protectorate under a series of treaties concluded in 1843-44, and a French colony in 1893. From 1904 to 1958, Côte d’Ivoire was part of the federation of French West Africa. With the passage of the 1958 referendum, in December 1958 Côte d’Ivoire became an autonomous republic within the French Community. The country became fully independent on August 7, 1960. Houphouët-Boigny served as president from 1960 until his death in 1993. As president, he favored close ties with France and the West. He opposed plans to create a West African federation, in part because he feared that the relatively prosperous Côte d’Ivoire would have to subsidize the other members of the federation.