February 10, 2011

Old Recife

The Thereza Christina Maria collection is composed of 21,742 photos assembled by Emperor Pedro II (1825-91) throughout his life and donated by him to the National Library of Brazil. The collection covers a wide variety of subjects. It documents the achievements of Brazil and Brazilians in the 19th century and also includes many photographs of Europe, Africa, and North America. The port city of Recife, which appears in this photograph, was one of the earliest settlements in Brazil. Established in the late 1500s by the Portuguese, it was under Dutch control for part of the 17th century. Early Recife boasted a sizable Jewish population and was also an entry point for many African slaves. The influence of this mix of cultures on Recife’s character continued into the 19th century, when this picture was taken by Mortiz Lamberg, who worked in the studio of Alberto Henschel. The German-born Henschel was one of Brazil’s most prolific portrait photographers. Lamberg later became a respected photographer in his own right, publishing the photography book Brasilien.

Montevideo Celebrates Carnival Dancing Candombe

This photograph from the carnival celebrations in Montevideo, Uruguay, shows women dressed in costume, part of a carnival band dancing Candombe. Candombe is a drum-based Afro-Uruguayan rhythm that has roots in the Bantu regions of eastern and equatorial Africa, the original home of many slaves brought to Uruguay in the 18th century. 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.

Map of the Branco or Parimé River and of the Caratirimani Uararicapará Majari, Tacutú and Mahú Rivers

This map shows the network of rivers and tributaries flowing through northern Brazil. The map focuses on the Rio Branco, one of the main tributaries to the Rio Negro, and several smaller tributaries, including the Caratirimani, Uararicapará, Majari, Tacutú, and Mahú rivers. The rivers flow out of the ridges and mountain ranges separating Brazil from Venezuela and Guyana. The map is by José Joaquin Freire (17?-1847), a Portuguese naval officer, cartographer, draftsman, and watercolorist who, in 1783-92, was a member of the Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira expedition sent to Pará, Amazonas, and Mato Grosso by the Real Gabinete de História Natural do Museu de Ajuda de Lisboa, by order of Empress Maria I. Freire was responsible for preparing drawings and watercolors of fauna and flora, the culture of the native populations, and views of towns and villages.

The Book of Aroodh

This manuscript, by an unknown author, is an incomplete work that endeavors to apply Arabic poetry metrics to Ottoman Turkish poems. It starts with the seas (or metrics) of al-mutaqarib, ar-ramal, and al-munsarih. The transcription is possibly from the 17th century. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava, Slovakia, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997. Safvet beg Bašagić (1870-1934) was a Bosnian scholar, poet, journalist, and museum director who assembled a collection of 284 manuscript volumes and 365 print volumes that reflect the development of Islamic civilization from its inception to the early 20th century. The manuscript is item 463 in Jozef Blaškovič, Arabské, turecké a perzské rukopisy Univerzitnej knižnice v Bratislave (Arab, Turkish, and Persian manuscripts in the University Library, Bratislava).

Comparisons in Arabic Grammar

A considerable portion of this untitled work by an unknown author is devoted to a discussion of al-qiyas, or comparison, in Arabic grammar. The work also contains excerpts from a work by Muftizade and disquisitions about logic, as well as other references to Muftizade. The manuscript was transcribed by Abdallah al-Hamshini. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava, Slovakia, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997. Safvet beg Bašagić (1870-1934) was a Bosnian scholar, poet, journalist, and museum director who assembled a collection of 284 manuscript volumes and 365 print volumes that reflect the development of Islamic civilization from its inception to the early 20th century. The manuscript is item 283 in Jozef Blaškovič, Arabské, turecké a perzské rukopisy Univerzitnej knižnice v Bratislave (Arab, Turkish, and Persian manuscripts in the University Library, Bratislava).

Articles about the Transfer of New Netherland on the 27th of August, Old Style, Anno 1664

On August 27, 1664, a fleet of four British warships under the command of Colonel Richard Nicolls sailed into the harbor of New Amsterdam (present-day New York City) and demanded that Peter Stuyvesant, the director-general of the Dutch colony of New Netherland, surrender the colony to the British. The out-gunned Stuyvesant had no choice but to comply, and under English rule Nicolls became the first governor of the renamed Province of New York. This document lists the articles of capitulation by which the colony was surrendered and that established the rights of Dutch settlers under English rule. Among the 24 articles were provisions that guaranteed certain permanent rights, including liberty of conscience in divine worship and church discipline, the possession of property rights, and the right of the Dutch to follow their own customs with regard to inheritance. The English seizure of New Netherland was one of the reasons why the Second Anglo-Dutch War of 1665–67 occurred, and it was not until the Treaty of Westminster in 1674 that the government of the Netherlands formally acknowledged the transfer of the colony to the English.