November 23, 2011

The First Maqtaa Bridge under Construction

This 1968 photograph shows construction of Al-Maqtaa Bridge in Abu Dhabi. The single-span steel bridge connects the city of Abu Dhabi to the mainland. Seen in the background is the 200-year old Maqtaa watchtower, part of the Al-Maqtaa Fort, which served as a watchtower and line of defense against invasion. The fort is built in a traditional style, using wood and soft, sand-colored stone. The photograph is from the Colonel Edward "Tug" Bearby Wilson Collection in the National Library, Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, and was taken by Wilson. Colonel Tug Wilson (1921–2009) was a British army officer who, in the 1960s, was seconded to the government of Abu Dhabi to help build the national defense force. He was a personal friend of the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Shaykh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1918–2004), with whom he shared interests in falconry and horseback riding.

Sultan Bin Zayed I Mosque

This 1960s photograph shows the Shaykh Sultan bin Zayed I Mosque in Al-Bateen, a neighborhood of the city of Abu Dhabi. In the foreground are mahāmil, a type of fishing boat used in the Arabian Gulf. The photograph is from the Colonel Edward "Tug" Bearby Wilson Collection in the National Library, Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, and was taken by Wilson. Colonel Tug Wilson (1921–2009) was a British army officer who, in the 1960s, was seconded to the government of Abu Dhabi to help build the national defense force. He was a personal friend of the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Shaykh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1918–2004), with whom he shared interests in falconry and horseback riding.

November 28, 2011

Fort Jefferson Lighthouse

This photograph shows Fort Jefferson Lighthouse, one of 30 historic lighthouses in the state of Florida. The origins of the structure go back to 1825, when a 65-foot (20-meter) tower was completed at Bush Key (now known as Garden Key) in the Dry Tortugas and fitted with a light consisting of 23 lamps in 14-inch (35-centimeter) reflectors. Construction of Fort Jefferson began in 1847. The fort covered the entire island and incorporated the lighthouse in its south wall. In 1856 a taller lighthouse was constructed, and in 1858 the Garden Key light’s lens was installed on a newer lighthouse on nearby Loggerhead Key after sailors complained that the Garden Key light was too far from the surrounding reefs to be effective. Garden Key was reduced to being a harbor light with a much weaker lens. It was damaged by a hurricane in 1873 and replaced by a new tower built of boiler plate on top of the fort’s walls, the structure shown here. Fort Jefferson was a military installation and prison that once housed the conspirators convicted of killing President Abraham Lincoln. It is now part of Dry Tortugas National Park.

November 30, 2011

Avgustov 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 the local costume of the inhabitants.

A Battery of 70 at Gragoatá Fort

The Thereza Christina Maria Collection consists of 21,742 photographs, assembled by Emperor Pedro II and left by him to the National Library of Brazil. The collection covers a vast range of subjects. It documents the achievements of Brazil and the Brazilian people in the 19th century, as well as includes many photographs from Europe, Africa, and North America. This photograph shows the Forte de Gragoatá, a fortress constructed in 1696 as part of the defenses of Rio de Janeiro.

Bessarabia 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. The province of Bessarabia depicted on this card roughly corresponds to the territory of present-day Moldova.