Laws of the French Colony of Saint-Domingue

Toussaint Louverture (circa 1743−1803) was the leader of the slave revolt and independence movement in the French colony of Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti) during the French Revolution. He won military victories over the French colonial forces and then negotiated an arrangement under which the colony became self-governing as a French protectorate. Lois de la Colonie française de Saint-Domingue (Laws of the French colony of Saint-Domingue) is a compilation of 19 laws promulgated by Louverture in July and August 1801 in accordance with the constitution of July 7, 1801, also promulgated by Louverture. The laws concern the territorial division of Saint-Domingue into departments, arrondissements, and parishes; religion and the establishment of Roman Catholicism as the state religion; the status and rights of children born outside of marriage; civil and criminal courts and the justice system; the maintenance of public health and safety; municipal administration; the colonial guard or militia; debts; financial administration; and several other topics. Louverture was forced to relinquish power in May 1802 after defeats inflicted by an invading French army led by General Charles Emmanuel Leclerc, brother-in-law of Napoleon. He was arrested and deported to France, where in died in prison on April 7, 1803. The book is from Les imprimés à Saint-Domingue (Imprints from Saint-Dominigue), a collection held by the Bibliothèque Haïtienne des Pères du Saint-Esprit that includes approximately 150 texts printed in Saint-Domingue before independence in 1804. The books were produced between 1764 and 1804 at presses in Cap-Français, Port-au-Prince, and Les Cayes and were digitized in 2006 with the support of the L’Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).

Flora Arabica, Part III. Records of the Botanical Survey of India, Volume VIII, Number 3

Flora Arabica is a botanical catalog of the plants of the Arabia. The work is in six volumes covering the whole of the Arabian Peninsula: the extra-tropical west, the tropical west, the tropical east, and the extra-tropical east including the Persian Gulf region. The catalog is by Father Ethelbert Blatter, and is largely based on the herbaria of the British Museum, which itself contained the records of other collections. The author asserts that Flora Arabica contains “all the plant material ever collected in Arabia.” The work is noteworthy for the inclusion of the native names for plants in Arabic and Persian, including regional dialect variants. Blatter’s Flora Arabica held pride of place among reference books on Arabian plants until the late 20th century. Ethelbert Blatter (1877‒1934) was a Swiss Jesuit priest and pioneering botanist in India. He left his native land to study in Germany and the Netherlands, and later for theological studies in England. In 1903, he moved to Mumbai (Bombay), India, to teach at Saint Xavier College and engage in the botanical research and publishing that occupied him for the remainder of his life. Although his main contributions were in British India, his books on the plants of Aden and Arabia are also important contributions to botanical literature. Flora Arabica comprises volume VIII of the Records of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI or the Survey). The BSI was established in 1890 for the purpose of identifying the plants of India and their economic value. European interest in the flora of India dates to the earliest days of exploration and colonial expansion. Beginning in the 16th century, the Portuguese, Dutch, and British collected and studied native plants. As the lands under control of the British East India Company grew in extent, so too did the study of plant life in the north and northwest of the Indian subcontinent. Economic and imperial expansion extended the surveys beyond the borders of British India to Myanmar (Burma) and the Arabian Peninsula.

Flora Arabica, Part IV. Records of the Botanical Survey of India, Volume VIII, Number 4

Flora Arabica is a botanical catalog of the plants of the Arabia. The work is in six volumes covering the whole of the Arabian Peninsula: the extra-tropical west, the tropical west, the tropical east, and the extra-tropical east including the Persian Gulf region. The catalog is by Father Ethelbert Blatter, and is largely based on the herbaria of the British Museum, which itself contained the records of other collections. The author asserts that Flora Arabica contains “all the plant material ever collected in Arabia.” The work is noteworthy for the inclusion of the native names for plants in Arabic and Persian, including regional dialect variants. Blatter’s Flora Arabica held pride of place among reference books on Arabian plants until the late 20th century. Ethelbert Blatter (1877‒1934) was a Swiss Jesuit priest and pioneering botanist in India. He left his native land to study in Germany and the Netherlands, and later for theological studies in England. In 1903, he moved to Mumbai (Bombay), India, to teach at Saint Xavier College and engage in the botanical research and publishing that occupied him for the remainder of his life. Although his main contributions were in British India, his books on the plants of Aden and Arabia are also important contributions to botanical literature. Flora Arabica comprises volume VIII of the Records of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI or the Survey). The BSI was established in 1890 for the purpose of identifying the plants of India and their economic value. European interest in the flora of India dates to the earliest days of exploration and colonial expansion. Beginning in the 16th century, the Portuguese, Dutch, and British collected and studied native plants. As the lands under control of the British East India Company grew in extent, so too did the study of plant life in the north and northwest of the Indian subcontinent. Economic and imperial expansion extended the surveys beyond the borders of British India to Myanmar (Burma) and the Arabian Peninsula.

Flora Arabica: The Botanical Exploration of Arabia. Records of the Botanical Survey of India, Volume VIII, Number 5

Flora Arabica is a botanical catalog of the plants of the Arabia. The work is in six volumes covering the whole of the Arabian Peninsula: the extra-tropical west, the tropical west, the tropical east, and the extra-tropical east including the Persian Gulf region. The catalog is by Father Ethelbert Blatter, and is largely based on the herbaria of the British Museum, which itself contained the records of other collections. The author asserts that Flora Arabica contains “all the plant material ever collected in Arabia.” The work is noteworthy for the inclusion of the native names for plants in Arabic and Persian, including regional dialect variants. Blatter’s Flora Arabica held pride of place among reference books on Arabian plants until the late 20th century. Ethelbert Blatter (1877‒1934) was a Swiss Jesuit priest and pioneering botanist in India. He left his native land to study in Germany and the Netherlands, and later for theological studies in England. In 1903, he moved to Mumbai (Bombay), India, to teach at Saint Xavier College and engage in the botanical research and publishing that occupied him for the remainder of his life. Although his main contributions were in British India, his books on the plants of Aden and Arabia are also important contributions to botanical literature. Flora Arabica comprises volume VIII of the Records of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI or the Survey). The BSI was established in 1890 for the purpose of identifying the plants of India and their economic value. European interest in the flora of India dates to the earliest days of exploration and colonial expansion. Beginning in the 16th century, the Portuguese, Dutch, and British collected and studied native plants. As the lands under control of the British East India Company grew in extent, so too did the study of plant life in the north and northwest of the Indian subcontinent. Economic and imperial expansion extended the surveys beyond the borders of British India to Myanmar (Burma) and the Arabian Peninsula.

Flora Arabica, Part V. Records of the Botanical Survey of India, Volume VIII, Number 6

Flora Arabica is a botanical catalog of the plants of the Arabia. The work is in six volumes covering the whole of the Arabian Peninsula: the extra-tropical west, the tropical west, the tropical east, and the extra-tropical east including the Persian Gulf region. The catalog is by Father Ethelbert Blatter, and is largely based on the herbaria of the British Museum, which itself contained the records of other collections. The author asserts that Flora Arabica contains “all the plant material ever collected in Arabia.” The work is noteworthy for the inclusion of the native names for plants in Arabic and Persian, including regional dialect variants. Blatter’s Flora Arabica held pride of place among reference books on Arabian plants until the late 20th century. Ethelbert Blatter (1877‒1934) was a Swiss Jesuit priest and pioneering botanist in India. He left his native land to study in Germany and the Netherlands, and later for theological studies in England. In 1903, he moved to Mumbai (Bombay), India, to teach at Saint Xavier College and engage in the botanical research and publishing that occupied him for the remainder of his life. Although his main contributions were in British India, his books on the plants of Aden and Arabia are also important contributions to botanical literature. Flora Arabica comprises volume VIII of the Records of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI or the Survey). The BSI was established in 1890 for the purpose of identifying the plants of India and their economic value. European interest in the flora of India dates to the earliest days of exploration and colonial expansion. Beginning in the 16th century, the Portuguese, Dutch, and British collected and studied native plants. As the lands under control of the British East India Company grew in extent, so too did the study of plant life in the north and northwest of the Indian subcontinent. Economic and imperial expansion extended the surveys beyond the borders of British India to Myanmar (Burma) and the Arabian Peninsula.

Arabia Infelix, or the Turks in Yamen

Arabia infelix; or the Turks in Yamen is a history of Yemen and the southern Arabian Peninsula from earliest times to the eve of World War I. George Wyman Bury (1874‒1920) was an adventurer and sometime soldier who spent 16 years exploring the mountainous regions of Yemen. Arabia infelix covers all aspects of Yemen, which, until the end of the war, formed part of the Ottoman Empire. Chapters treat biblical and ancient history, flora and fauna, the manners and customs of its rural and urban population, as well as economic life, trade, and politics. In ancient times, the arid region stretching from Anatolia to Aden was divided roughly into three parts, Arabia Deserta (Deserted Arabia), Arabia Petra (the frontier of the Roman Empire), and Arabia Felix (Happy Arabia, or Yemen), so named because there was sufficient rainfall to support an agricultural economy. By entitling his book Arabia infelix (Unhappy Arabia), Bury signals his view that Turkish rule was an impediment to the prosperity and well-being of the country. G.W. Bury spent most of his life outside his native Britain, living in parts of Africa, in Yemen, and then in Egypt, where he served in the British army as a junior officer and military analyst. Chronic poor health harmed his career and shortened his life. He died in convalescence in Helwan, a health resort near Cairo.  His other works include The Land of Uz, a travel narrative written under the pen name Abdullah Mansur, and Pan-Islam, a post-war study of Turkish and German attempts to rally the Muslim world against the Allied powers in World War I. Bury’s writing was not always well reviewed, perhaps because it lacked the heft and gravitas of writings by other travelers. His style is almost conversational, as in this quip about insect life in Yemen: “The prevalent creepy-crawly in Yamen is certainly the millipede.” The book contains three maps and numerous photographs of landscapes, city views, and Yemeni people.

Flora of Aden. Records of the Botanical Survey of India, Volume VII, Number 1

Flora of Aden is a botanical catalog of plants found in Aden and vicinity at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. The work appeared in three issues in 1914‒16. Despite never having traveled to the region, Father Ethelbert Blatter was able to add 250 plants to the literature of the region’s known species. He relied on various herbaria and travel accounts, beginning with those by Henry Salt (1780‒1827). Each plant is described in detail with its physical description, Latin and local names, location, growing season, and other available information. It is interesting to note that the descriptions rarely cite medicinal or culinary uses. There are colorful comments on the circumstance of reported finds, such as “Marchesetti is the only botanist who reported this species from Aden, and we have included it on his authority…we are perhaps allowed to doubt the actual occurrence of Cl. droserifolia at Aden.” Ethelbert Blatter (1877‒1934) was a Swiss Jesuit priest and pioneering botanist in India. He left his native land to study in Germany and the Netherlands, and later for theological studies in England. In 1903, he moved to Mumbai (Bombay), India, to teach at Saint Xavier College and engage in the botanical research and publishing that occupied him for the remainder of his life. Although his main contributions were in British India, his books on the plants of Aden and Arabia are also important contributions to botanical literature. Flora of Aden comprises volume VII of the Records of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI or the Survey). The BSI was established in 1890 for the purpose of identifying the plants of India and their economic value. European interest in the flora of India dates to the earliest days of exploration and colonial expansion. Beginning in the 16th century, the Portuguese, Dutch, and British collected and studied native plants. As the lands under control of the British East India Company grew in extent, so too did the study of plant life in the north and northwest of the Indian subcontinent. Economic and imperial expansion extended the surveys beyond the borders of British India to Myanmar (Burma) and the Arabian Peninsula.

Flora of Aden. Records of the Botanical Survey of India, Volume VII, Number 2

Flora of Aden is a botanical catalog of plants found in Aden and vicinity at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. The work appeared in three issues in 1914‒16. Despite never having traveled to the region, Father Ethelbert Blatter was able to add 250 plants to the literature of the region’s known species. He relied on various herbaria and travel accounts, beginning with those by Henry Salt (1780‒1827). Each plant is described in detail with its physical description, Latin and local names, location, growing season, and other available information. It is interesting to note that the descriptions rarely cite medicinal or culinary uses. There are colorful comments on the circumstance of reported finds, such as “Marchesetti is the only botanist who reported this species from Aden, and we have included it on his authority…we are perhaps allowed to doubt the actual occurrence of Cl. droserifolia at Aden.” Ethelbert Blatter (1877‒1934) was a Swiss Jesuit priest and pioneering botanist in India. He left his native land to study in Germany and the Netherlands, and later for theological studies in England. In 1903, he moved to Mumbai (Bombay), India, to teach at Saint Xavier College and engage in the botanical research and publishing that occupied him for the remainder of his life. Although his main contributions were in British India, his books on the plants of Aden and Arabia are also important contributions to botanical literature. Flora of Aden comprises volume VII of the Records of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI or the Survey). The BSI was established in 1890 for the purpose of identifying the plants of India and their economic value. European interest in the flora of India dates to the earliest days of exploration and colonial expansion. Beginning in the 16th century, the Portuguese, Dutch, and British collected and studied native plants. As the lands under control of the British East India Company grew in extent, so too did the study of plant life in the north and northwest of the Indian subcontinent. Economic and imperial expansion extended the surveys beyond the borders of British India to Myanmar (Burma) and the Arabian Peninsula.

Flora Arabica, Part II. Records of the Botanical Survey of India, Volume VIII, Number 2

Flora Arabica is a botanical catalog of the plants of the Arabia. The work is in six volumes covering the whole of the Arabian Peninsula: the extra-tropical west, the tropical west, the tropical east, and the extra-tropical east including the Persian Gulf region. The catalog is by Father Ethelbert Blatter, and is largely based on the herbaria of the British Museum, which itself contained the records of other collections. The author asserts that Flora Arabica contains “all the plant material ever collected in Arabia.” The work is noteworthy for the inclusion of the native names for plants in Arabic and Persian, including regional dialect variants. Blatter’s Flora Arabica held pride of place among reference books on Arabian plants until the late 20th century. Ethelbert Blatter (1877‒1934) was a Swiss Jesuit priest and pioneering botanist in India. He left his native land to study in Germany and the Netherlands, and later for theological studies in England. In 1903, he moved to Mumbai (Bombay), India, to teach at Saint Xavier College and engage in the botanical research and publishing that occupied him for the remainder of his life. Although his main contributions were in British India, his books on the plants of Aden and Arabia are also important contributions to botanical literature. Flora Arabica comprises volume VIII of the Records of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI or the Survey). The BSI was established in 1890 for the purpose of identifying the plants of India and their economic value. European interest in the flora of India dates to the earliest days of exploration and colonial expansion. Beginning in the 16th century, the Portuguese, Dutch, and British collected and studied native plants. As the lands under control of the British East India Company grew in extent, so too did the study of plant life in the north and northwest of the Indian subcontinent. Economic and imperial expansion extended the surveys beyond the borders of British India to Myanmar (Burma) and the Arabian Peninsula.

Fragment of a Prayer Book from Yemen

Shown here is a German edition of a fragment from a Yemeni Jewish prayer book. It comprises seven prayers in verse written in Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic, with translation and extensive commentary in German. The fragment originated in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital. The scope of the work reflects the unique history of the Yemeni Jewish communities, who for centuries developed their own ways of religious and secular life, independent from outside influences. The translation and commentary on the liturgical poems are by Pinkas Heinrich, a scholar and rabbi who was born in 1861 in Jassy (present-day Romania). Following the wishes of his father, David, Pinkas dedicated his young life almost entirely to the study of rabbinic disciplines in order to succeed his grandfather, Chanoch, who was the chief rabbi in the city. Pinkas Heinrich later went on to study at the universities of Bucharest, Vienna, and Zurich. The fragment was part of the larger Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic manuscript collection of Moses Gaster (1856–1939), a scholarly British Jew of Romanian descent and a prominent figure in the Zionist Movement. It is unclear if the fragment was also part of the collection he obtained from the Genizah of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt. Heinrich dedicated the work to “the commendable and distinguished language researcher, the famed folklorist Rev. Dr. Moses Gaster” and wrote in the preamble that Gaster “entrusted” him to “edit” the fragment. Judeo-Arabic is a version of Arabic with some Hebrew, Aramaic, and other vocabulary. It is in use among Jews living in Arabic regions and is written in Hebrew script.