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World Digital Library – Science

 

Zubtsov. Part of the Volga and the Vazuza Sides of the City with a Bridge across the Volga River

 

Works of Galileo Galilei, Part 3, Volume 15, Astronomy: The Assayer

 

Observing a Solar Eclipse on January 1, 1907, near the Cherniaevo Station in the Tian-Shan Mountains above the Saliuktin Mines. Golodnaia Steppe

 

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The Ash Wednesday Supper

La cena de le Ceneri (The Ash Wednesday supper), the first of Giordano Bruno’s six Italian philosophical dialogues, was first published in London in 1584. The title page indicates neither the place of publication nor the publisher, but scholars agree that the book was printed at the London shop of John Charlewood. The work is dedicated to the French ambassador to the English court, Michel de Castelnau, sieur de la Mauvissière, who assisted Bruno after his arrival in London in 1583. The book is divided into five dialogues and …

Contributed by
Library of the National Academy of the Lincei and of the Corsini Family


Report on the Different Masses of Iron, Found in the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes

Mariano Eduardo de Rivero y Ustáriz (1798–1857) was a Peruvian scientist, geologist, mineralogist, chemist, archaeologist, politician, and diplomat. After schooling in Arequipa, he was sent in 1810 at age 12 to London to study mathematics, physics, and languages. In 1817 he traveled to France to the École royale des mines de Paris to study mineralogy and chemistry. In France he met Joseph Louis Proust, Gay-Lussac, and Alexander von Humboldt. The latter became his mentor and, during the course of his travels in Europe, Rivero discovered a new iron-oxalate that …

Contributed by
Central Cultural Library, EAFIT University (School of Administration and Finance and Technology Institute)


Unique Algebraic Remainders on the Sibṭ’s Commentary on the Yāsamīnīyya

This work is an elaboration of the commentary written by the Egyptian mathematician Sibṭ al-Māridīnī—i.e., a commentary on another commentary—on the urjūzah (versified introduction) to the science of algebra, originally composed by the Berber mathematician and man of letters Abū Muḥammad ‘Abd-Allāh al-Ishbīlī al-Marrakushī, also known as Ibn al-Yāsamīn, who died in 1204 (600 AH). Al-Yāsamīn summarized his mathematical knowledge in a versified treatise known as the Yāsamīnīyya (The treatise by al-Yāsamīn). Around the end of the 15th century, al-Yāsamīn’s verses were the object of a …

Contributed by
King Abdulaziz University Library


General History of the Things of New Spain by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún: The Florentine Codex. Book XI: Natural Things

Historia general de las cosas de nueva España (General history of the things of New Spain) is an encyclopedic work about the people and culture of central Mexico compiled by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590), a Franciscan missionary who arrived in Mexico in 1529, eight years after completion of the Spanish conquest by Hernan Cortés. Commonly referred to as the Florentine Codex, the manuscript consists of 12 books devoted to different topics. Book XI, the longest in the codex, is a treatise on natural history. Following the traditional division …

Contributed by
Medicea Laurenziana Library, Florence


On the Sphere and the Cylinder; On the Measurement of the Circle; On Conoids and Spheroids; On Spirals; On the Equilibrium of Planes; On the Quadrature of the Parabola; The Sand Reckoner

In the middle of the 15th century, a number of manuscripts by the third-century BC Greek mathematician Archimedes began to circulate in the humanistic centers in the courts of Italy. Piero della Francesca (circa 1416–92), the Renaissance artist best known for the frescos he painted for the Vatican and for the chapels in Arezzo, transcribed a copy of a Latin translation of Archimedes’s geometry (a compilation of seven surviving treatises) and illustrated it with more than 200 drawings representing the  mathematical theorems in the texts. This manuscript, long …

Contributed by
Riccardiana Library of Florence


The Recension of Euclid’s «Elements»

This work is a printed edition of Kitāb taḥrīr uṣūl li-Uqlīdus (The recension of Euclid’s Elements) by one of the intellectual luminaries of the Islamic world, the Persian polymath Naṣīr al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al-Ṭūsī (1201–74). After his death al-Ṭūsī was referred to as al-muʿallim al-thālith (the third teacher, with Aristotle and Fārābī referred to as the first and second teachers, respectively). An extraordinarily prolific author, al-Ṭūsī made notable contributions to most of the intellectual fields of his era, writing on theology, mysticism, logic …

Contributed by
Qatar National Library


Muḥammad al-Farghānī’s Elements of Chronology and Astronomy

This work is a Latin translation of al-Farghānī’s influential and well-known Kitāb jawāmiʿ ʿilm al-nujūm wa uṣūl al-ḥarakāt al-samāwīya (Book of generalities of astronomy and bases of celestial motions). Aḥmad ibn Moḥammad ibn Kathīr al-Farghānī was an astronomer who flourished at the court of the early Abbasid caliphs. He appears to have been active in the court of al-Ma’mun. If he is the same figure who is said to have been entrusted by al-Mutawakkil with the construction of the nilometer in Cairo, then he would have been active …

Contributed by
Qatar National Library


Complete Book on the Judgment of the Stars

This book is a Latin translation of Ibn al-Rijāl Abū al-Ḥasan al-Shaybānī al-Maghribī al-Qayrawānī’s principal scientific work, Kitāb al-bāriʻ fī aḥkām al-nujūm (Complete book on the judgment of the stars). Known in the Latin West as Haly Abenragel, or Haly Albohazen, Ibn al-Rijāl was the astrologer and leading official at the court of the Zīrid prince Muʻizz ibn Bādīs (1007 or 1008–62) at Qayrawān (present-day Kairouan, Tunisia). Kitāb al-bāriʻ consists of eight books covering several different types of astrology. These include interrogations, nativities, the discussions of the …

Contributed by
Qatar National Library


The Three Books on Alchemy by Geber, the Great Philosopher and Alchemist

Jābir ibn Hayyan (also known by his Latinized name Geber, circa 721–815) was a contemporary of the first Abbasids, who ruled circa 750–800, and one of the principal proponents of alchemy in the early Islamic period. The earliest biography of Jābir, in al-Fihrist, was written in the tenth century by Ibn al-Nadīm, a scholar and bibliographer living in Baghdad. It contains a fair number of legendary elements, although the list of works attributed to Jābir in this work has been shown by external evidence to be generally correct …

Contributed by
Qatar National Library


Compendium of Latin Translations of Persian Astronomical Tables

This volume is a compendium of six works that includes Latin translations of portions of the Zīj-i Sulṭānī by Muḥammad Ṭaraghāy ibn Shāhrukh ibn Tīmūr (1394–1449), known as Ulugh Beg. The other works include an excerpt from the Taqwīm al-Buldān (entitled “A Description of Khwārazm and Transoxiana from the Tables of Abū al-Fidāʾ”) by Abū al-Fidāʾ Ismāʿīl Ibn ʿAlī (1273-1331), and a star table by Muhammad ibn Muhammad Tizīnī. Ulugh Beg (“Great Commander” in Turkish) was a grandson of Tīmūr (known in the West as Tamerlane) and the …

Contributed by
Qatar National Library


Abū Ma‘shar’s Eight Treatises Regarding the Great Conjunctions, the Annual Revolutions, and Their Origins

Ja‘far ibn Muḥammad al-Balkhī (787–886), known as Abū Ma‘shar (and as Albumasar in the Latin West), was one of the most-renowned astronomers of the Middle Ages. His fame in Europe rested upon numerous Latin translations of his astronomical works from the original Arabic. He was born in the Persian city of Balkh (present-day Afghanistan), on 20th of Ṣafar, 171 AH (August 10, 787). He most likely received his early education in Balkh prior to moving to Baghdad, as his works are often colored by a distinct Persian …

Contributed by
Qatar National Library


The Threefold Lily of Practical Arithmetic

Johannes Huswirth (Sanensis) was a German arithmetician who flourished around 1500. Nothing is known of his life. That he is sometimes referred to as Sanensis suggests that he may have come from Sayn, Germany. Arithmetice Lilium Triplicis Practice (The threefold lily of practical arithmetic) presents basic arithmetic operations such as addition and multiplication for whole numbers and fractions. It treats much of the same material that Huswirth had covered in an earlier work,Enchirdion Algorismi (Handbook of algorithms). The work includes two woodcut illustrations; one of God the Father and …

Contributed by
Qatar National Library


Al-Qabīṣī’s Treatise on the Principles of Judicial Astronomy

ʻAbd al-ʻAzīz Ibn ʻUthmān was a famous astrologer, believed, based on a comment in the Fihrist, to have been a contemporary of Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq Ibn al-Nadīm (active 987). He was probably born in al-Qabīṣ, which is a place-name shared by two locations in Iraq, one near Mawṣil, and the other near Sāmarra. He may have been of Persian descent. Al-Qabīṣī’s principal surviving work isal-Madkhal ilā ṣinā‘at aḥkām al-nujūm (Introduction to the craft of [knowing] the judgment of the stars), dedicated to Sayf al-Dawla, the Ḥamdānid …

Contributed by
Qatar National Library


Muḥammad al-Farghānī’s Elements of Chronology and Astronomy

Aḥmad ibn Moḥammad ibn Kathīr al-Farghānī (flourished 861) was an astronomer who worked at the court of the early Abbasid caliphs. He appears to have been active in the court of al-Ma’mun, and he may well be the same figure who is said to have been entrusted by al-Mutawakkil with the construction of the nilometer in Cairo.  In that case, he would have been active from the early decades of the ninth century to his death in 861 (spanning the rules of al-Ma’mun, al-Muʿtaṣim, al-Wāthiq, and …

Contributed by
Qatar National Library


Of Medical Substances

The precious codex known as the Dioscurides Neapolitanus contains the work of Pedanius Dioscorides, the Greek physician who was born at Anazarbus near Tarsus in Cilicia (present-day Turkey) and lived in the first century AD during the reign of the Emperor Nero. Dioscorides wrote the treatise Perì üles iatrichès, commonly known in Latin as De materia medica (Of medical substances), in five books. It is considered the most important medical manual and pharmacopeia of ancient Greece and Rome and was highly regarded in the Middle Ages in both the Western …

Contributed by
National Library of Naples


Imperial Calendar in the Third Year of Emperor Jia Jing’s Reign in the Ming Dynasty

The Da Ming Jiajing san nian datong li (Imperial calendar, or great universal system of calculating astronomy) is based upon the system of calendrical astronomy developed by the astronomer Guo Shoujin during the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). It was officially adapted by the Ming Bureau of Astronomy in 1384. It specified the phases of the moon and contained predictions of when lunar and solar eclipses would occur. The great Chinese navigator Zheng He used Guo Shoujing’s methods to determine latitude and longitude on his voyages to the Pacific and Indian …

Contributed by
Library of Congress


Peony and Canary

The Japanese art of Ukiyo-e (“Pictures of the floating [or sorrowful] world”) developed in the city of Edo (now Tokyo) during the Tokugawa or Edo Period (1600-1868), a relatively peaceful era during which the Tokugawa shoguns ruled Japan and made Edo the seat of power. The Ukiyo-e tradition of woodblock printing and painting continued into the 20th century. This print, made in 1833 or 1834, is part of the series «Small Flowers» by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). It is unusual in its background color and its size. Other examples of this …

Contributed by
Library of Congress


Ringling Circus Winter Quarters, Sarasota, Florida

John Ringling (1866–1936), one of the seven Ringling brothers who dominated the development of the American circus in the late 19th and early 20th century, moved the winter quarters of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from its original quarters in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Sarasota, Florida. Ringling’s vision, as recalled by Fred Bradna, equestrian director for the show, in his book The Big Top, was to “lay out the quarters like a zoo, and thousands of visitors will pay to see it. I’ll build an open-air …

Contributed by
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art


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


Sumatran Muntjac

This depiction of what is probably Muntiacus muntjak muntjak or Muntiacus muntjak montanus (the Sumatran muntjac) is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in 1986 in the National Library of South Africa. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi people, 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 …

Contributed by
National Library of South Africa


Malaysian Tapir

This depiction of Tapirus indicus (the Malaysian or Asian tapir) is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in 1986 in the National Library of South Africa. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi people, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The artist has not been identified. He 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 …

Contributed by
National Library of South Africa


The Precious Book on Noteworthy Dates

This short work, entitled Kitāb al-yawāqīt fī ma‘rifat al-mawāqīt, and copied by an anonymous scribe in Shawwāl in June-July 1775 (AH 1168), is attributed to Ḥusayn (or Ḥasan) b. Zayd b. ‘Alī al-Jaḥḥāf, who is said to have dedicated it to Abū ‘Alī Manṣūr al-Ḥākim bi Amr-Allāh, the sixth Fāṭimid ruler (died 996). The manuscript lists the 12 months of the year, each on one sheet, in the form of an almanac. The last page is a one-page guide to the interpretation of dreams, reportedly prepared at the behest …

Contributed by
National Library and Archives of Egypt


Treatise on the Craft of Weight Measurement

This work is a treatise on the construction and use of the weighing balance (qabān, also qapān). It brings together geometric, mechanical, and arithmetic knowledge needed to construct and utilize measuring devices for weighing heavy and irregularly-shaped objects. The author’s name is unknown, but excerpts from another work by an already-deceased Shaykh ‘Abd al-Majīd al-Shāmulī al-Maḥallī are quoted in the treatise. The last page of the manuscript contains a sheet of verses that describe the basics of using a weighing balance, in a form that is easy to remember …

Contributed by
National Library and Archives of Egypt


Guide to Operations on Irrational Radicals for Neophytes

This mathematical treatise by Muḥammad b. Abi al-Fatḥ Muḥammad b. al-Sharafī Abi al-Rūḥ ‘Īsā b. Aḥmad al-Ṣūfī al-Shāfi‘ī al-Muqrī, was written in 1491-92 (897 AH). It begins with a «General Introduction,» followed by two main parts, with a concluding section on the study of cubes and cube roots. Part I, «Operations on Simple Irrational Radicals,» is divided into four chapters. Chapter 1 covers simplification of radicals. Chapters 2, 3, and 4 deal respectively with the multiplication, addition and subtraction, and division of radicals. Part II, on «Operations with Compound …

Contributed by
National Library and Archives of Egypt


The Dresden Codex

Only four Mayan manuscripts still exist worldwide, of which the oldest and best preserved is the Dresden Codex, held in the collections of the Saxon State and University Library. The manuscript was purchased for the Dresden court library in 1739 in Vienna, as a “Mexican book.” In 1853 it was identified as a Mayan manuscript. Consisting of 39 leaves, inscribed on both sides, and approximately 358 centimeters long, the manuscript originally was folded in an accordion-like manner. The chalk-coated writing material, amatl, is a paper-like matter produced from fig-tree fiber …

Contributed by
Saxon State and University Library, Dresden


Map of the Investigation of the Asiatic Part of the USSR for Hydrogeological Purposes in 1932

This map was created for use by a Soviet government research institute. By means of the color coding, it shows regions in Siberia where hydrogeological investigations had been carried out and divides those regions into three categories: detailed and special hydrogeological investigations from prospectors’ experience…on a scale of two versts per inch; general hydrogeological investigations…more than two versts per inch; and geological, hydrogeological, soil, and other investigations eliciting the presence of underground water. The white areas, occupying by far the largest part of the map, indicate where neither …

Contributed by
National Library of Russia


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.

Contributed by
Russian State Library


Saint Thomas Island, Danish Possession in the Antilles: View from the Brazilian Observatory with the Sandbank and the East Part of the Harbor and the City Charlotte Amalie

This photograph is contained in an album that commemorates the participation of Brazil in the international effort to track the transit of Venus in 1882. This involved the establishment by the Imperial Observatory of an observatory, named after Emperor Dom Pedro II (1825-91), on the island of Saint Thomas in the Danish West Indies (present-day U.S. Virgin Islands). The transit of Venus is a rare astronomical event that occurs when Venus passes between the Earth and the sun, becoming visible in daylight against the solar disk. The transits occur …

Contributed by
National Library of Brazil


Saint Thomas Island, Danish Possession in the Antilles: View from the Brazilian Observatory with the West Part of the Harbor and the City Charlotte Amalie

This photograph is contained in an album that commemorates the participation of Brazil in the international effort to track the transit of Venus in 1882. This involved the establishment by the Imperial Observatory of an observatory, named after Emperor Dom Pedro II (1825-91), on the island of Saint Thomas in the Danish West Indies (present-day U.S. Virgin Islands). The transit of Venus is a rare astronomical event that occurs when Venus passes between the Earth and the sun, becoming visible in daylight against the solar disk. The transits occur …

Contributed by
National Library of Brazil


Dom Pedro II Observatory, Saint Thomas Island, Danish Possession in the Antilles: North Face of the Three Pavillions of the Observatory

This photograph is contained in an album that commemorates the participation of Brazil in the international effort to track the transit of Venus in 1882. This involved the establishment by the Imperial Observatory of an observatory, named after Emperor Dom Pedro II (1825-91), on the island of Saint Thomas in the Danish West Indies (present-day U.S. Virgin Islands). The transit of Venus is a rare astronomical event that occurs when Venus passes between the Earth and the sun, becoming visible in daylight against the solar disk. The transits occur …

Contributed by
National Library of Brazil


Dom Pedro II Observatory, Saint Thomas Island, Danish Possession in the Antilles: Overview of the Observatory from the Northeast with the Three Pavilions and the Collimators of the Meridian Circle Telescope

This photograph is contained in an album that commemorates the participation of Brazil in the international effort to track the transit of Venus in 1882. This involved the establishment by the Imperial Observatory of an observatory, named after Emperor Dom Pedro II (1825-91), on the island of Saint Thomas in the Danish West Indies (present-day U.S. Virgin Islands). The transit of Venus is a rare astronomical event that occurs when Venus passes between the Earth and the sun, becoming visible in daylight against the solar disk. The transits occur …

Contributed by
National Library of Brazil


Dom Pedro II Observatory, Saint Thomas Island, Danish Possession in the Antilles: Pavilion of the Equatorial Telescope of the First Lieutenant Índio do Brasil. Main Central Pavillion of the Meridian Circle Telescope and Large Equatorial Telescope of the Barão de Teffé. Pavillion of the Equatorial Telescope of the Lieutenant Commander Calheiros da Graça. View from the Southeast, from the Hillside

This photograph is contained in an album that commemorates the participation of Brazil in the international effort to track the transit of Venus in 1882. This involved the establishment by the Imperial Observatory of an observatory, named after Emperor Dom Pedro II (1825-91), on the island of Saint Thomas in the Danish West Indies (present-day U.S. Virgin Islands). The transit of Venus is a rare astronomical event that occurs when Venus passes between the Earth and the sun, becoming visible in daylight against the solar disk. The transits occur …

Contributed by
National Library of Brazil


Dom Pedro II Observatory, Saint Thomas Island, Danish Possession in the Antilles: Interior View of the East Part of the Main Central Pavillion with the Meridian Circle Telescope, Sidereal Pendulum and the Electric Chronograph

This photograph is contained in an album that commemorates the participation of Brazil in the international effort to track the transit of Venus in 1882. This involved the establishment by the Imperial Observatory of an observatory, named after Emperor Dom Pedro II (1825-91), on the island of Saint Thomas in the Danish West Indies (present-day U.S. Virgin Islands). The transit of Venus is a rare astronomical event that occurs when Venus passes between the Earth and the sun, becoming visible in daylight against the solar disk. The transits occur …

Contributed by
National Library of Brazil


Dom Pedro II Observatory, Saint Thomas Island, Danish Possession in the Antilles: Interior View of the Western Part of the Main Central Pavillion with the Equatorial Telescope of the Barão de Teffé

This photograph is contained in an album that commemorates the participation of Brazil in the international effort to track the transit of Venus in 1882. This involved the establishment by the Imperial Observatory of an observatory, named after Emperor Dom Pedro II (1825-91), on the island of Saint Thomas in the Danish West Indies (present-day U.S. Virgin Islands). The transit of Venus is a rare astronomical event that occurs when Venus passes between the Earth and the sun, becoming visible in daylight against the solar disk. The transits occur …

Contributed by
National Library of Brazil


Dom Pedro II Observatory, Saint Thomas Island, Danish Possession in the Antilles: Interior View of the East Pavillion with the Equatorial Telescope of the Lieutenant Commander Calheiros da Graça

This photograph is contained in an album that commemorates the participation of Brazil in the international effort to track the transit of Venus in 1882. This involved the establishment by the Imperial Observatory of an observatory, named after Emperor Dom Pedro II (1825-91), on the island of Saint Thomas in the Danish West Indies (present-day U.S. Virgin Islands). The transit of Venus is a rare astronomical event that occurs when Venus passes between the Earth and the sun, becoming visible in daylight against the solar disk. The transits occur …

Contributed by
National Library of Brazil


Dom Pedro II Observatory, Saint Thomas Island, Danish Possession in the Antilles: Interior View of the West Pavillion with the Equatorial Telescope of the First Lieutenant Índio do Brasil

This photograph is contained in an album that commemorates the participation of Brazil in the international effort to track the transit of Venus in 1882. This involved the establishment by the Imperial Observatory of an observatory, named after Emperor Dom Pedro II (1825-91), on the island of Saint Thomas in the Danish West Indies (present-day U.S. Virgin Islands). The transit of Venus is a rare astronomical event that occurs when Venus passes between the Earth and the sun, becoming visible in daylight against the solar disk. The transits occur …

Contributed by
National Library of Brazil


Passage of Venus, December 6, 1882

This photograph, taken by Marc Ferrez on December 6, 1882, is contained in an album that commemorates the participation of Brazil in the international effort to track the transit of Venus that same year. Ferrez honored Brazil’s contribution by compiling a photomontage of the three men commissioned by the Imperial Observatory of Brazil to view the transit on the island of St. Thomas in the Antilles. Antonio Luiz von Hoonholtz Tezpur, the Baron of Teffé, is shown at the top of the picture. Captain Lieutenant Francisco Calheiros da Graça …

Contributed by
National Library of Brazil


Plants with Parasites

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. Biology and botany are well represented in the collection, reflecting the emperor’s personal interest in both science and the rich variety of plant life in Brazil, where some 50,000 …

Contributed by
National Library of Brazil


Plants with Parasites

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. Biology and botany are well represented in the collection, reflecting the emperor’s personal interest in both science and the rich variety of plant life in Brazil, where some 50,000 …

Contributed by
National Library of Brazil


A Chart of the Gulf Stream

This map, from the Peter Force Map Collection at the Library of Congress, was created by the Philadelphia engraver James Poupard. It was the third in a series featuring a chart of the Gulf Stream. The latter was well known to Spanish ship captains, who relied on it to sail from the Americas to the Iberian Peninsula, but there were no universal charts or maps due to Spanish secrecy. This map originally was sketched by Timothy Folger, a Nantucket fisherman and a cousin of Benjamin Franklin, who conceived the map …

Contributed by
Library of Congress


The Zhemini Gorge in the Vicinity of the Zaysan Post, Kazakhstan, 1875

In 1874-75, the Russian government sent a research and trading mission to China to seek out new overland routes to the Chinese market, report on prospects for increased commerce and locations for consulates and factories, and gather information about the Dungan Revolt then raging in parts of western China. Led by Lieutenant Colonel Iulian A. Sosnovskii of the army General Staff, the nine-man mission included a topographer, Captain Matusovskii; a scientific officer, Dr. Pavel Iakovlevich Piasetskii; Chinese and Russian interpreters; three non-commissioned Cossack soldiers; and the mission photographer, Adolf Erazmovich …

Contributed by
National Library of Brazil


The Observatory Showing Armillary Sphere and Other Astronomical Instruments, Beijing, 1874

In 1874-75, the Russian government sent a research and trading mission to China to seek out new overland routes to the Chinese market, report on prospects for increased commerce and locations for consulates and factories, and gather information about the Dungan Revolt then raging in parts of western China. Led by Lieutenant Colonel Iulian A. Sosnovskii of the army General Staff, the nine-man mission included a topographer, Captain Matusovskii; a scientific officer, Dr. Pavel Iakovlevich Piasetskii; Chinese and Russian interpreters; three non-commissioned Cossack soldiers; and the mission photographer, Adolf Erazmovich …

Contributed by
National Library of Brazil


The Constellations

The astronomer ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Umar al-Sufi, commonly known as al-Sufi, was born in Persia (present-day Iran) in 903 A.D. and died in 986. He worked in Isfahan and in Baghdad, and is known for his translation from Greek into Arabic of the Almagest by the ancient astronomer Ptolemy. Al-Sufi’s most famous work is Kitab suwar al-kawakib (Book of the constellations of the fixed stars), which he published around 964. In this work, al-Sufi describes the 48 constellations that were established by Ptolemy and adds criticisms and corrections …

Contributed by
Library of Congress


Contributions to the Geography of South-West Africa

Fritz Jaeger and Leo Waibel were professors of geography in Germany who, in late 1913, were commissioned by the German colonial office to explore the northern part of German South-West Africa (present-day Namibia). They arrived in the colony in mid-1914 and soon were caught up in the events of World War I, which broke out in August of that year. Both men were drafted into the German Protection Force and fought in engagements with the South African forces entering German South-West Africa from the south. They were released from military …

Contributed by
Library of Congress


Mister Johann Anderson…Reports on Iceland, Greenland, and the Davis Strait for the Proper Use of the Sciences and Commerce

Johann Anderson (1674-1743) was the son of a whaling ship owner from Hamburg, Germany. He became a lawyer, served in the Hamburg Senate, and was mayor of the city for many years. Anderson systematically gathered the available literature on Iceland, Greenland, and the adjacent seas, as well as gleaned information from sailors and merchants. This book, which he prepared mainly in the 1730s, was published in 1746, after his death. It includes descriptions of the land and peoples of Iceland and Greenland, and covers topics ranging from the herring fishery …

Contributed by
Library of Congress


Earth, as Seen by Astronauts Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans and Harrison Schmidt from Apollo 17

The Apollo 17 mission, which took place December 7-19, 1972, was the last of the missions to the moon carried out in the late 1960s and early 1970s by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Astronauts Eugene A. Cernan, Ronald B. Evans, and Harrison H. Schmitt undertook the mission, which lasted 12 days, 13 hours, and 52 minutes and included a lunar surface stay of 75 hours. The lunar landing site was the highlands and valley area of Taurus-Littrow (20º 16’ north latitude, 30º 77’ east longitude …

Contributed by
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration


Declaration of Intention for Albert Einstein

In 1936, German-born physicist Albert Einstein filed this Declaration of Intention to become an American citizen. Following the Nazi takeover of political power in Germany in 1933 and the onset of persecution of the German Jews, Einstein renounced his German citizenship and immigrated to the United States to take the position of Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton. On the basis of this declaration, the man who had first proposed the theory of relativity in 1905 became a U.S. citizen in 1940.

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U.S. National Archives and Records Administration


“Pragmatica” on the Ten Days of the Year

This work is the first known South American imprint. It consists of a four-page edict, issued by King Philip II of Spain, decreeing the change from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. In order to bring the calendar back into line with the seasons, in February 1582 Pope Gregory XIII deleted ten days from the year 1582, so that October 4, 1582, of the Julian calendar was followed immediately by October 15, 1582, in the new Gregorian calendar. This work was produced in 1584 by Antonio Ricardo, an Italian typographer …

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John Carter Brown Library


Book of Royal Gemstones

This work, by Abu al-‛Abbās Ahmad b. Yūsuf al-Qaysī al-Tīfāshī, a 13th-century writer and mineralogist who was born in Tunisia and worked in Egypt, describes precious gems found in the treasuries of kings and rulers. The author lists 25 gemstones and dedicates a chapter to each. They include the ruby (yāqūt), emerald (zumurrud), topaz (zabarjad), diamond (almās), turquoise (fīrūzaj), magnetite (maghnātīs), agate (‛aqīq), lapis lazuli (lāzward), coral (marjān), and quartz (talq). In each chapter, the author discusses the causes of the gemstone’s formation, provenance, criteria for appraisal of …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


The Book of Remedies from Deficiencies in Setting Up Marble Sundials

This work is a treatise for timekeepers (singular muwaqqit), and discusses the telling of time from such astronomical observations as the sun’s angle of inclination (mayl), altitude (irtifā‛), as well as the direction (samt) and length of cast shadows (zill). In 14 chapters, the author goes through methods for the computation of these factors, determination of the direction of prayer (qibla), and time of the day. He observes that using instruments (ālāt), such as markings on the ruler (mistara) and the compass (bargār, from the Persian pargār), and geometric …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


Seasonal Almanac Based on the Coptic Calendar

The author of this work, Shaykh al-Islām Ahmad al-Bashtakī, lived in Bashtak near central Cairo. The work goes through the 13 months of the Coptic calendar: Tūt (Thout), Bāba (Paopi), Hātūr (Hathur), Koihak (Koiak), Tūba (Tobi), Imshīr (Meshir), Baremhāt (Paremhat), Barmūda (Paremoude), Bashons (Pashons), Bawna or Būna (Paoni), Ibīb (Epip), Misurī (Mesori), and the Days of Nasī (ayyām al-nasī; also known as the Little Month, Pi Kogi Enavot, or El Nasii). The work gives the corresponding months in the Roman and Persian calendars, notes the astrological significance of days, and …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


A Guide for the Perplexed on the Drawing of the Circle of Projection

The author of this work, Ibn al-Majdī (1366-1447 [767-850 A.H.]), was a renowned mathematician, geometrician, and astronomer. He was linked with the influential Marāgha School through his teacher, Jamāl al-Dīn al-Māridīnī, who in turn had studied with Ibn al-Shātir al-Dimashqī’. As a descendant of a powerful local family with Mamlūk ties, Ibn al-Majdī served as the official astronomer and timekeeper at Al-Azhar. The work is divided into three chapters and a conclusion. Chapter 1 covers the procedure for projecting the circle of projection (fadl al-dā’ir) onto planes that …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


Comprehensive Reference on Algebra and Equations

This manuscript is a didactic work on arithmetic and algebra, composed in versified form, as aqasīda of 59 verses. It was composed by Ibn al-Hā’im al-Fardī in 1402 (804 A.H.). The beginning of the work also names ‛Alī b. ‛Abd al-Samad al-Muqrī al-Mālikī (died Dhu al-Ḥijja 1381 [782 A.H.]), a scholar and teacher who had come to Egypt and taught at the ‛Amr b. ‛As madrasa for several years. The main part of the qasīda begins by introducing and defining key terms in arithmetic and algebra …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


Arithmetic Conventions for Conversion Between Roman [i.e. Ottoman] and Egyptian Measurement

This treatise, written on ten folio pages for an Ottoman official and patron of books known as Ismā‘īl Afandī, is on the inter-conversion of units of measurement. It is a useful guide for merchants and others engaged in the measurement of quantities. It provides instructions for converting arṭāl (plural of raṭl) into uqaq (plural of auqiya), and back; darāhim (plural of dirham) into mathāqīl (plural ofmithqāl) and back; and converting the number of Ottoman (referred to as Roman, rūmī) loading bags into the number of Egyptian loading bags …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


Sakhāqī’s Book [of Arithmetic]

This work is a tutorial text on elementary arithmetic, in 20 folios. It is divided into an introduction, 11 chapters, and a conclusion. In the beginning, the sign for zero is introduced, along with the nine Indian numerals, written in two alternative forms. This is followed by a presentation of the place system. The first four chapters cover, respectively, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Chapter five introduces operations on non-whole numbers. The remaining six chapters discuss fractions and operations on them.

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


Treatise for Observers on Constructing the Circle of Projection

This work is a treatise on the important subject of timekeeping. It is a work of technical astronomy, in 19 folios, that begins by emphasizing the religious significance of knowledge of time. It is divided into an introduction, two chapters, and a conclusion. Comprehensive procedures for the construction of tables and their use are provided. The work was completed in 1473 (878 A.H.).

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


Easing the Difficulty of Arithmetic and Planar Geometry

This work is a comprehensive tutorial guide on arithmetic and plane geometry, in 197 folio pages. It also discusses monetary conversion. The work is composed in verse form, and is meant as a commentary on existing textbooks. The author gives the following personal account of the writing of this guide: In Rajab 827 A.H. (May 1424) he traveled from Damascus to Quds al-Sharīf (in Palestine), where he met two scholars named Ismā‘īl ibn Sharaf and Zayn al-Dīn Māhir. There he took lessons on arithmetic, using an introductory book …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


Compendium on Using the Device Known as the Almucantar Quarter

This work, by a timekeeper at the Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, is an important and comprehensive textbook on timekeeping. It introduces the useful device of dividing a quarter of a circle of projection into sections known as almucantars (muqanṭarāt). The work, comprising 100 folio pages, contains 30 chapters and a conclusion. The work was composed in 1440-1 (844 A.H.) and was copied in 1757 (1170 A.H.).

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


The Light of the Eyes and the Enlightened Landscape of Vision

This work is a noteworthy treatise on optics that covers such basic topics as direct vision, reflection and refraction, and the length of shadows. It discusses convex and concave mirrors and the physiology of vision, and has a section on optical illusions. It is a cogent work on geometrical optics. It is particularly significant because it was written under the Ottoman sulṭān, Murāt ibn Selīm (reigned 1574-95 [982-1003 A.H.]). The name of the author is illegible on the front page, and seems to have been deliberately wiped off for …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


The Travelers Guide on Drawing the Circle of Projection

This is a work on timekeeping and the determination of the direction of prayer (qibla), particularly intended for people who travel. The author, Abu al-‛Abbās Shihāb al-Dīn Ahmad b. Zayn al-Dīn Rajab b. Tubayghā al-Atābakī, known as al-Majdī or Ibn al-Majdī (1366-1447 [767-850 A.H.]), was descended from a powerful family with ties to Mamlūk rulers and was a renowned and prominent mathematician, geometrician, and astronomer. He served as the timekeeper of the Al-Azhar Mosque. This work is an abridgment of his other major book, Irshād al-ḥā’ir ilā …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


Maximum Benefit from the Knowledge of Circles of Projection on the 30 Degree Northern Latitude

This work, a treatise on practical astronomy, deals with such issues as timekeeping and determining the proper direction of prayer. The work begins with a brief introduction, but the bulk of the manuscript contains tables used to determine time. The introductory section contains illustrative examples on how to use the tables.

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


Deliverance from Error on Knowledge of Times of Day and the Direction of Prayer

This work on elementary knowledge of practical astronomy begins by emphasizing the religious significance of knowing how to keep the time and how to determine the proper direction of prayer (qibla). It describes the conventional correspondence between ordinal numbers and the letters of the Arabic alphabet. It then enumerates, and goes through, the names of the months in the lunar Arabic calendar and in the solar Coptic calendar. It highlights certain important dates, such as the beginning of the New Year, and introduces the 12 zodiacal signs. The front page …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


The Book of Instruction on Deviant Planes and Simple Planes

This manuscript is a work on practical astronomy and the drawing of the circle of projection and related concepts from spherical trigonometry. It is rich with geometric diagrams, tables of empirical observations, and computations based upon these observations. An interesting feature of the manuscript is the appearance on the margins of the cover, and on several pages in the manuscript, of edifying verses, proverbs, and witty remarks. One reads, for example, “It is strange to find in the world a jaundiced physician, a dim-eyed ophthalmologist, and a blind astronomer.” Most …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


A Friendly Gift on the Science of Arithmetic

This treatise deals specifically with basic arithmetic, as needed for computing the division of inheritance according to Islamic law. It contains 48 folios and is divided into an introduction, three chapters, and a conclusion. The introduction discusses the idea of numbers as an introduction to the science of arithmetic. Chapter I discusses the multiplication of integers. Chapter II is on the division of integers and the computation of common factors. Chapter III deals extensively with fractions and arithmetic operations on them. The author, an Egyptian jurist and mathematician, was the …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


The Book on the Properties of Precious Gems

The title page identifies this manuscript as a copy of Kitab khawas al-jawāhir (The book on the properties of precious gems), written by Yaqūb ibn Ishāq al-Kindī in the ninth century. The work has 25 chapters, which are titled “On the knowledge of gems in general,” “On knowledge of rubies,” “On knowledge of emeralds,” “On knowledge of lapis,” and so forth. Each of these chapters gives basic information about these precious stones and their properties, as understood at the time. Information on the pricing of gems and the location of …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


Commentary on the Gift of Arithmetic

This work is by Abd-Allāh Ibn Bahā al-Din Muhammad Ibn Abd-Allāh al-Shanshāri al-Shāfīī, an expert in calculating al-Fardī (inheritance portions). The cover page of the manuscript bears a magical form or talisman for finding a lost object. The main text is a detailed commentary on Tuhfat al-ahbāb fi al-hisāb (The friendly gift of arithmetic) by the renowned Egyptian scholar Badr al-Dīn Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ahmad (1423–1506), known as the Sibt (grandson of) al-Mardini, who taught arithmetic and astronomy in Alazhar for several years. The original work has an …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


Desired Transformations, or, On Negations and Affirmations in Rectifying Wisdom

This treatise contains information on a medley of subjects, including alchemy, numerology, mineralogy, and magic. It begins with quotations from Kashf al-asrār wa hatk al-astār (Unveiling of secrets and tearing of covers), a well-known eighth-century (second-century A.H.) work attributed to Jābir (ibn Ḥayyān). A whole other work seems to be written in the margins. The text mentions such authorities as Galen (Jālīnūs), Zīsmūs, Hermes, Democrates, Shaykh Abu al-‘Abbās Aḥmad al-Baunī, and Ghazālī. Parts of the manuscript are smudged and damaged.

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


Winds of the Four Directions

This oracle bone from around 1200 B.C. contains 24 characters in four groups in a vigorous and strong style, typical of the Bin group of diviners in the reign of Wu Ding (circa 1200-1189 B.C.). It records the gods of the four directions and of the four winds. The winds of the four directions reflect the spring and autumn equinoxes, the summer and winter solstices, and the changes of the four seasons. The four winds are the east wind, called Xie; the south wind, called Wei; the west …

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National Library of China


The Volcano Smeroe (View from the Passaroeng Residence)

This colored lithograph shows Smeroe (Semeru), the largest volcano on the island of Java. Also known as Mahameru, or the Great Mountain, the volcano erupted at least once a year during the 19th century, and since 1967 has been in a state of near-constant activity. This view from the town of Pasuruan shows a plume of smoke coming from the top of mountain. The Dutch painter Abraham Salm (1801-76) spent 29 years in Indonesia, where he produced many dramatic landscape paintings. This lithograph is one of 15 views of Java …

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Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and the Caribbean Studies KITLV


A Brief Essay on the Quadrant Known as Muqantarat

This manuscript on astronomy and surveying describes the sine quadrant and parallel circles. Its author is unknown. The work explains how to measure topographic heights, know prayer times, and determine the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca, toward which Muslims pray. The date of transcription is unknown, but was possibly in the 18th 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 …

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University Library in Bratislava


The Fathiyya Essay on Using the Mughayyab Quadrant

This treatise by Badruddin al-Maridini (died 1506 [912 AH]), better known as Sibt al-Maridini, includes an introduction, 20 sections, and a conclusion. The treatise discusses a range of issues in astronomy, surveying, and mathematics. It describes the sine quadrant and parallel circles, and explains how to measure the width of a river, the angle of a star, the depth of a well, or the height of a mountain. Al-Maridini, whose parents were from Damascus, was born, raised, and educated in Cairo late in the Mamluk Dynasty (1250–1517). The manuscript …

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University Library in Bratislava


An Essay on the Tilt of the Mujayyab Quadrant

This two-page manuscript by Ibrahim al-Arabi al-mashhur bi-Ibrahim al-Halabi (died 1776? [1190 AH]) is about the sine quadrant and parallel circles. 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 …

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University Library in Bratislava


Flowers of Abu Ma’shar

Ja‘far ibn Muḥammad al-Balkhī (787–886), known as Abū Ma‘shar, lived in Baghdad in the 9th century. Originally an Islamic scholar of the Hadith (the prophetic traditions of Muhammad) and a contemporary of the famous philosopher al-Kindī, Abu Ma’shar developed an interest in astrology at the relatively late age of 47. He became the most important and prolific writer on astrology in the Middle Ages. His discourses incorporated and expanded upon the studies of earlier scholars of Islamic, Persian, Greek, and Mesopotamian origin. His works were translated …

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Qatar National Library


Introduction to Astronomy, Containing the Eight Divided Books of Abu Ma’shar Abalachus

Ja‘far ibn Muḥammad al-Balkhī (787–886), known as Abū Ma‘shar, lived in Baghdad in the 9th century. Originally an Islamic scholar of the Hadith (the prophetic traditions of Muhammad) and a contemporary of the famous philosopher al-Kindī, Abū Ma‘shar developed an interest in astrology at the relatively late age of 47. He became the most important and prolific writer on astrology in the Middle Ages. His discourses incorporated and expanded upon the studies of earlier scholars of Islamic, Persian, Greek, and Mesopotamian origin. His works were translated …

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Qatar National Library


The Light of the Glitter in Mathematics

This work is a versified treatise on arithmetic (‘ilam al- ḥisāb), and specifically the art of dividing inheritance (farā’iḍ), which has application in Islamic law. After a standard expression of praise for the Prophet, his companions, and later followers, the text introduces the system of place values and explains multiplication of multi-digit whole numbers and simple and compound fractions. The text presents multiple examples that are described in verbal terms. As noted at the end of the manuscript, which was completed on Monday, 20 Rabī‘ I of the year …

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Library of Congress


World’s Marvels and Substances Book

This text contains sections extracted from the second part of the well-known and highly popular work of cosmography known as ʻAjāʼib al-makhlūqāt, written in the 13th century (7th century AH) by Abū Yaḥyā Zakarīyā al-Qazwīnī. The work begins with a section on the sources and properties of gems and stones, followed by sections on herbs, seeds, nuts and fruits, spices, the body parts of animals, and so forth. It also contains geographical information, for example the names and locations of major bodies of water such as the Mediterranean Sea …

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Library of Congress


The Precious Necklace Regarding Weigh Scales

This treatise on scales, measures, and weighing instruments is by a prominent member of the Jabartī family, a distinguished clan of Somali-Egyptian Ḥanafī ‘ulamā’ in Ottoman-ruled Egypt. The author, Ḥasan al-Jabartī, was the father of the famous historian ‘Abd al-Rahmān al-Jabarti (1753-1826 [1167-1241 AH]). Ḥasan al-Jabartī married into wealthy military families and also inherited substantial wealth. His relatives included merchants and ship owners, and he spent part of his life in business. He had a reputation for deep learning and was credited with restoring Egypt’s prestige as a center …

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Library of Congress


Book of Nature

Das Buch der Natur (Book of nature) is a Medieval Latin compendium of science that was edited and translated into German in the 14th century by Konrad von Megenberg, a German scholar and writer who was probably born at Mainberg (Megenberg), near Schweinfurt, Bavaria, in 1309, and died at Ratisbon (Regensburg) in 1374. He studied at Erfurt and then at the University of Paris, where he taught philosophy and theology from 1334 to 1342. In 1342 he moved to Ratisbon, where he was a parish priest and a preacher. Later …

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Library of Congress


Commentary by Islam’s Sheikh Zakariyya al-Ansari on Ibn al-Hā’im’s Poem on the Science of Algebra and Balancing Called the Creator’s Epiphany in Explaining the Cogent

This work is a commentary on a versified, 59-line introduction to algebra, entitled Al-Muqni‘ fī al-jabr wa al-muqābila, by the prolific and influential mathematician, jurist, and man of letters Abū al-‘Abbās Shihāb al-Dīn Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn ‘Alī al-Maqdisī al-Shāfi‘ī, known as Ibn al-Hā’im (circa 1356-1412 [circa 753-815 AH]). It clarifies the nomenclature and explains the basic concepts of algebra, and provides succinct examples. The manuscript, completed on Thursday night, 8 Sha‘bān 1305 AH (March 21, 1888), is in the hand of Tāhā ibn Yūsuf.

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Library of Congress


A Treatise on Zodiacal Signs and Constallations: Unique Jewels on the Benefits of Keeping Time

This work is an introductory, but well-organized, treatise on the elements of time-keeping and reckoning. The treatise is divided into seven sections and a conclusion. It introduces the Arabic, Coptic, and Syriac (or Alexandrian) calendars, and comments on the Persian, Roman, and Hebraic calendars. The work gives the names and lengths of the months in various calendars, explains the different methods for ascertaining the beginnings of years and months, discusses the signs of the zodiac and their relation to the four seasons, and describes the apparent motion of the sun …

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Library of Congress


The Keys of Mercy and the Secrets of Wisdom

This manuscript is an invaluable source for understanding alchemical doctrines and practices in the Islamic world during the Middle Ages. Its author, the polymath Mu‛ayyad al-Dīn al-Tuġrā’ī, was born in 1062 AD in Persia (present-day Iran) and worked as a secretary in the Seljuk court. He later was appointed vizier in Mosul (present-day Iraq), but his career came to a dramatic end in 1121, when, following the disgrace of his protector, he was falsely accused of heresy and beheaded. Notes on al-Tuġrā’ī’s biography were added to …

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Library of Congress


Glosses of al-Hifnī on the Yāsamīnīyya

This work is an elaboration of the commentary written by the Egyptian mathematician Sibṭ al-Māridīnī (i.e., a commentary on another commentary), on the versified introduction, or urjūzah, to the science of algebra, originally composed by the Berber mathematician and man of letters Abū Muḥammad ‘Abd-Allāh al-Ishbīlī al-Marrakushī, also known as Ibn al-Yāsamīn (died 1204 [600 AH]). Ibn al-Yāsamīn’s work has not been examined in detail by scholars, so the apparent inclusion in this treatise of original lines by Ibn Yasamīn is of great importance in studying his contribution …

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Library of Congress


Sketch of the DNA Double Helix by Francis Crick

The iconic image of the double helix–the twisted ladder that carries the codes for earth’s huge variety of life forms–goes back to 1953 and the homemade metal model created by the British scientist Francis Crick and his American collaborator, James Watson. Determined to solve the puzzle posed by the research evidence at the time, they obtained new insights by visualizing the structure of the complex molecule through a physical model. This pencil sketch of DNA was made by Crick and forms part of the extensive Crick Archive at …

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Wellcome Library


Land Planisphere Showing Longitude

This 1696 polar projection world map by Jacques Cassini (1677–1756) is the replica and only surviving representation of the large, 7.80-meter diameter planisphere by his father, Jean-Dominique Cassini (1625–1712). The first director of the Paris Observatory, the elder Cassini had designed the planisphere on the floor of one of the observatory’s towers, using astronomical observations performed by correspondents of the Academy of Sciences. The map shows 43 places, from Quebec to Santiago, from Goa to Beijing, each marked with a star, with latitudes accurately measured using …

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National Library of France


A New Chart of Part of the North Pacific Ocean Exhibiting the Various Straits, Islands and Dangers

This map of the Pacific Ocean north of the equator is by Edmund March Blunt, the publisher and main author of the American Coastal Pilot. This work first appeared in 1796 and, in successive editions over the years, established Blunt as the premier publisher of nautical books in the United States. At the lower left of the map are shown the Caroline Islands, including the “Pelew Isles” (Palau Islands) as well as Yap and other islands that now make up the Federated States of Micronesia. The first Europeans to reach …

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Library of Congress


Alley of Chamaerops Excelsus, Windmill Palm

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


A Guide to Geometry, Surveying, the Launching of Missiles, and the Planting of Mines

This work, primarily intended for the training of military men, is a translation from a number of sources originally written in German and French. It was presented to the Bureau of Warfare and Jihād (Dār al-naṣr wa al-jihād) in Muḥarram, AH 1193 (early winter, 1779), or nearly two decades before Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798. The work’s compiler, ʻUthman ibn ʻAbd al-Mannān, a translator at the Ottoman court in Belgrade, had converted to Islam from Christianity. The title of the work hints at his sincere effort to …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


The Best of Arithmetic

This treatise on the art of arithmetic, completed in the late 1880s, opens a window into the early interaction between traditional and modern mathematical pedagogy in Egypt. The use of French loan words, such as million, along with some modern notation, indicates the author’s familiarity with developments in the teaching of arithmetic at the time. The work has an introduction followed by ten chapters and a conclusion. Following traditional praise for God, the Prophet Muhammad, and virtuous vanguards of learning, the treatise opens by introducing arithmetic as a useful …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


Guidebook for Students on the Use of Arithmetic

This guidebook is a short commentary on a work on arithmetic entitled al-Wasīla (The tool) completed in the 14th century by Shihāb al-Dīn Ahmad ibn Alī ibn Imād. The commentary is by the renowned Egyptian scholar known as Sibt (grandson of) al-Māridīnī (1423–1506), who taught mathematical sciences at Alazhar for a long time. The body of the work begins with a general discussion on numbers, and forms a standard introduction to arithmetic. The manuscript, which was completed by Ahmad ibn Yūnus al-Chalabī al-Hanafī in 1496 (AH 903) at the …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


The Full Moon and its Illumination of the Operations of the Sun and the Moon

The author or compiler of this manuscript, Alī ibn Sālim ibn Muhammad, introduces himself as a student of Dāwūd al-Antāki, and further attributes the text he is presenting to the famous eighth-century authority on science, Jābir Ibn Hayyān. The text is divided into three main sections followed by a conclusion. The first section is on mines, and discusses the association between various mines and celestial bodies. The second section covers stones; the third section discusses plants and herbs. There is an additional folio with some information not contained in the …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


An Arabic Translation of the Astronomical Tables of Ulugh Beg

This manuscript contains a 15th–16th century translation from Persian into Arabic by Yaḥyā ibn Alī al-Rifā‘ī of the introduction of the celebrated zīj (astronomical tables or records of daily occurrences) by Ulugh Beg (1394–1449). In the introduction to his work, al-Rifā‘ī states that he undertook the project at the behest of Egyptian astronomer Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Abū al-Fatḥ al-Ṣūf ī al-Miṣrī (died circa 1494), who was involved in studying and revising Ulugh Beg’s zīj for Cairo’s geographical coordinates. The present manuscript copy of …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


The Introductory Epistle on Sinusoidal Operations

This manuscript is a copy of al-Risāla al-Fatḥīya fī al-a‘māl al-jaybīya (The introductory epistle on sinusoidal operations) by Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad Abu ‘Abd Allāh, Badr al-Dīn (1423–1506), known as Sibṭ al-Māridīnī or the grandson of al-Māridīnī, in honor of his mother’s father, a famous astronomer. The manuscript consists of 16 pages of 14 lines each, and includes an introduction and 20 bābs (chapters or articles). They range in length from a few lines to a page, and cover such topics as determination of the cardinal …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


The Book of Times

This is a manuscript copy of Kitāb al-Azmān (The book of times; also known as Kitāb al-Azmina) by Yuḥannā Ibn Māsawayh (died circa 857), the famous physician of the Abbasid era. The work belongs to the tradition of Islamic hemerology—the study of the calendar, especially with a view to discerning the auspiciousness of carrying out various actions at a given date or time. In his introduction, the author states: «The people of knowledge and philosophy and the physicians of Persia, India, and Rūm [Asia Minor], have said that the …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


Life of Animals

This manuscript is a copy of the long version of al-Damīrī’s Hayāt al-hayawān (Life of animals), an encyclopedic work that was widely disseminated in the Islamic world in three versions or recensions—long, intermediate, and short. Muhammad ibn Musā ibn Isā Kamāl al-Din Ibn Ilyās ibn Abd-Allāh al-Damīrī (circa 1342–1405) was an Egyptian tailor who became an author and scholar. Building upon earlier work on animals by Jāhith (780–868), al-Damiri combined the Arabic and Persian literary tradition of animal tales with the legacy of Greece and Rome …

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National Library and Archives of Egypt


Johnson Papyrus

Herbals are directories of plants, their properties, and their medicinal uses. Herbals most likely were at first not illustrated, but in late antiquity they acquired illustrations. This fragment of a leaf from an illustrated herbal from Hellenistic Egypt shows a plant that is possibly Symphytum officinale, or comfrey. The herbal is made of papyrus, a plant that flourished in the valley of the Nile, and the text is in Greek, the language of science throughout the eastern Mediterranean at this time. The fragment is probably from a copy of the …

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Wellcome Library


Atlas of the Physical and Political History of Chile [Plates, Volume 1]

Claudio Gay was born in Provence, southern France, in 1800.  In childhood he developed a deep fascination with the natural sciences. In his youth, he traveled extensively in parts of Europe under the direction of the Italian botanist Juan Bautista Balbis, visiting the French Alps, northern Italy, Greece, Asia Minor, and several Mediterranean islands. In 1828 the adventurer Pedro Chapuis invited him to come to Chile to teach geography. Gay accepted the offer, and lived in Chile until 1842, working as a teacher and participating in scientific expeditions. Under a …

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National Library of Chile


Atlas of the Physical and Political History of Chile [Plates, Volume 2]

Claudio Gay was born in Provence, southern France, in 1800. In childhood he developed a deep fascination with the natural sciences. In his youth, he traveled extensively in parts of Europe under the direction of the Italian botanist Juan Bautista Balbis, visiting the French Alps, northern Italy, Greece, Asia Minor, and several Mediterranean islands. In 1828 the adventurer Pedro Chapuis invited him to come to Chile to teach geography. Gay accepted the offer, and lived in Chile until 1842, working as a teacher and participating in scientific expeditions. Under a …

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National Library of Chile


View of the Damage from the Hurricane of 1906

The sixth hurricane of 1906 was one of 11 hurricanes or tropical cyclones that Atlantic hurricane season. The storm made landfall on September 27, 1906, west of Biloxi, Mississippi, but wreaked its greatest damage from Mobile, Alabama to Pensacola, Florida. The Category 4 hurricane was the most destructive storm to strike the Pensacola area in 170 years. Winds in excess of 105 miles (170 kilometers) per hour stretched past the city and port of Pensacola, and Escambia Bay in the Gulf of Mexico saw a storm surge as high as …

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State Library and Archives of Florida


After Great Hurricane of 1896

This image shows the devastation caused by the Great Hurricane of 1896 that struck the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of Florida. With its 2,200-kilometer coastline, Florida is the U.S. state most vulnerable to these storms. More than 450 recorded tropical storms and hurricanes have reached its shores since European exploration began. The hurricane of September 1896 destroyed most of the residential area of the town of Cedar Key on the upper west coast of the Florida peninsula, killing dozens of residents and destroying most of Cedar Key’s …

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State Library and Archives of Florida


Waves Hit Navarre Pier Hard During Hurricane Ivan’s Approach

Hurricane Ivan was the strongest hurricane of the 2004 Atlantic storm season. It made landfall on the U.S. mainland in Gulf Shores, Alabama, on September 16 as a Category 3 storm. The 2004 storm season was especially active, with six landfalls, including four in Florida alone. Ivan greatly affected the coastal cities and smaller communities of the Florida Panhandle, Alabama, and Mississippi. This dynamic image of Ivan’s landfall in Navarre Beach, Florida, illustrates the force of the tidal surge and winds that destroyed miles of roads and highways …

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State Library and Archives of Florida


African American Man Wrestling an Alligator at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm

One of the symbols of the state of Florida in the popular imagination is the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). From the earliest European explorers to the present day, visitors have been fascinated by this cold-blooded freshwater reptile. With a name derived from the Spanish word lagarto (the lizard), alligators can grow to an average of 13–15 feet (4–4.6 meters) and weigh 500–1,000 pounds (227–453 kilograms). The alligator used to be prized for its meat and skin, was once hunted and harvested to near extinction …

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State Library and Archives of Florida


A Book Concerning the Nature of Things. Natural Questions in Seven Books

Under the influence of Italian humanism and of his book-collector tutor János Vitéz, the Archbishop of Esztergom, Matthias Corvinus of Hungary (1443–1490) developed a passion for books and learning. Elected king of Hungary in 1458 at the age of 14, Matthias won great acclaim for his battles against the Ottoman Turks and his patronage of learning and science. He created the Bibliotheca Corviniana, in its day one of Europe’s finest libraries. After his death, and especially after the conquest of Buda by the Turks in 1541, the library …

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Bavarian State Library


Bulgarian Arithmetic

Arithmetics were a popular genre of textbooks during the era of the Bulgarian National Revival in the 19th century, when it was widely believed that everyone, especially future businessmen, needed to know basic mathematics. Bulgarian Arithmetic was the fourth such text published in this era, in 1845. The author, Khristodul Kostovich Sichan-Nikolov (1808–89), was a monk, teacher, writer, and publicist, often assisted in his scholarly pursuits by the writer, educator, and priest Neofit Rilski. Before writing his own text, Sichan-Nikolov had been involved as the editor of the first …

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Central Library of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences


Humorous Calendar for the New Year

Petko Rachov Slaveikov (1827–95) was one of the most renowned Bulgarian literary figures of the 19th century. He was a poet, publicist, translator, editor, dramatist, and folklorist. He believed fervently in the ideals of the National Revival movement and many of his works reflect his aspirations for the education of the Bulgarian people and for political and religious independence from the Ottoman Turks. Some of Slaveikov’s most popular works were his humorous calendars, which contained a variety of writing styles, including poems, amusing sketches, and horoscopes. These calendars …

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Central Library of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences


Bulgarian Folk Calendar for Leap Year 1868

Bulgarian Folk Calendar for Leap Year 1868 is one of a number of popular folk calendars produced by En’o Kŭrpachev (1833–1916), a publisher in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul), during the National Revival era in Bulgaria. The first published Bulgarian calendar appeared in 1818. Over 100 of them were published during the National Revival era alone. The wave of popularity for Bulgarian calendars began in the 1840s and continued long past the end of the Revival period. Calendars were a popular genre of reading material in the 19th century, and …

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Central Library of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences


The Starry Messenger Showing Forth Great and Truly Wonderful Sights, as Well as Suggesting to Everyone, but Especially to Philosophers, Things to be Pondered

Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) was an Italian astronomer, mathematician, physicist, philosopher, and inventor. He revolutionized the sciences in the Western world by using mathematics and experimental evidence in the study of natural phenomena. Born in Pisa, Galileo studied in Pisa and Florence and in 1589 was appointed to the chair of mathematics at the University of Pisa. In 1591 he moved to the University of Padua, where he completed much of his most important scientific work. In late 1609, Galileo perfected a telescope of 30x magnification, with which he quickly …

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University Library of Padua


Works of Galileo Galilei, Part 2, Volume 13, Floats: Fragments and First Drafts Related to the Treatise «Of Things that Float on Water»

This fragmentary work elaborates on earlier studies undertaken by the Italian scientist, philosopher, and mathematician Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) on the Greek mathematician and physicist Archimedes of Syracuse (circa 287 BCE–circa 212 BCE). This study contains notes about the theories of buoyancy and floatation, which Galileo later gathered in a more coherent form in his treatise Discorso… intorno alle cose che stanno in sù l’acqua (Discourse on floating bodies), published in Florence in 1612. As with his more prominent work of astronomy, Sidereus Nuncius(Starry messenger), Galileo’s …

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National Central Library of Florence


Works of Galileo Galilei, Part 3, Volume 5, Astronomy: Observations and Related Calculations about the Medicean Planets

This manuscript contains observations and calculations made by the Italian scientist and mathematician Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) on the so-called Medicean Planets—the satellites rotating around the planet Jupiter that Galileo discovered using the powerful telescope he invented and built in late 1609. Galileo made these notes in the course of his intense astronomical studies of early 1610, when he was in the last months of his tenure of the chair of mathematics at the University of Padua. These observations were then synthesized in his Sidereus Nuncius (Starry messenger), published …

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National Central Library of Florence


Works of Galileo Galilei, Part 3, Volume 15, Astronomy: The Assayer

Il saggiatore (The assayer) by Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) is the final and most significant work in the polemic regarding the characteristics of comets involving the Italian scientist and mathematician in the years 1618–23. Three comets appeared in the skies over Europe in 1618, giving rise to a debate about the nature of these celestial bodies. In 1619 Jesuit priest Orazio Grassi published a pseudonymous treatise on the comets. Grassi’s interpretation was then criticized inDiscorso delle comete (Discourse on comets), a work published by Mario Guiducci but …

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National Central Library of Florence


Works of Galileo Galilei, Part 3, Volume 12, Astronomy: Discourse on the Comets Produced by him at the Florentine Academy During his Very Consulship

Three comets appeared in the skies over Europe in 1618, a phenomenal series of events that ignited a debate about the nature of these celestial bodies and the implications of their appearance for the Aristotelian theory that celestial bodies were unchanging and “incorruptible.” In 1619, the Jesuit astronomer and mathematician Orazio Grassi published under a pseudonym his treatise on the comets, in which he upheld the established view of celestial bodies as unchangeable and orbiting the Earth. Already under attack for his defense of the theories of Copernicus, Galileo Galilei …

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National Central Library of Florence


Works of Galileo Galilei, Part 4: Astronomical Works, that is, all that Appertains to the Copernican System, and to the Project on Longitudes, Volume 1, Astronomy

This codex contains important manuscripts in which Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) defended the Copernican theory that the Earth moves around the sun, which he had confirmed by observation with the telescope he had designed, which offered greatly enhanced magnification compared to older telescopes. The principal documents in the volume are letters, dating from 1614-15, to his friend and student Benedetto Castelli, to the Jesuit priest Piero Dini, and to the grand duchess of Tuscany, Christina of Lorraine. In each of these letters, Galileo discussed the relationship between scientific theory and …

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National Central Library of Florence


Works of Galileo Galilei, Part 4, Volume 2, Astronomy: Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems

This manuscript of 1632 contains an incomplete, autographical editing of Dialogo sopra i massimi sistemi del mondo (Dialogue concerning the two chief world systems) by the Italian scientist and mathematician Galileo Galilei (1564–1642). The text of this version, at the National Central Library in Florence, is very close to the definitive manuscript prepared for print (the complete autographical version of the text is in the Seminary Library in Padua). Published in 1632, the Dialogo had occupied Galileo for six years and is one of his most important works. It …

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National Central Library of Florence


The Lifting of the Veil in the Operations of Calculation

The establishment of the Berber-Muslim dynasty of the Almohads in North Africa and Andalusia in the 12th century coincided with the decline in scientific advances in many fields of knowledge, including medicine. This was not the case with mathematics, and the treatise preserved in this manuscript together with other works by the same author stand as clear proof of the liveliness of this field under the rule of the Almohads and of the Marinid dynasty that followed. Abū ‛Abbās Ahmad Ibn al-Bannā was born in the second half of the …

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Library of Congress


The Blossoms of Thoughts Regarding the Precious Stones

Azhār al-Afkār fī Jawāhir al-Ahjār (The blossoms of thoughts regarding precious stones) is considered the most detailed and complete treatise of the Middle Ages on stones and their properties. Lapidaries, or treatises devoted entirely to the discussion of precious stones and their features, can be traced to ancient Greece. Pliny, in his Naturalis Historia (Natural history), mentions at least 20 authors as sources of his knowledge of stones, even though, of the works he cites, only the treatise On Stones by Theophrastus (circa 371–287 BC) has survived. Theophrastus’s …

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Library of Congress


The Desire of the Students for an Explanation of the Calculator’s Craving

This manuscript offers a clear example of the liveliness of the North African mathematical tradition under the Muslim-Berber dynasties that ruled over the Islamic West from the 12th century to the first half of the 17th century. They were the Almohads (12th–13th centuries), the Marinids (13th–15th centuries), the Wattasids (15th–16th centuries), and the Saadis (16th–17th centuries). While there was little scientific advance in other fields in this period, the mathematical sciences kept on developing, as reflected both in the composition of original works and in commentaries …

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Library of Congress


Glosses of al-Hifnī on the Yāsamīnīyya

The mathematical tradition that developed in North Africa during the Middle Ages continued to attract the interest of scholars in subsequent centuries. Medieval treatises were extensively read and made the subject of commentaries. In many cases, these commentaries became the object of other works—or supercommentaries—aimed at further clarifying the subject of the original treatises. This manuscript is an example of this phenomenon. In the 12th century, the North African mathematician ‘Abdallāh ibn Hajjāj ibn al-Yāsamīn summarized his mathematical knowledge in a versified treatise known as Yāsamīnīyya (The treatise …

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Library of Congress


Facts on the Calculation of Degrees and Minutes

This manuscript by Badr al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Ġazal (1423–1506) contains a commentary on, and abridgement of, the astrological treatise on the calculation of the movement of stars and planets, Kašf al-haqā’iq fī hisāb al-daraj wa-al-daqā’iq(The uncovering of the facts regarding the calculation of degrees and minutes), by the Egyptian astronomer and mathematician Ahmad ibn Rağab ibn al-Mağdī (1366–1447). Ibn al-Mağdī was a disciple of the famous ‘Abdallāh al-Māridīnī (or al-Mārdīnī), who was the grandfather of the author of this …

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Library of Congress


Small Treatise on the Calculation of Tables for the Construction of Inclined Sundials

The challenge of calculating the positions and movements of celestial bodies for the purpose of preparing astronomical tables helped to stimulate the development of very sophisticated mathematical tools at least as far back as the Middle Ages. The link between mathematics and astronomy was so strong that important authors in the field of astronomy were often distinguished mathematicians and vice versa. This was the case with Badr al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Ġazal (1423–1506), also known as Sibt al-Māridīnī, who, according to contemporary sources, produced …

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Library of Congress


Quintessence of Calculation

The author of this mathematical treatise, Bahā’ al-Dīn Al-‘Amilī (1547–1621), is considered one of the leading intellectuals of 17th-century Safavid Persia (present-day Iran). He was born in Baalbek (present-day Lebanon) but moved to Persia in his youth where he devoted his entire life to study. He excelled in various fields, leaving a legacy of more than 80 books on a wide variety of subjects that included theology and mysticism, astronomy, mathematics, poetry, and architecture. He wrote in both Persian and Arabic. He was the teacher of Mulla Sadra …

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Library of Congress


The Commentary on “The Little Sparkles on the Science of Calculation”

The treatise in this manuscript is a commentary on a mathematical treatise by Šihāb al-Dīn Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad Ibn al-Hā’im (circa 1355–1412). Ibn al-Hā’im taught mathematics and Islamic jurisprudence, subjects on which he wrote extensively. The erudite Badr al-Dīn Muhammad Sibt al-Māridīnī (circa 1423–1506), who was at the time working as muwaqqit (timekeeper) at the Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, composed this short commentary less then 60 years after the death of Ibn al-Hā’im. Following widespread tradition in Islamic lands, Sibt al-Māridīnī included in the title …

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Library of Congress


The Abridged Commentary on «The Apple in the Science of Measurement»

This manuscript is a commentary on the treatise Al-Tuffāḥa fi ‘ilm al-Misāḥa (The apple in the science of measurement), which was written at the beginning of the 12th century by the mathematician Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad al-Ašh‘ari. The study of measures and measurement techniques (‘ilm al-misāha) was of great interest to Arabic mathematicians during the Middle Ages, both from theoretical and practical points of view. The ability to calculate the dimensions of landholdings was extremely important when it came to determining the correct amounts for inheritances and to calculating taxes …

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Library of Congress


Commentary on «The Compendium of Plain Astronomy»

The author this commentary, Ṣalāh al-Din Musa ibn Muḥammad, also known as Qādī  Zāda (the son of the judge), was born in Bursa (present-day Turkey) in 1364 and died in Samarkand (present-day Uzbekistan) in 1436. His first teacher, al-Fanāri, suggested that he move to the scientific centers of the time, Herat in Khorasan (present-day Afghanistan) or Bukhara or Samarkand in Transoxiana, in order to develop his extraordinary ability in the mathematical and astronomical sciences. Following this advice, Qāḍī Zāda presented himself to the Samarkand court of the very promising Ulugh …

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Library of Congress


The Illumination of Inheritance Calculation

Islamic law goes into great detail on the subject of the division of inheritances (farā’id) among heirs. For this reason, inheritances have received extensive treatment in books of fiqh (Islamic law) and been a subject of study for mathematicians as well. Qabas al-Daw’ fī al-Hisāb (The illumination of inheritance calculation) was copied by its author, ‘Abd al-Raḥman ibn Aḥmad ibn ‘Ali al-Ḥamidi, in this 1589 manuscript. The work, which he dedicated to the son of the Šāf‘ī jurist Šams al-Dīn Muhammad al-Bahwašī, is an example of a genre …

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Library of Congress


The Abridged Amusement of the Calculator from «The Guide»

Much traditional scholarship holds that the period after about 1250 saw a decline in the production of scientific and philosophical works in the Arab world. This view is challenged by the impressive number of manuscripts written after that date in different Arabic-speaking countries that contain original treatises and commentaries. The work preserved in this manuscript, Nuzhat al-Hussāb al-Muhtasara min al-Muršida (The abridged amusement of the calculator from The guide), is a shorter version of Muršida fī Sina’at al-Gubar (The guide to the art of the numerals), an extensive treatise …

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Library of Congress


The Little Sparkles on the Science of Calculation

The treatise preserved in this manuscript, Al-Luma‘al-yasīra fī ‘ilm al-hisāb (The little sparkles on the science of calculation), deals with Muslim inheritance. Of the social innovations that came with the Islamic conquest, the introduction of the system of fara’id (shares) for inheritances was one of the most radical and socially advanced. The fourth surah of the Qur’an, verses 11–12, criticizes the traditional pre-Islamic system of agnatic succession, under which only men could inherit property, and provides for a proportional division among all the heirs, women included …

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Library of Congress


The Book of Elegance in the Science of Agriculture

The author of this work, Abd al-Gani ibn Isma’il al-Nabulusi (1641–1731), is considered one of the most influential and prolific Syrian writers of his time. He was affiliated with the Sufi orders of the Naqšbandiyya and the Qādirīyya and produced an impressive number of works in the fields of mysticism, theology, and poetry. He traveled extensively in the Islamic world and recorded his adventures in narratives that touch upon his private mystical experiences and the intellectual milieu of the 18th-century Islamic centers. This manuscript contains a copy of …

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Library of Congress


Compendium of Astronomy

Mulahhas fī al-Hay’a (Compendium of astronomy) by Sharaf al-Dīn Mahmūd ibn Muhammad ibnUmar al-Jiġhmīnī (died circa 1221) is one of the most famous textbooks of astronomy ever produced in the Islamic world. The importance of the work is clearly indicated by the existence of thousands of copies of the text, some representing the autonomous tradition of the Mulahhas itself, others preserving the work as part of the many commentaries and even supercommentaries (commentaries on commentaries) that were produced in the centuries that followed its appearance. One well-known extensive …

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Library of Congress


The Selection of Treasures Regarding Precious Stones

Kitāb nuhab al-dahā’ir fī ahwāl al-jawāhir (The selection of treasures regarding precious stones) is a treatise devoted to precious stones and, in particular, to the different kinds of hyacinth (a precious stone of the ancients, sometimes held to be the sapphire). The work opens with a draft of a poem on precious stones on the title page, probably copied at the same time as the manuscript, and proceeds with brief notes on the different kinds of hyacinth, on pearls, and on other precious stones found in water. The author …

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Library of Congress


The Removal of the Veil in the Description of the Quadrants

This manuscript in 12 folios is a mid-18th-century copy of Kašf al-Qinā‘ fī rasm al-arbā‘ (The removal of the veil in the description of the quadrants), a treatise devoted to the description of the astronomical instrument known as the quadrant. The treatise originally was compiled by Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad Ibn al-Aṭṭar in the first half of the 15th century on the basis of the teachings of his predecessors, al-Mājidī and Nūr al-Dīn al-Naqāš. The treatise is a precious source for understanding the degree of refinement reached by astronomical instrument making …

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Library of Congress


The Shimmer of Al-Māridinī in the Explanation of the Treatise by al-Yāsamīn

The present manuscript preserves a very elegant copy of a work by one of the most prolific authors of the second half of the 15th century in the field of mathematics and related subjects: Badr al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad ibn al-Ġazal, best known as Sibṭ al-Māridīnī («the son of al-Māridīnī’s daughter») from the name of his famous maternal ancestor, who was also a mathematician. TheLum‘a al-Māridīnīyya is an extensive prose commentary on a famous poem on algebra composed by the Maghrebi mathematician al-Yāsamīn around the last …

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Library of Congress


The Shimmer of Al-Māridinī in the Explanation of the Treatise by al-Yāsamīn

The mathematical tradition that flourished in North Africa and Andalusia during the Middle Ages did not undergo the same decline that many scholars claim occurred in the sciences after the first half of the 13th century. The present work supports this point. The manuscript is a very elegant copy of a mathematical text by Badr al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad ibn al-Ġazal, best known as Sibṭ al-Māridīnī («the son of al-Māridīnī’s daughter») from the name of his famous maternal grandfather, who was himself a mathematician. Sibṭ al-Māridīnī’s mathematical …

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Library of Congress


The Shimmer of Al-Māridinī in the Explanation of the Treatise by al-Yāsamīn

The 12th-century mathematical poem known as al-Yāsamīnīyya fī ‘ilm al-Jabr (The poem by al-Yāsamīn on calculus) from the name of its author, al-Yāsamīn, is one of the most read and commented upon mathematical texts of its time. Its verses have been extensively copied, both in autonomous form and by incorporation into larger commentaries up to the 20th century. The present manuscript preserves an early 20th-century copy of the 15th-century commentary on theYāsamīnīyya written by Badr al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad ibn al-Ġazal, best known as Sibṭ al-Māridīnī («the son …

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Library of Congress


Commentary on «The Little Sparkles on the Science of Calculation»

The system of fara’i(shares) for inheritances is considered to be one of the most advanced innovations introduced by Muslim conquerors in Middle Eastern and North African societies. The exact calculation of shares of inheritance is a complex chapter in Islamic law, and it is not surprising that Muslim intellectuals and scientists developed a system of mathematical tools in order to master «the science of the shares» (‘ilm al-fara’i). An important contribution to this field can be found in the work of Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad Ibn …

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Library of Congress


The Explanation of the Abridgment on Calculus

The present manuscript preserves an extensive commentary on the 17th-century mathematical treatise Al-Ḫulāṣa fī al-Ḥisāb (The abridgment on calculus), which was composed by Bahā’ al-Dīn Al-‘Amilī (1547–1621), one of the leading intellectuals of 17th century Safavid Persia (present-day Iran). Born in the city of Baalbek (present-day Lebanon), Al-‘Amilī was an important figure in many different fields of knowledge, including theology, mysticism, poetry, astronomy, mathematics, and architecture. His main contribution to mathematics, the Al-Ḫulāṣa fī al-Ḥisāb, was well known and is the subject of the commentary by …

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Library of Congress


“The Instrument of the Beginners in the Science of the Beginning of the Months and of the Years” and “The Gem of the Disciples in the Explanation of the Instrument of the Beginners”

While in the West, particularly in modern times, poetry and science tend to differ sharply in their approach to describing the world, this is not the case in the Arabic-speaking world, where the use of the literary form of the poetical treatise has produced remarkable works in a variety disciplines, including mathematics, astronomy, alchemy, and astrology. The present manuscript shows that the tradition of the Arabic poetical treatise was not confined to the Middle Ages but was still alive in the 19th century. Aḥmad ibn Qāsim Al-Miṣrī (1814-1856) is the …

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Library of Congress


The Book of the Hyacinths in the Knowledge of the Dates of the Year

Little is known about the author of the present work, al-Ḥusayn ibn Zayd ibn ʻAlī Ibn Jaḥḥāf, apart from what can be inferred from the brief dedicatory note at the beginning of the present manuscript. It states that the work was composed for the Faṭimid caliph al-Ḥākim bi-ʼAmr Allāh, who died during the first quarter of the 11th century. The Kitāb al-Yawāqīt fī maʻrifat al-mawāqīt (The book of the hyacinths in the knowledge of the dates of the year) is composed of 12 calendrical …

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Library of Congress


The Book of the Explanation of the Excursion in the Science of Calculus

This 18th-century manuscript offers a clear example of the continued use in the Islamic world of the scientific commentary well after the end of Middle Ages, the period most associated with Arabic scientific achievement and this literary form. In this case, the treatise commented upon is theNuzhat al-nuẓẓār fī ‘ilm al-ghubār (The excursion of the observer in the science of numerals), which was itself an abridgment by Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad al-Farāḍī ibn al-Hā’im (around 1356-1412) of his own mathematical treatise entitled Murshid al-ṭālib ilā asnā’ al-maṭālib (A student …

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Library of Congress


The Book of the Explanation of the Excursion in the Science of Calculus

The present manuscript preserves a copy of Aḥmad ibn Qāsim al-Shāfi‘ī al-Ġhazzī’s Kitāb sharḥ al-nuzha fī ‘ilm al-ḥisāb (The book of the explanation of the excursion in the science of calculus), a work that exemplifies the lively interest in the mathematical sciences that persisted in the Islamic world well after the end of the «classical» period that saw the flowering of Arabic sciences. Kitāb sharḥ al-nuzha fī ‘ilm al-ḥisāb is technically a supercommentary. Al-Ġhazzī ’s work is an explanation of Nuzhat al-nuẓẓār fī ‘ilm al-ghubār (The excursion …

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Library of Congress


The Commentary of the Šayḫ, the Head, the Extremely Knowledgeable Aḥmad al-Šāfiʻī al-Janājī al-Mālikī on the Commentary of the Šayḫ al-Islām Zakarīyā al-Anṣārī on the Compendium on the Science of Algebra and Equations by Ibn al-Hāʼim

The Arabic mathematical tradition, which flourished during the Middle Ages, transmitted and enriched the knowledge derived from Greek and Indian sources. Arabic mathematicians further developed these studies, seeking to answer theoretical as well as practical problems. Medieval Arabic mathematical treatises were extensively copied, studied, and commented upon in subsequent centuries, as exemplified in this manuscript. This supercommentary (commentary on a commentary) by Aḥmad Muhammad al-Šāfiʻī al-Janājī al-Mālikī elucidates an earlier commentary by Zakarīyā ibn Muḥammad al-Anṣārī (circa 1420–1519) on a work by Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad al-Farāḍī ibn al-Hāʼim (circa …

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Library of Congress


The Commentary of the Šayḫ, the Head, the Extremely Knowledgeable Aḥmad al-Šāfiʻī al-Janājī al-Mālikī on the Commentary on the Yāsamīniyya on the Science of Algebra and Equations by Sibṭ al-Māridīnī

This supercommentary (commentary on a commentary) by Aḥmad Muhammad al-Šāfiʻī al-Janājī al-Mālikī testifies to the liveliness and endurance of the Arabic mathematical tradition and demonstrates the continuous exegetical effort in which Arabic scientists commented upon previous works with the aim of expanding and clarifying their contents. The North African mathematician ‘Abd Allāh ibn Ḥajjāj ibn al-Yāsamīn (died 1204) conveyed his mathematical knowledge in a poem known as Yāsamīnīyya (The treatise by al-Yāsamīn). Al-Yāsamīn’s verses became the subject of a prose commentary, the Lum‘a al-Maridinīyya fī Šarḥ al-Yāsamīnīyya (The …

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Library of Congress


The Book of the Table for the Calculation of the Islamic and Christian Years

The correct reckoning of time has been the object of study by many Arabic scientists. Its importance in Islam has to do with the proper calculation of the length of days, months, and years necessary for the performance of the five daily prayers and for the celebration of festivals at the correct hours, days, and months of the lunar year. This 19th-century copy of a work by Muḥammad ibn ʻAbd al-Laṭīf Thābitī opens with some remarks on the signs of the zodiac, followed by a discussion of the 28 lunar …

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Library of Congress


The Book of the Table Regarding the Knowledge of the Time and the Heavens for the Calculation of the Beginning of the Islamic and Christian Months

Because of the religious obligation to perform canonical prayers at set times of the day and the sanctity attributed to particular times of the year, such as the month of Ramaḍān, Muslim scientists have studied questions relating to the calendar and the reckoning of time almost since the beginning of Islam. The present manuscript presents tables for the comparison of the Hijrī and Christian years. Little is known of the author of these tables, al-Ḥusayn ibn Zayd ibn ‘Alī ibn Jaḥḥāf, beyond a marginal note, which states that Ibn Jaḥḥāf …

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The Book of the Delight of the Eye Regarding the Movement of the Two Luminaries

Little is known about the astronomer Muḥammad ibn ʻAbd al-Qādir al-Khalīlī al-Jaʻbarī, who wrote the treatise Kitāb qurrat al-‘ayn and prepared the accompanying astronomical tables preserved in this copy. Some information about the original work can be inferred from information provided on the last page of this manuscript, where the colophon specifies that the copy was produced in the year 932 AH (1525), based on an older, quite damaged manuscript. This information gives us aterminus ante quem (latest possible date) for the original work. The treatise also opens …

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General Rules in the Science of Measurement

This manuscript, probably dating from the 17th century, preserves only a section of what appears to have been an extensive and complete treatise on practical geometry. The title on the second page of the manuscript in fact states that it is “the third section of the book of the General Rules in the Science of Measurement.” The larger work of which this is a part consisted of four introductory essays, five chapters, and a conclusion. The author is unknown, as the opening of the treatise where indications of authorship might …

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The Explanation on the ‘Anatomy of the Heavens’ by al-‘Āmilī

This manuscript contains an anonymous astronomical treatise that most likely was produced in the 18th or early 19th century. The only date preserved in the manuscript is 1232 AH (1816), which is found on the last written page (folio 65 verso), together with a list of book titles and a short note that appears to be crossed out. The terminus ante quem (latest possible date) for production of the manuscript is thus 1816. The note seems to have been written in a different, less elegant, and most likely later hand …

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The Lights of the Stars

The present manuscript is a commentary entitled Anwār al-nujūm (The lights of the stars) by an author who appears to have stated his name as Jamist al-Rumi (Jamist the Byzantinian). The work is based on Al-zīj al-jadīd (The new astronomical tabulations) by Alī ibn Ibrāhīm Ibn al-Shāṭir (died 1375), the most-distinguished Muslim astronomer of the 14th century. Ibn al-Shāṭir was active asmuwaqqit (timekeeper) at the Umayyad mosque in Damascus, where he constructed a magnificent sundial to adorn the central minaret; it had special curves to measure the times …

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The System of Saturn

Christiaan Huygens (1629–95) was born in The Hague, the Netherlands, into a prominent Dutch family. Unlike his grandfather, father, and brother who all served as secretaries and diplomats to the ruling house of Orange, Huygens dedicated himself to science and mathematics. He published three mathematical books, produced a manuscript on hydrostatics, wrote a work on the collision of elastic bodies, did research on centrifugal force, and invented the pendulum clock. Huygens was especially intrigued by the planet Saturn, whose protruding “handles” were visible through the telescopes of the day …

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Smithsonian Institution


Botanical Description of Chiranthodendron

Little is known of José Dionisio Larreátegui other than that he was active in Mexico circa 1795, the date he published his work on the Mexican hand plant for which he is remembered. The late 1700s was a time of intense scientific activity in Mexico, then part of the Spanish Empire. In 1787, King Carlos III authorized a major botanical expedition, the establishment of a botanical garden, and a scientific course of study at the university in Mexico City. Larreátegui, a medical student at the Real y Pontífica Universidad de …

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Smithsonian Institution


Instruments for the Restoration of Astronomy

Tycho Brahe (1546–1601) was a Danish astronomer who built the best observatory in Europe and set a new standard for accurate celestial observations in the era before the invention of the telescope. His noble birth enabled him to pursue his true interests in the humanities and the sciences, particularly astronomy. He became adept at designing scientific instruments and making observations during his early travels in Europe. Upon his return to Denmark he won favor with King Frederick II, who provided him with monetary support to continue his astronomical researches …

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Smithsonian Institution


Introduction to a Systematic History of Shelled Animals

Joachim Johann Nepomuk Anton Spalowsky (1752–97) was a veritable polymath in the Austrian Empire of the late 18th century. Little is known of his life, but it is thought that he was of Polish Silesian ancestry. He was a surgeon attached to the civic regiments of Vienna and a member of the Royal Bohemian Society of Sciences in Prague. His erudition is evidenced by the range of his publications. His 1777 inaugural dissertation treated poisonous plants and related topics. He went on to write works on shells, birds, and …

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Smithsonian Institution


Ornithology

François Nicolas Martinet (circa 1725–1804) was an engineer and draftsman who became an engraver and produced illustrations for works by Denis Diderot and Benjamin Franklin and for books by the most influential ornithologists in 18th-century France. Before Martinet, illustrators often depicted birds disproportionately, incorrectly, or in stiff, unnatural poses. Martinet introduced realism to his illustrations, showing how birds appeared in the wild in their natural habits. In the early 1770s, he set out to produce his own plates for a collection entitled Ornithologie: Histoire des Oiseaux, Peints dans Tous …

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Smithsonian Institution


The Excursion of Calculus

This manuscript is an 18th-century copy of Nuzhat al-ḥisāb (The excursion of calculus) by mathematician Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad al-Farāḍī ibn al-Hā’im (around 1356–1412). The copyist of this brief but densely written codex provided his name and the date of the completion of his work in the colophon: at the bottom of the last page of the manuscript is stated that Aḥmad ibn Qāsim ibn Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad al-Hanbalī finished this copy in the year 1185 AH (1772). The Nuzhat al-ḥisāb is an abridgment by Ibn al-Hā’im of …

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The Important Stars Among the Multitude of the Heavens

Timbuktu, founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries of Timbuktu contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. This early 18th-century text was written to train scholars in the field of astronomy, a science that Islamic tradition traces back to …

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Mamma Haidara Commemorative Library


Knowledge of the Movement of the Stars and What It Portends in Every Year

Timbuktu, founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries of Timbuktu contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. This collection of writings (date unknown) draws upon the Greco-Roman legacy of astronomy, with the addition of discoveries made by Muslim scholars …

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Mamma Haidara Commemorative Library


Explanations of Problems in Arithmetic with Examples

Timbuktu, founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries of Timbuktu contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. This commentary by the 18th-century scholar al-Rasmuki explains a work by the medieval mathematician al-Samlali. Using charts and examples of problems, the …

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Mamma Haidara Commemorative Library


On the Calculation of Numbers in the Science of Astronomy

Timbuktu, founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries of Timbuktu contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. This work (date unknown) explains mathematical calculations and their use in astronomy and astrology. The final portion of the manuscript is missing.

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Mamma Haidara Commemorative Library


Explanation of the Work of al-Ghazali and Nuh ibn al-Tahir al-Fulani

Timbuktu, founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries of Timbuktu contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. This work by Sulayman ibn Ahmad comments on the work of the famous scholar al-Ghazali and discusses a commentary on Ghazali’s …

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Mamma Haidara Commemorative Library


Interpretations of Astronomical Principles Issued by the Imperial Order

Compiled by order of the Qing emperor Qianlong (reigned 1736–95), this work of 80 juan, in 32 volumes, was never printed. It has an editorial guide at the beginning, but no prefaces or postscripts. The first entry in the editorial guide states that it is necessary to know about astronomy, the interchange of sun and moon, and the five constellations in order not to be misguided by alchemists and their claims about disasters and fortunes. This statement suggests that the work may have been a product of Catholic missionaries …

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Annotated Book of Alchemy by Tao Zhi

Tao gong huan jin shu (Annotated book of alchemy) is an important work on alchemy, based on an original text by Tao Zhi, a Daoist priest of the ninth century. Shown here is a Ming edition of the Jiajing period (1522–66), in one juan, one volume, annotated by Shao Fu, a native of Wulin. Shao Fu was also referred to as Qiwan in one of his other works, Jingyang han shi ji (Stone inscriptions of Jingyang). He studied Daoist theory, and his commentaries reflect his knowledge on the subject …

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Primer of Mathematics

The original author of this work was Zhu Shijie (1249–1314) of the Yuan dynasty, one of the early Song and Yuan mathematicians, who wrote an elementary textbook entitled Suan xue qi meng(Primer of mathematics), which was printed in 1299. The work was said to have reached as far as Japan and Korea. After the 19th-century Chinese mathematician Luo Shilin (died 1853) acquired a copy of a Korean edition, which was printed based on the original Yuan edition, he reproduced it in or after 1839, and included it in …

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Water Lilies. Study. Russian Empire

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Cornflowers in a Field of Rye. Russian Empire

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Cornflowers in a Field of Rye. Russian Empire

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Lilies. Study. Water Lilies. Russian Empire

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Bluebells. Study. Russian Empire

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Fly Agaric

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Flowers in a Vase

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Forest Road

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Double Poppies

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Double Poppies

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Field of Poppies

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Field Poppies

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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On the River

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Pile of Willow Bark, Ready for Transportation. Russian Empire

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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In Iasnaia Poliana

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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In the Urals

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Bird Cherry Tree

This view is taken from a bridge at the village of Kokovkino near where a stream enters Lake Sterzh in the Ostashkov Region of Tver Oblast. Lake Sterzh is the first of a series of lakes through which the Volga River flows on the first part of its long course to the south. The ancient village of Kokovkino is the largest settlement on Lake Sterzh. This beautifully composed bucolic scene includes birch trees, a grassy meadow, and a flowering bird cherry, on the right. A man, standing in the middle …

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Lilacs

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Lilacs in a Park in Gatchina

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Peonies

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Peonies

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Mugan. Nikolaevka. In the Garden of a Settler. Pomegranates.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Observing a Solar Eclipse on January 1, 1907, near the Cherniaevo Station in the Tian-Shan Mountains above the Saliuktin Mines. Golodnaia Steppe

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Historical and Chronological Description of the Two Stones Which were Discovered in 1790 During the Rebuilding of the Main Plaza in Mexico

The astronomer Antonio León y Gama is sometimes considered the first Mexican archaeologist. His description of the discovery of the «two stones» — the Coatlicue and Sun Stone (a massive sacrificial stone and calendar) — emphasized the sophistication and high scientific and artistic achievements of the Aztecs in a way that both responded to and further quickened the stirring of Mexican nationalism in the late 18th century. This work by León y Gama, published in Mexico City some two years after the discovery of the stones, includes three folded manuscript watercolor drawings …

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Skeleton of Large-Horned Stag in the Museum of the City of Ekaterinburg

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Inside the Conservatory. Yellow Plums. Blizhniaia Dacha, Kyshtym

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Sunflowers. A Study

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Mountain Ash

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Mountain Ash

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Cedars

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Cedars

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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White Fox. Stuffed Animals from the Collection of N.P. Alin in Cherdyn

This 1912 photograph shows a white fox from the large collection of stuffed animals belonging to Nikolai P. Alin, a wealthy merchant in the city of Cherdyn’. The picture is marred by a “ghost” effect caused by placing the camera close to the object. The three lenses necessary for the separation exposure were arranged in a vertical row. Therefore the angle of each lens to the object was slightly different, thus creating a triple image that is especially noticeable along the upper contours. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei …

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Ermine. Stuffed Animals from the Collection of N.P. Alin in Cherdyn

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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White Partridges. From the Collection of N.P. Alin in Cherdyn

This 1912 photograph shows a pair of white partridges from the large collection of stuffed animals belonging to Nikolai P. Alin, a wealthy merchant in the city of Cherdyn’. The picture is marred by a “ghost” effect caused by placing the camera close to the object. The three lenses necessary for the separation exposure were arranged in a vertical row. Therefore the angle of each lens to the object was slightly different, thus creating a triple image that is especially noticeable along the upper contours. The image is by Russian …

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Library of Congress


Ural Owls. From the Collection of N.P. Alin in Cherdyn

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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White Squirrel. From the Collection of N.P. Alin in Cherdyn

This 1912 photograph shows a white squirrel from the large collection of stuffed animals belonging to Nikolai P. Alin, a wealthy merchant in the city of Cherdyn’. The picture is marred by a “ghost” effect caused by placing the camera close to the object. The three lenses necessary for the separation exposure were arranged in a vertical row. Therefore the angle of each lens to the object was slightly different, thus creating a triple image that is especially noticeable along the upper contours. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei …

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Library of Congress


Lynx. From the Collection of N.P. Alin in Cherdyn

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Black Hazel-Grouse. From the Collection of N.P. Alin in Cherdyn

This 1912 photograph shows a black hazel grouse from the large collection of stuffed animals belonging to Nikolai P. Alin, a wealthy merchant in the city of Cherdyn. The bird is placed in a composition that includes tufts of grass and a section of earth representing a nesting area. The background is formed by a white linen towel attached to an iron balcony railing. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian …

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Library of Congress


Mink. From the Collection of N.P. Alin in Cherdyn

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Nutcracker Hazel-Grouse. From the Collection of N.P. Alin in Cherdyn

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Quince in Bloom. Artvin

This 1905 photograph was taken in the mountain town of Artvin, located in the Caucasus in what is today Turkey. It features a lush quince tree in bloom within the fenced yard of a house. In the background is a steep ravine typical of the terrain of the region. Part of different Georgian kingdoms since the 10th century, the Artvin territory, along with much of the southern Caucasus, was taken by the Ottoman Empire in the early 16th century. Following the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, the territory was transferred …

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Japanese Maples. Batumi

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Cape Zelenyi. Cluster of Japanese Maples. Orange Trees in the Foreground. Batumi

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Rhododendron in an Old Tree Hollow. In Makhindzhauri

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Rhododendron in an Old Chinar Tree. In Makhindzhauri

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Makhindzhauri. Cluster of Wild Rhododendrons

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Akhamieny. Pink Rhododendron

This 1905 photograph shows an overgrown rose rhododendron in full bloom in the village of Akhmeny. The town is located in Georgia in the Caucasus. In the background are the snow-covered peaks of one of the mountain ranges that define the region’s terrain. Much of the southern Caucasus became part of the Ottoman Empire in the early 16th century. In the 19th century the Russian Empire expanded into this semitropical area, including the region of Adjara, which became known for its resorts. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei …

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Batum. Japanese Medlar

This photograph, taken in a courtyard in Batumi, Georgia, shows the unusual fruit tree known in Russian as the Japanese mushmula (Eriobotria japonica; also called a medlar, or mespilus). Batumi is the major city of the southern region of Adjara. Located near the border with Turkey, Adjara has a semitropical climate that makes it home to exotic floral varieties that were not found elsewhere in the Russian Empire. Conquered by the Ottomans in 1547, Batumi was taken by Russian and Georgian forces in 1878 and became part of the Russian …

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Glitsini. Batum

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Triglolastochka, or Sea Rooster. Batum

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Triglolastochka, or Sea Rooster. Batum

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Triglolastochka, or Sea Rooster. Batum

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Triglolastochka. Batum

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Balamut. Batum

This balamut (a fish related to the mackerel) was photographed at the port of Batumi on the Black Sea. In the 19th century the Russian Empire expanded into this area, particularly after the conclusion of the Caucasus War in 1864. Batumi was the major city in the southern region of Adjara, near the Turkish border. By the beginning of the 20th century, it was also known as a resort destination. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create …

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Batum. Eucalyptus

This photograph shows a eucalyptus tree soaring above the luxuriant floral growth of a park in Batumi, the major city of the southern region of Adjara, Georgia. Located near the border with Turkey, Adjara has a semitropical climate that makes it home to exotic floral varieties that were not found elsewhere in the Russian Empire. Conquered by the Ottomans in 1547, Batumi was taken by Russian and Georgian forces in 1878 and became part of Russian Empire under the terms of the Treaty of San Stefano. The city became a …

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Moozo Bamboo. Chakva

This 1905 photograph was taken on the territory of Georgia in the Caucasus. It shows a stand of Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens) on a hillside near the village of Chakva. Native to China and Japan, bamboo can grow to be very large, as is seen here in the comparison with the seated figure. This area of southern Georgia, with its semitropical climate along the Black Sea near the Turkish border, was home to exotic floral varieties unknown elsewhere in the Russian Empire. Much of the southern Caucasus was taken by …

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Bamboo. Chakva

This 1905 photograph was taken on the territory of Georgia in the Caucasus. It shows a stand of Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens) on a hillside near the village of Chakva. Native to China and Japan, bamboo can grow to be very large, as is seen here in the comparison with the man standing next to the trees. This area of southern Georgia, with its semitropical climate along the Black Sea near the Turkish border, was home to exotic floral varieties unknown elsewhere in the Russian Empire. Much of the southern …

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Bamboo in Front of Tea Factory. Chakva

This 1905 photograph was taken on the territory of Georgia in the Caucasus. It shows a stand of bamboo along a dirt road leading to a tea plantation at the village of Chakva. This area of southern Georgia, with its semitropical climate along the Black Sea near the Turkish border, was home to exotic floral varieties unknown elsewhere in the Russian Empire. Much of the southern Caucasus was taken by the Ottoman Empire in the first half of the 16thcentury. In the 19thcentury the Russian Empire expanded into …

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Eucalyptus (Eighteen-Year-Old). Chakva

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Cluster of Eucalyptus Trees and Olea Fragrans Sweet Olive Plantation. Chakva

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Chamaerops Excelsus Windmill Palm Lane (15 Years). Chakva

This 1905 photograph shows a lane of windmill palms (Chamaerops excelsus) in the village of Chakva, located in present-day Georgia in the Caucasus. The caption indicates that the palms are 15 years old. This area of southern Georgia, with its semitropical climate along the Black Sea near the Turkish border, was home to exotic floral varieties unknown elsewhere in Russia. Much of the southern Caucasus became part of the Ottoman Empire in the first half of the 16th century. In the 19th century, Russia expanded into this area, including the …

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Laurus Camphorae. Camphor Laurel. Chakva

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Oil Tree. Chakva

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Pinus Excelsa. Chamaerops Excelsus (Windmill Palm) in Sukhumi Botanical Garden

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Bananas and Trunk of a Date Palm after Winter of 1910. Sukhumi

This view of banana plants and the severed trunk of a date palm tree was taken after the winter of 1910 in the port of Sukhumi, the major city of Abkhazia on the Black Sea coast. This area of the western Caucasus, with its semitropical climate, was home to exotic floral varieties unknown elsewhere in the Russian Empire. Much of this Transcaucasian region was taken by the Ottoman Empire during the 16thcentury. The Turks were expelled from Sukhumi in 1810, and the area was annexed to the territory of …

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Victoria Regia. Grown Outdoors in Europe for the First Time. Planted in June 1912. Botanical Garden in Sukhumi

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Rice. In Sukhumi Botanical Garden

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Bananas. In Sukhumi Botanical Garden

These banana plants were photographed at the Botanical Garden of Sukhumi, the major city of Abkhazia along the Black Sea coast. This area of the western Caucasus, with its semitropical climate, was home to exotic floral varieties unknown elsewhere in the Russian Empire. Much of the Transcaucasian region was taken by the Ottoman Empire during the 16thcentury. The Turks were expelled from Sukhumi in 1810, and the area was annexed to the territory of Georgia by the Russian Empire in 1864. Soon thereafter, Sukhumi and its seaport became known …

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Fig (Fig Tree). In Sukhumi Botanical Garden

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Bamboo. In Sukhumi Botanical Garden

These bamboo plants are from the Botanical Garden of Sukhumi, the major city of Abkhazia in the Caucasus. This area of the western Caucasus, with its semitropical climate along the Black Sea, was home to exotic floral varieties unknown elsewhere in the Russian Empire. Much of the Transcaucasian region was taken by the Ottoman Empire during the 16thcentury. The Turks were expelled from Sukhumi in 1810, and the area was annexed to the territory of Georgia by the Russian Empire in 1864. Soon after, Sukhumi and its seaport became …

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By the Pond. Novyi Afon Monastery

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Yucca in Bloom. Novyi Afon Monastery

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Monastery Garden. Novyi Afon

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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In the Monastery’s Garden. Novyi Afon

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Rattan

This photograph, most likely taken in Singapore in the late 19th or early 20th century, is from the Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection at the Library of Congress. Frank G. Carpenter (1855-1924) was an American writer of books on travel and world geography whose works helped to popularize cultural anthropology and geography in the United States in the early years of the 20th century. Consisting of photographs taken and gathered by Carpenter and his daughter Frances (1890-1972) to illustrate his writings, the collection includes an estimated 16,800 photographs and …

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Cannae Lily

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Tea Roses

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Arundo Donax Giant Reed. Used for Making Baskets. Behind Cramoisier Superieur (Bengaliia)

As indicated by the photographer’s caption, this view shows the giant reed (Arundo donax) used in basket weaving, with China rose (Cramoisi superieur) behind it. In the distant background a lone figure walks through the carefully tended hills dotted with fruit trees. The exact location of the photograph is not given, but it may have been in the former Black Sea Province, which included Sochi. This region of the western Caucasus with its semitropical climate along the Black Sea coast was home to exotic floral varieties unknown elsewhere in …

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Eggplants

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Sweet Pepper

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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White Dwarf Kalvil Apple

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Loofah Gourd

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Caucasus. Dwarf Pear Tree. Angulem

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Caucasus. Fog at Sea. Taken in Dagomys

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Water Lilies

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Euonymus Bush with Fruit (Best Shoe Nails)

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Flowering Plants

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Grapevines

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Plant with Berries

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Azaleas

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Mulberry Tree. Samarkand

This scene from Samarkand shows a rutted lane flanked by old adobe walls. In the center is a group of mulberry trees, while in the background are poplar trees. Samarkand was long known for the quality of its silk, produced from the cocoons of silkworms that fed on the leaves of the mulberry. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. He frequently used his photographic …

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(Steppe) Poppies. Samarkand

The necropolis of Shah-i Zindah (Persian for “living king”), located within a cemetery on the outskirts of Samarkand, was revered as a memorial to Kusam-ibn-Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Mohammad. This detailed view of steppe poppies was taken on a hillside near the Shah-i Zindah complex in late spring, when the flowers are in profuse bloom. The necropolis itself is beyond the frame of this photograph. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record …

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Elm Trees. Samarkand

This scene from Samarkand (present-day Uzbekistan) shows a karagach (a type of elm tree). Densely leaved, the karagach flourishes in the oasis setting of Samarkand. The compact branch structure helps the tree conserve moisture in the hot climate. In the foreground is a field of grass, used for fodder. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905 …

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Elm Tree. Samarkand

Seen here is a massive karagach (elm tree). Densely leaved, the karagach flourishes in the oasis setting of Samarkand. The compact branch structure helps the tree conserve moisture in this hot climate. To the left is a seated figure on a low adobe wall. The field in the foreground shows signs of cultivation. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. He used his photographic method …

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Elm Tree. Samarkand

This scene from Samarkand (present-day Uzbekistan) shows a karagach (a type of elm tree). Densely leaved, the karagach flourishes in the oasis setting of Samarkand. The compact branch structure helps the tree conserve moisture in the hot climate. In the foreground is a rutted road flanked by an aging adobe brick-and-mud wall. In the distance the wall is being rebuilt with modern techniques to reinforce the upper pathway in this hilly terrain. Another wall is visible on the other side of the upper path. The image is by Russian photographer …

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Sheaf of Reeds for Mats. Samarkand

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Stork (Scene in Bukhara)

This photograph shows a large stork’s nest (with stork visible) on the top of the main facade of a madrasah in Bukhara. The view was taken from a back courtyard and includes a damaged ornamental lattice window. The brick wall of the structure shows some decorative traces. After the Russian conquest of Samarkand in 1868, the Emirate of Bukhara remained nominally independent but in fact became a Russian protectorate linked to Russian settlements by the Trans-Caspian Railway. In contrast to Samarkand, where Western influence was much in evidence, in …

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Library of Congress


Young Eagle. Golodnaia Steppe

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Young Eagle. Golodnaia Steppe

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Guelder Rose in Bloom

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


In Little Russia i.e. Ukraine

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Guelder Rose (Viburnum)

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


View of the Kliazma River and Water-Meadows from the West

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Birch Forest

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Trees

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Trees

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Desert Plant

Many varieties of desert plants flourished in the semi-arid regions of Russian Turkestan (present-day Uzbekistan and neighboring states). Shown here is a calligonam in bloom, photographed alongside the road between ancient Merv (now Mary) and the new Russian settlement of Chardjuy (present-day Turkmenabat, Turkmenistan), founded in 1886. Despite problems with color alignment, the photograph captures both the colors and the remarkable shadows of the plant on the sand. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual …

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Library of Congress


Rosebushes

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Scientific Laboratory

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Meadow, Trees in Background

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Trees

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Roses

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Roses

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Tree Branch

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Flowering Bushes

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Expanse of Land Covered with Shrubs

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

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Library of Congress


Observing a Solar Eclipse on January 1, 1907 near the Cherniaevo Station in the Tian-Shan Mountains above the Saliuktin Mines. Golodnaia Steppe

This unusual photograph shows preparations for observing a total solar eclipse on January 1 (14 in the Gregorian calendar), 1907, at the Cherniaevo Station settlement near the Saliutkin Mines in the Tian-Shan Mountains. Located in Central Asia near the border between China and present-day Kyrgyzstan, the range derives its name from the Chinese for “celestial mountains.” The first Russian to study the mountains was the noted Russian geographer Peter Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky, who explored the region in 1856 and 1857. The high elevation and clear dry air were ideal for observation purposes …

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Library of Congress


German South-West Africa

German South-West Africa, or present-day Namibia, was a colony of the German Empire from 1884 until 1915, when it was occupied by South African forces fighting on the side of Great Britain in World War I. The brief history of the colony was marked by a series of insurrections by the Khoekhoe and Hereros against German rule, insurrections that the authorities suppressed with extraordinary harshness. The German ambition was to populate the colony with large numbers of settlers from Germany, much as the British had done in other parts of …

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Library of Congress


Tititl, the 17th Month of the Aztec Solar Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

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John Carter Brown Library


Tozoztontli, Festival of Bird Sacrifices, the Third Month of the Aztec Solar Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

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John Carter Brown Library


Hueytozoztli, Continuation of the Festival of Bird Sacrifices, the Fourth Month of the Aztec Solar Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

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John Carter Brown Library


Tecuilhuitontli, the Seventh Month of the Aztec Solar Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

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John Carter Brown Library


Tlaxochimaco, the Ninth Month of the Aztec Solar Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

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John Carter Brown Library


Ochpaniztli, the 11th Month of the Aztec Solar Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

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John Carter Brown Library


Teotleco, Return of the Gods, the 12th Month of the Aztec Solar Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

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John Carter Brown Library


Quecholli, the 14th Month of the Aztec Solar Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

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John Carter Brown Library


Panquetzaliztli, Banner Raising, the 15th Month of the Aztec Solar Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

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John Carter Brown Library


Quahuitlehua, Raising of the Trees, the First Month of the Aztec Solar Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

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John Carter Brown Library


The Aztec Solar Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

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John Carter Brown Library


The Aztec Tonalpohualli Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

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John Carter Brown Library


The Months of the Aztec Tonalpohualli (Day Count) Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

Contributed by
John Carter Brown Library


The Months of the Aztec Tonalpohualli (Day Count) Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

Contributed by
John Carter Brown Library


Tlacaxipehualiztli, Festival of the Flaying of Men, the Second Month of the Aztec Solar Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

Contributed by
John Carter Brown Library


Toxcatl, Drought, the Fifth Month of the Aztec Solar Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

Contributed by
John Carter Brown Library


Etzalcualiztli, Meal of Maize and Beans, the Sixth Month of the Aztec Solar Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

Contributed by
John Carter Brown Library


Hueytecuilthuitli, Great Festival of the Lords, the Eighth Month of the Aztec Solar Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

Contributed by
John Carter Brown Library


Hueymiccaihuitl, Great Feast of the Dead, the Tenth Month of the Aztec Solar Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

Contributed by
John Carter Brown Library


Tepeilhuitl, Festival of the Hills, the 13th Month of the Aztec Solar Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

Contributed by
John Carter Brown Library


Atemoztli, the 16th Month of the Aztec Solar Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

Contributed by
John Carter Brown Library


Izcalli, the Rebirth, the 18th Month of the Aztec Solar Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

Contributed by
John Carter Brown Library


The Nemontemi and the Month Quahuitlehua in the Aztec Solar Calendar

The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains …

Contributed by
John Carter Brown Library


The Boban Aztec Calendar Wheel

This Aztec pictorial calendar wheel, commonly known as the Boban calendar wheel, is printed onamatl (fig bark) paper. Initially dated to approximately 1530, it has now been more accurately dated to 1545–46. The initial dating derived from the identification of two figures shown in the document, one said to be Hernán Cortés and another said to be Don Antonio Pimentel Tlahuitoltzin, depicted as the son of Ixtlilxochitl. The scholar Patricia Lopes Don has argued for the date of 1545–46 based on the fact that Don Antonio Pimentel …

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John Carter Brown Library


Through Unknown African Countries: the First Expedition from Somaliland to Lake Rudolf

A. Donaldson Smith was an American medical doctor and amateur big-game hunter who, in 1894-95, undertook an 18-month expedition from Berbera, Somalia (then British Somaliland) to Lake Turkana (then Lake Rudolf) in Kenya. He explored the headwaters of the Shabeelle River in Ethiopia and, on his return journey, descended the Tana River to the Kenyan coast. This book is his account of the expedition. Its appendices contain detailed descriptions and illustrations of the fishes, spiders and scorpions, moths, geological specimens, fossils, plants, and ethnographic objects collected on the expedition. Also …

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Library of Congress


Report of the Expedition in 1892 to the Trans-Ural Steppe of the Urals Region and to Ust-Urt

In 1892, the shareholders of the Ryazan–Uralsk Railroad Company sponsored an expedition to the Trans-Ural steppe region of the Urals and to Ust-Urt for the purpose of determining the type and volume of cargo that could be carried on a projected rail route from Ryazan to Uralsk. The engineer and geologist S.N. Nikitin directed the expedition and prepared this report. Nikitin also investigated the deposits of oil, common salt, and other minerals found along the route. When completed in 1894, the Ryazan–Uralsk Railroad linked the center of …

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National Academic Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Astana


Thatched Roof Building in Palm Grove with People Gathered Around Trees and Building

Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands was the scene of the first post-World War II atomic tests, carried out by the United States to determine the effects of nuclear weapons on naval ships. This photograph, part of the record of the operation made by the U.S. Army Air Forces, shows inhabitants of the island gathered around a thatched-roof building in a palm grove. Before the tests, all 167 residents of Bikini were evacuated from their home island. Because of the high levels of radiation caused by the explosions over …

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Library of Congress


Thatched Roof Building Shaded by Palm Trees with People Standing at Entrance

Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands was the scene of the first post-World War II atomic tests, carried out by the United States to determine the effects of nuclear weapons on naval ships. This photograph, part of the record of the operation made by the U.S. Army Air Forces, shows people looking out from a typical thatched-roof building on Bikini. Before the tests, all 167 residents of Bikini were evacuated from their home island. Because of the high levels of radiation caused by the explosions over Bikini, neither they …

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Library of Congress


Book on the Division of Geographical Boundaries by Reference to the Stars

Ancient Chinese astronomy was used to make prognostications about human affairs by pairing celestial bodies with states, counties, prefectures, and people. Predictions could thereby be made about favorable developments or disasters that might befall a particular locality or person based on movements of the sun, the moon, or stars. This methodology was called fen ye (division of geographical boundaries by reference to the stars). The methodology and the theory on which it was based existed since the Han dynasty (circa 206 BC–220 AD), and over the centuries the system …

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National Central Library


Summary of Astronomy

Tian wen lue (Summary of astronomy) is a well-known work by Yang Manuo, the Chinese name of Father Manuel Dias (1574–1659), also known as Emanuel Diaz. Diaz, a Portuguese Jesuit missionary, arrived in China in 1610 and reached Beijing in 1613. He also spent time in Macao, Shaochuan, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Fuzhou, and other cities. He died in Hangzhou during the reign of the Qing dynasty Shunzhi emperor. Commonly known by its Latin title, Explicatio Sphaerae Coelestis, the book was first published in 1615. This copy is the original edition …

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National Central Library


Refuting Heresy

Pi xie lun (Refuting heresy) is by Yang Guangxian (1597–1669) from Shexian, Anhui Province, a fierce opponent of the early Christian missionaries to China. Beginning about 1659, Yang assumed the self-appointed role of campaigner against the missionaries. In 1644, German Jesuit Johann Adam Schall von Bell (circa 1592–1666) was asked to prepare for the new Qing dynasty a calendar based on Western mathematical calculations. Schall later was named director of the imperial Board of Astronomy. Yang submitted a document to the Board of Ceremonies, charging Schall with errors …

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National Central Library


Enlightening the Bewildered about the New Calendar

Xin li xiao huo (Enlightening the bewildered about the new calendar) is by Tang Ruowang, the Chinese name of Johann Adam Schall von Bell (circa 1592–1666), the German Jesuit missionary and astronomer who became an important adviser to the first emperor of the Qing dynasty. Schall had trained in Rome in the astronomical system of Galileo. He arrived in Macao in 1619, where he studied Chinese and mathematics, and  reached the Chinese mainland in 1622. After impressing the Chinese with the superiority of Western astronomy by correctly predicting the …

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National Central Library


The Elements of Geometry

In 1690, Emperor Kangxi summoned two French missionaries, Zhang Cheng (Jean Francois Gerbillon, 1654–1707) and Bai Jin (Joachim Bouvet, 1656–1730), to Beijing to teach him mathematics. The missionaries initially considered using for this purpose the early 17th-century partial translation by Matteo Ricci (1552–1610) and Xu Guangqi (1562–1633) of Euclid’s great work on geometry, Elements, but they found it too complicated. So they decided to translate insteadElements de geometrie by French Jesuit Ignace Gaston Pardies (1636–73), which drew on Euclid, Archimedes, and Apollonius. They …

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National Central Library


Treatise on Hawks

Jin cheng ying lun (Treatise on hawks) is by Li Leisi (Ludovico Buglio, 1606–82), an Italian Jesuit missionary to China, mathematician, and theologian, who first preached in Sichuan (where he was the first Christian missionary), and in Fujian and Jiangxi provinces. He was taken prisoner by Zhang Xianzhong, leader of a band of freebooters, and brought to Beijing in 1648 by Haoge, a member of the imperial family, after Zhang Xianzhong’s death. Set free and allowed to resume his ministry, Buglio built a church called Dongtang (Eastern Church …

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National Central Library


On Aristotle’s “On the Heavens”

In collaboration with the Chinese scholar Li Zhizao (1565–1630), Portuguese missionary Fu Fanji (Francisco Furtado, 1587–1653) translated two Western works into Chinese. They were Huan you quan (On heaven and Earth), a translation with scholarly commentaries of Aristotle’s De Coelo et Mundo, and Ming li tan (Inquiries into the principles of names), a partial free translation of Aristotelian logic. A work of cosmology rather than of religion, the first book originally was a part of the eight-volume Commentarii Collegii Conimbrincensis Societatis Iesu, in quator libros De Coelo …

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National Central Library


Treatise on Geometry

Yuan rong jiao yi (Treatise on geometry) is an 1847 edition of a work dictated in 1608 by the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci (1552–1610) to official and scholar Li Zhizao (1565–1630). Ricci, whose Chinese name was Li Madou, was one of the founding figures of the Jesuit mission in China. Li Zhizao was baptized by Ricci in 1610 and took the name Leo. He studied with Ricci and wrote prefaces to a number of his books. Ricci dictated several works to Li, who put them into acceptable Chinese …

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National Central Library


Book of the Alphonsine Tables

A reflection of the knowledge of astronomy of the time, these tables were produced in Spain between 1263 and 1272 under the direction of Isaac ben Sid and Judah ben Moses Cohen. The Ptolemaic belief that the planets orbited the Earth was then the predominant cosmological system, and the heliocentric model of the solar system formulated by Copernicus, who personally studied and copied the tables, was still two centuries away. Known as Alfonsine tables after King Alfonso X of Castile (reigned 1252–84), the tables are a compilation of data …

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National Library of Spain


About the Natural History of the Indies

Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo (1478–1557) was one of the most important early chroniclers of the Spanish presence in the Americas. Born in Madrid of noble parents from Asturias, at age 12 he became a page to the Duke of Villahermosa. He witnessed the surrender of Granada and, in 1492, entered the service of Prince Don Juan I, whose death in 1497 changed the path of his life. After living several years in Italy, Oviedo returned to Spain around 1505 and, from then onward, began traveling between the Iberian Peninsula …

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National Library of Spain


Book on Geometry, Practice, and Patterns

This landscape-shaped printed work is the first treatise on tailoring published in Spain. It paved the way for other such works in the late 16th century and early 17th century. The author was Juan de Alcega, born in Guipuzcoa, in the Basque region of northern Spain, and a tailor by trade. In his dedication, to a theologian called Tejada, he describes «this, my small work, something brand new, never seen so far in our Spain.» The usefulness of the work was confirmed by Hernan Gutierrez, tailor to the princess of …

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National Library of Spain


Four Books on the Nature and Virtues of Plants and Animals for Medicinal Purposes in New Spain

Francisco Hernández de Toledo (1514–87) was a court physician, who in 1570 was ordered by King Philip II of Spain to embark on a scientific mission to New Spain (as Mexico was then called) to study the medicinal plants of the New World. For seven years Hernández traveled throughout the country, collecting specimens and gathering information on how plants were used by indigenous physicians. He returned to Spain in 1577 with 16 volumes of notes and with numerous illustrations made by three indigenous painters who assisted him in his …

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National Library of Spain


Compendium of Cosmography

Pedro de Medina (1493–1567) was a cartographer, author, and a founder of marine science. He lived in Seville, the center of the Spanish ocean-going commerce and the starting point for ships headed to the New World. He worked in an environment shaped by the Casa de Contratación(House of Trade), the Spanish government agency that controlled exploration and colonization, although he was never employed by it. In 1545 Medina published his most important work, El arte de navegar (The art of navigation), an overview of existing knowledge on this …

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National Library of Spain


A Falconer with His Falcon near Al-Ain

This 1965 photograph shows a huntsman with his falcon near Al-Ain, a desert oasis located approximately 160 kilometers east of the city of Abu Dhabi in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Falconry is both a sport and a means of hunting for food that developed over centuries in the Arab world and in other countries. Known as the “sport of shaykhs,” falconry was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010. The photograph is from the Colonel Edward «Tug» Bearby Wilson Collection in …

Contributed by
Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage


Gifts from the Ebb Tide

In Japan, collecting beautiful shells and decorating them with poems is an elegant pastime dating from ancient times. Shiohi no tsuto (Gifts from the ebb tide, popularly known in English as The Shell Book), is an illustrated book of multicolored woodblock prints by Kitagawa Utamaro (circa 1753–1806). Such ehon (picture books) are part of a long tradition featuring the fine collaborative work of artists, calligraphers, writers, papermakers, block cutters, and printers. This one, published in about 1789 by Tsutaya Jūzaburō, has 36 kyōka (humorous and satirical Japanese poems of …

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National Diet Library


Complete Book on the Judgment of the Stars

Abu al-Hassan Ali Ibn Ali Ibn Abi al-Rijal (also known as Haly or Hali, and by the Latinized versions of his name, Haly Albohazen and Haly Abenragel) was a late 10th-century–early 11th century Arab astrologer and astronomer who served as court astrologer in the palace of the Tunisian prince, al-Muizz Ibn Badis. His best known treatise, Kitāb al-bāri’ fi ahkām an-nujūm (Complete book on the judgment of the stars), was one of the works translated by the team of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim scholars that King Alfonso X of …

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Qatar National Library


Smoothing the Basis for the Investigation of the Meaning of Transits

Abu al-Rayhan al-Biruni (also known by the Latinized version of his name, Alberonius, 973–1048 AD; 362–440 AH) was an 11th-century Muslim polymath whose works and scholarly interests spanned the physical and natural sciences, mathematics, astronomy, geography, history, chronology, and linguistics. Al-Biruni was born in Kath, Khuwarazm, in present-day Uzbekistan, and died in Ghazni, in what is today east-central Afghanistan. He wrote more than 120 works and is considered the founder of Indology for his detailed description of 11th-century India. The crater Al-Biruni on the moon is named after …

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Bibliotheca Alexandrina


The Essentials of Arithmetic

Bahaa al-Din al-Amili (1547–1621 AD; 953–1031 AH) is thought to have been born in Baalbek, Lebanon, but his family moved to Herat, present-day Afghanistan, to escape Ottoman persecution. He studied in Isfahan, in present-day Iran, and continued on to Aleppo, Jerusalem, and Egypt, before returning to Isfahan, where he served for many years as the chief judge and where he died. He produced more than 50 titles in fields as diverse as arithmetic, astronomy, literature, religion, and linguistics. Known for his poetry as well as his many encyclopedic …

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Bibliotheca Alexandrina


Collection of the Treatises of al-Ṭūsī

Naseer al-Din (or al-Naseer) al-Tusi (1201–74 AD, 597–672 AH) was a Muslim Persian polymath. He was born in Tus, Khorasan, in present-day Iran. Al-Tusi witnessed the great invasion of the Islamic world by the Mongols, whom he later joined. He was said to have been in the company of Hulegu Khan when the latter destroyed the Abbasid capital of Baghdad in 1258 AD. Al-Tusi, already a well-known scientist, later convinced Hulegu Khan to construct an observatory to facilitate the establishment of accurate astronomical tables for better astrological predictions …

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Bibliotheca Alexandrina


The Greater «Life of Animals», Volume 2

Kamal ud-Din Al-Damiri (circa 1341–1405 AD, 742–808 AH) was a tailor-turned-scholar. He was born in Cairo and spent most of his life in Egypt. Hayat al-Hayawan (Life of animals) is his best-known work. It is found in two versions, referred to as the greater and the lesser. It includes more than 1050 entries on animals, arranged according to the Arabic alphabet. Some of the entries are long, others are shorter or duplicates. The longest entry, for example, is for the lion, and runs to 11 pages. Other entries …

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Bibliotheca Alexandrina


The Greater «Life of Animals»

Kamal ud-Din Al-Damiri (circa 1341–1405 AD, 742–808 AH) was a tailor-turned-scholar. He was born in Cairo and spent most of his life in Egypt. Hayat al-Hayawan (Life of animals) is his best-known work. It is found in two versions, referred to as the greater and the lesser. Shown here is the greater version. It includes more than 1050 entries on animals, arranged according to the Arabic alphabet. Some of the entries are long, others are shorter or duplicates. The longest entry, for example, is for the lion, and …

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Bibliotheca Alexandrina


The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing

Born into a Persian family in Khuwarizm (present-day Xorazm Province, Uzbekistan), Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi (also known by the Latin form of his name, Algoritmi, circa 780–850 AD, 164–236 AH) was a Muslim mathematician, astronomer, and geographer, and a scholar in the famed House of Wisdom in Baghdad. Al-Khwarazmi wrote Kitab al-Jabr wa-l-Muqabala (The compendious book on calculation by completion and balancing) around 830 AD, with the encouragement of Caliph Al-Maamoun, the reigning Abbasid caliph of Baghdad in 813–33 AD. It is meant to be a useful …

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Bibliotheca Alexandrina


Six Essays from the Book of Commentaries on Euclid

Naseer al-Din (or al-Naseer) al-Tusi (1201–74 AD, 597–672 AH) was a Muslim Persian polymath. He was born in Tus, Khorasan, in present-day Iran. Al-Tusi witnessed the great invasion of the Islamic empire by the Mongols, whom he later joined. He was said to have been in the company of Hulegu Khan when the latter destroyed the Abbasid capital of Baghdad in 1258 AD. Al-Tusi, already a well-known scientist, later convinced Hulegu Khan to construct an observatory to facilitate the establishment of accurate astronomical tables for better astrological predictions …

Contributed by
Bibliotheca Alexandrina


A Treatise on Drawing Chords in a Circle

Abu al-Rayhan al-Biruni (also known by the Latinized version of his name, Alberonius, 973–1048 AD; 362–440 AH) was an 11th-century Muslim polymath whose works and scholarly interests spanned the physical and natural sciences, mathematics, astronomy, geography, history, chronology, and linguistics. Al-Biruni was born in Kath, Khuwarazm, in present-day Uzbekistan, and died in Ghazni, in what is today east-central Afghanistan. He wrote more than 120 works and is considered the founder of Indology for his detailed description of 11th-century India. The crater Al-Biruni on the moon is named after …

Contributed by
Bibliotheca Alexandrina


Selected Treatises by Jabir ibn Hayyan

Jabir ibn Hayyan (also known by his Latinized name Geber, circa 721–815 AD) was a Muslim polymath, natural philosopher, and alchemist. He was probably born in Tus, Khorasan, in present-day Iran, although some sources give his birthplace as Kufa, Iraq. Some aspects of the life of Jabir ibn Hayyan, as well as the authenticity of tens, if not hundreds, of the titles of his extremely large body of work have been questioned. More than 3,000 treatises or books are attributed to him in one way or another, with …

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Bibliotheca Alexandrina


Book of Herbs

Johannes Hartlieb’s Kräuterbuch (Book of herbs) of 1462 is basically an extract from Konrad von Megenberg’s Buch der Natur (Book of nature) written a century earlier, which was the first natural history in the German language. Hartlieb’s subject is plants, mostly herbs, and their medical uses. What makes the Kräuterbuch special is the side-by-side presentation of text and images. The high cost of such a richly decorated book makes it unlikely that it was actually used by doctors or pharmacists of the time. The botanical imprecision of …

Contributed by
Berlin State Library – Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation


Conchological Collection

Georg Gottlieb Plato (1710–77) was the son of Johann Christoph Wild from Regensburg, Germany. He gave up the Wild family name and adopted the name of Plato, after his patron, Johann Heinrich Plato, an official of the rank of counselor in Regensburg. Johann Heinrich furthered the education of the younger man, who studied pharmacy and medicine before embarking on a career as a lawyer in Regensburg and later becoming a member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. Georg Gottlieb Plato’s two-volume illustrated record of his collection of mollusk …

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Bavarian State Library


Book of Animals

The artist, engraver, xylographer, publisher, and entrepreneur Jost Amman (1539–91) was involved in a huge number of printing projects, several of them together with the Frankfurt-based publisher Sigmund Feyerabend. One such project was the Thierbuch (Book of animals). Printed for the first time in 1569, it comprises nearly 100 woodcuts executed by Amman, based on designs by the Augsburg painter Hans Bocksberger the Younger. The illustrations feature 70 different kinds of animals, including domestic animals (such as horse, ox, and pig), wild animals (such as bear, fox, and eagle …

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Bavarian State Library


An Account of a Selection of Plants of America

The first world-renowned natural scientist to set foot on Colombian soil was the Dutch physician and botanist Baron Nikolaus Joseph Jacquin (1727–1817). As a young man he showed such ability in his studies in Vienna that he attracted royal patronage. Emperor Francis I commissioned him to travel to the Americas for the purpose of collecting rare and exotic plants for the imperial parks of Vienna and Schönbrunn Palace. This tour occupied him from 1755 to 1759. Jacquin was the first person to show the world the botanical treasures of …

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National Library of Colombia


An Account of a Selection of Plants of America

The first world-renowned natural scientist to set foot on Colombian soil was the Dutch physician and botanist Baron Nikolaus Joseph Jacquin (1727–1817). As a young man he showed such ability in his studies in Vienna that he attracted royal patronage. Emperor Francis I commissioned him to travel to the Americas for the purpose of collecting rare and exotic plants for the imperial parks of Vienna and Schönbrunn Palace. This tour occupied him from 1755 to 1759. Jacquin was the first person to show the world the botanical treasures of …

Contributed by
National Library of Colombia


Complete Book on the Judgment of the Stars

Abu al-Hassan Ali Ibn Ali Ibn Abi al-Rijal (also known as Haly or Hali, and by the Latinized versions of his name, Haly Albohazen and Haly Abenragel) was a late 10th-century–early 11th-century Arab astrologer and astronomer who served as court astrologer in the palace of the Tunisian prince, al-Muizz Ibn Badis. His best-known treatise, Kitāb al-bāri’ fi ahkām an-nujūm (Complete book on the judgment of the stars), was one of the works translated by the team of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim scholars that King Alfonso X of Castile (reigned …

Contributed by
Qatar National Library


The Greater “Life of Animals”

Kamal ud-Din al-Damiri (circa 1341–1405) was a tailor-turned-scholar. He was born in Cairo and spent most of his life in Egypt. Hayat al-Hayawan (Life of animals) is his best-known work. It is found in two versions, referred to as the greater and the lesser. Shown here is the greater version. It includes more than 1050 entries on animals, arranged according to the Arabic alphabet. Some of the entries are long, others are shorter or duplicates. The longest entry, for example, is for the lion, and runs to 11 pages …

Contributed by
Qatar National Library


The Essentials of Arithmetic

Bahā’ al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Ḥusayn al-‘Āmilī, also known as Sheiykh Bahā’ī, was a famous polymath and intellectual luminary of Safavid Persia. He was born in 1547 (953 AH) near the Jabal ‘Āmila in Syria. He migrated with his family to Persia (perhaps to escape the persecution of Shi’a Muslims at the hand of the Ottomans), where he eventually obtained an honored place at the court of Shāh ‘Abbās. He died in Isfahan in 1621 (1030 AH). A prolific author of works on astronomy, mathematics, fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence …

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Qatar National Library


A Guide to Geometry, Surveying, the Launching of Missiles, and the Planting of Mines

Hadiyat Al-Muhtadi fil Al-Handassa (A guide to geometry, surveying, the launching of missiles, and the planting of mines) is a technical manual on geometry and surveying, as well as on the motion of projectiles and the construction of missiles. The pages have a number of tables and illustrations set in the text area, and the book has many diagrams and drawings in its wide margins. The work consists of an introduction, two chapters, and a conclusion. The author describes the first chapter as being on the figures of plane geometry …

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Qatar National Library


The Elucidation of the Memoir on Astronomy by Ṭūsi

This manuscript is a commentary on Naṣīr al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad Ṭūsi’s al-Tadhkira fī al-‘ilm al-hay’a (Memoir on astronomy). Written in the second half of the 13th century, Ṭūsi’s work was hugely influential for subsequent generations of astronomers in the Islamic world, and several of the commentaries on it became popular in their own right. This commentary is by Niẓām al-Dīn Ḥasan b. Muḥammad al-A‘raj al-Nīsābūrī al-Qummī (died after 1311). In the introduction to his work, which the author himself entitles Tauḍīḥ al-Tadhkira (Elucidation of …

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Qatar National Library


Commentary on «The Compendium of Plain Astronomy»

This work is a commentary on Mulahhas fī al-Hay’a Al-Basīta (The compendium of plain astronomy), a treatise on theoretical astronomy by Maḥmūd ibn Muḥammad Jighmīnī. A renowned Persian mathematician and astronomer, Jighmīnī was born in the village of Jaghmīn, in the region of Khwarizm in present-day Uzbekistan. He died circa 1221 during the cataclysmic Mongol conquest of Khwarizm. Several popular commentaries were written on his treatise. On the cover of this manuscript a handwritten note from a previous owner states: “This is a commentary of the ‘Handbook of al-Jighmīnī …

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Qatar National Library


Commentary on the Forms of Foundation

This work is a commentary on Ashkāl al-ta’sīs (Forms of foundation), a geometrical tract by Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Ashraf al-Ḥusaynī al-Samarqandī. The author of the commentary, Qāḍīzāda al-Rūmī (Ṣalāh al-Din Mūsā ibn Muḥammad, 1364–1436) was one of the principal astronomers at the celebrated Samarkand observatory. He was a native of Bursa, where his father Maḥmūd served as a prominent judge (hence the appellation Qāḍīzāda, which means «born to a judge» in Persian). The commentary was completed in 1412 (814 AH) and, judging from the many surviving copies …

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Qatar National Library


Introduction to the Art of Judgments of the Stars

Abu al-Saqr Abd al-Aziz Ibn Uthman Ibn Ali al-Qabisi (known in Latin as Alcabitius, died 967), was a famous Arab astrologer and mathematician who lived in the palace of Saif Al-Dawla Al-Hamdani in Aleppo, Syria. He is best known for his Introduction to the Art of Judgments of the Stars, a treatise on judicial astrology or the forecasting of events from the positions of planets and stars. The book was translated into Latin in the 12th century by Johannes Hispalensis and was highly prized in medieval Europe for its astrological …

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Qatar National Library


The Brazilian Astronomical Commission: Transit of Venus on December 6, 1882

This album commemorates the participation of Brazil in the international effort to track the transit of Venus in 1882. This involved the establishment by the Imperial Observatory of an observatory, named after Emperor Dom Pedro II (1825-91), on the island of Saint Thomas in the Danish West Indies (present-day U.S. Virgin Islands). The transit of Venus is a rare astronomical event that occurs when Venus passes between the Earth and the sun, becoming visible in daylight against the solar disk. The transits occur in eight-year pairs at intervals of …

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National Library of Brazil


The Kosso Tree. Abyssinia

In 1868, The Illustrated London News commissioned the Scottish artist William Simpson (1823–99) to cover a military campaign launched by Britain against Abyssinia (present-day Ethiopia) to rescue several British officials and missionaries held by the Emperor Theodore (also called Tewodros II, ruled 1855–68). The commission was Simpson’s first major work for the Illustrated London Newsand the beginning of a long relationship with the paper that ended only with his death. Although Simpson’s primary task was to document the campaign, he was also interested in people …

Contributed by
Brown University Library


Earthquakes of India: Volume I

This work describes the events before, during, and after a massive earthquake that struck early in the morning of April 4, 1905, at Kangra, a town in the Himalayan foothills in the northern region of India historically known as Punjab (in the present-day state of Himachal Pradesh). Before the quake, seismic activity had extinguished the flames of combustible gas that usually jetted out at the nearby Hindu temple of Jawala Mukhi, and worshippers thought the gods displeased. The earthquake and its aftershocks killed between 20,000 and 25,000 people …

Contributed by
Government College University Lahore


Farah’s Encyclopedia of Nature

This Persian manuscript contains the text and accompanying illustrations of Faraḥ nāmah (Farah’s encyclopedia of nature), also known by the title Ajayib al-dunya (Wonders of the world). The work is a treatise on natural history by al-Muṭahhar ibn Muḥammad al-Yazdi (flourished circa 1184). The manuscript was copied in the 17th century in a large Taliq script, and is illuminated with detailed multicolored illustrations of animals, birds, plants, rocks, and humans. Persian miniature painting was becoming a fine art genre in the 12th–13th centuries, and portrayal of the …

Contributed by
Yale University Library
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