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Category: Exploration, United States

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John Thomson’s Illustrations of China and Its People, 1873-1874 John Thomson (1837-1921), a pioneering Scottish geographer and traveler, was the first known photographer to document the people and landscape of China for publication and dissemination to the Western world. Between 1868 and 1872, he traveled over 6,500 kilometers with his cumbersome camera and equipment, darkroom and chemicals capturing all aspects of Chinese life. The photographs in these four volumes show the many sides of China: sweeping landscapes, royalty and ruling classes, merchants and economic activity, everyday life, and the faces of men, women, and children. Thomson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of a tobacco spinner and seller.

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The Illustrated Voyage Artists aboard voyages of discovery and exploration were given the task of making an objective record of the landscapes, people, flora and fauna of the lands they visited.  One would not expect, given the focus on creating an accurate visual record for these expeditions, that there would have been room for the expression of artistic vision.

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Terra Incognita: An Online Exhibition This exhibit features early printed accounts of exploration and cultural encounters between what is known as the Old World or Europe and the New World or the Americas. The people on both sides of these encounters viewed the people they met through the screen of their culture and how they perceived the world, including their myths, legends, and religious beliefs. Both sides often had to reconfigure and rebuild their idea of the world with this new knowledge. The results yielded much knowledge and discovery but also misunderstanding, fear and violent attempts to control various groups.

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The Printing House of the Family Blaeu: 17th Century Cartographic Printing from the Netherlands During the seventeenth century the people of the seventeen united provinces of the Netherlands experienced a period of tremendous economic prosperity. As a water-logged society with few land-based natural resources of their own, the Dutch developed into a highly efficient maritime culture that feverishly explored the globe to find goods that were in demand on the continental European market. Along with numerous advances in the fields of science, industry, business, and linguistics, the Dutch also became experts at book and cartographic printing.

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263 reads

For most of the material from which the following new
species of Cicadidae are described, I have to thank Mr. F. P.
Dodd (queensland) and Mr. H. Elgner, of the same State.
Amongst them it will be noticed is a new species of Cyclochila
from Queensland, and also a species of Prasia, a genus so far
unrecorded in Australia, though common in New Guinea. I
have had some difficulty in deciding upon the generic deter-
mination of Psaltoda pulchra, as it has strong affinities with
Thopha in the structure of the head and the proportions of the
tegmina and wings. The abdomen, however, is unadorned with
the sacs which hide the tympana in the division Thopharia,
so I have placed the species tentatively in the genus Psaltoda.

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American Journeys contains more than 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration, from the sagas of Vikings in Canada in AD1000 to the diaries of mountain men in the Rockies 800 years later. Read the words of explorers, Indians, missionaries, traders and settlers as they lived through the founding moments of American history. View, search, print, or download more than 150 rare books, original manuscripts, and classic travel narratives from the library and archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society. To get started, simply select an activity on the toolbar above. Funded by the U.S. Institute of Museum & Library Services and by private donors, American Journeys is a collaborative project of the Wisconsin Historical Society and National History Day.

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327 reads

About the Collection The First American West presents a digital resource created from selections drawn from the collections of the Filson Historical Society and the University of Chicago. Each of these institutions has realized the critical role that primary source material plays in the research and teaching of history. The First American West draws on the interconnected holdings of the two institutions to create an integrated collection that preserves critical primary sources and presents a fuller and more diverse picture of the exploration and settlement of the trans-Appalachian west. The Filson Historical Society's origins and the University of Chicago's holdings on the trans-Appalachian west both have their roots in the activities of Reuben T. Durrett (1824-1913).

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Harvard's Widener Library is the repository of many scarce and unique Latin American pamphlets published during the 19th and the early 20th centuries. One of the few institutions to have consistently collected Latin American pamphlets, Harvard has benefited from collections formed by Luis Montt (Chile), Nicolás Acosta (Bolivia), Manuel Segundo Sánchez (Venezuela), José Augusto Escoto (Cuba), Blas Garay (Paraguay), Charles Sumner, John B. Stetson and others. Chile, Cuba, Bolivia and Mexico are the countries most heavily represented in this collection. These pamphlets are valuable primary resources for students and researchers working on Latin American history.

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320 reads

The fourth in a series of online collections from Harvard University, Expeditions and Discoveries delivers maps, photographs, and published materials, as well as field notes, letters, and a unique range of manuscript materials on selected expeditions between 1626 and 1953. The collection is made possible with the generous support of the Arcadia Fund . In the 19th and 20th centuries, Harvard University played a significant role—as underwriter, participant, collector, and repository—for pace-setting expeditions around the world. For Internet users, Expeditions and Discoveries provides selective access to Harvard’s multidisciplinary records of those expeditions.

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548 reads