Sunday, December 03, 2006

The New World
An Exhibition of Early Printed Books on Exploration and Discovery
Marsh's Library, Dublin
May 22, 2006 - Spring 2007

This exhibition contains spectacular sixteenth and seventeenth-century books relating to the discovery and exploration of North and South America, illustrated with splendid engravings, woodcuts and maps. The books on display include the first description of New York in English, and the romantic and famous story of the Indian princess Pocahontas and Captain John Smith. There are fascinating early maps of North and South America including a map of the entire course of the Mississippi. Also on display are books on the flora and fauna of America. There are accounts of the infamous witchcraft trials in Salem as well as books by Benjamin Franklin, Tom Paine, and President James Monroe, who made the famous declaration which became known as the Monroe Doctrine.

The English and French explorers in Canada are also included. Such famous names as Samuel de Champlain who explored the St Lawrence and discovered the great lake in the north east of America which is named after him. Also here are Henri de Tonti and Robert de la Salle who followed the course of the Mississippi and claimed the whole area for France. Other explorers were Fr Pierre de Charlevoix, who gave a fine description of Qu├ębec, and Fr Louis Hennepin, who gave the first printed description of Niagara Falls.

The books on South America describe the arrival of the Portuguese and Spanish explorers in Brazil, Peru and Chile. There are accounts of the great Amazon River and the city of Cuzco which was the centre of the Inca empire.

More information available here