Maps illuminating 16th to 19th century explorations around the world and as far-reaching as the heavens are treasures held in Raynor Memorial Libraries Special Collections and University Archives. Maps shown:
Piscatoria et Nautica, 1685. This work by the Neapolitan Jesuit Nicola Giannattasio is considered one of the best poems on fishing and other aquatic animals from the 17th century. The poem addresses the discovery of America, Mexico, Brazil, Canada and Havana. The majority of the plates in this piece reflect scenes of navigation, including this one of an individual using what is likely an astrolabe, which was used to determine latitude and/or time, and to survey or triangulate.
La Scienza dei Cieli e dei Corpo Celsti e Loro Meravigliosa Posizione, Moto, e Grandezza, 1741. A map of the heavens is the frontispiece to this discussion by Gregorio Piccoli of the most famous systems of the universe at the time, including the Ptolemaic, Copernican and Tychonic.
This rare Leo Belgicus map is presented as the engraved title page of the Jesuit Famiano Strada’s history of the Belgian wars, 1658. The representation of the lion as a symbol of the Low Countries (the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium) had been in use for more than 100 years.
The travel narrative by Thomas Gage, published in 1721, includes this map created by Nicolas Sanson d’Abbeville, a Jesuit French cartographer and Royal Geographer to Louis XIII and Louis XIV.
This Chart of the Sandwich Islands, now known as the Hawaiian Islands, was published in 1784, and was drawn from observations made during James Cook’s discovery of the islands in 1778. The image is of Kealaekua Bay, where Cook was killed in 1784.