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Jay I. Kislak Foundation Rare Books & Manuscripts

Grollier Catalogue

Interactive Exhibit: Buccaneers of America

The Kislak Collection now housed at the Library of Congress comprises more than 1,500 rare books, historic documents and maps, a 2,000 volume reference library, and more than 400 artifacts of indigenous cultures prior to European contact.

The written record begins with the early exploration and colonization of the Americas, especially the circum-Caribbean region and Florida from the 16th century through the 18th century. Extremely rare books and original documents yield insights into the lives of important historic figures and historic events. One can find books and documents from the great age of discovery, including manuscripts of Hernando Cortés, Francisco Pizarro, Bartolomé de Las Casas and Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, conquistador of Florida, as well as seminal works by the earliest chroniclers and explorers of the New World, such as Christopher Columbus, Peter Martyr and Antonio de Herrera.

Of particular importance are the Floridiana – books, manuscripts, maps and letters related to the history of Florida from Cabeza de Vaca, Rene Laudonniere and Garcilaso de la Vega to later works of natural history by Mark Catesby, John and William Bartram and James Audubon.

Holdings also include important later works concerning United States and the Founding Fathers – George Washington's 1762 diary, and letters of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

The fields of ethnography and archaeology are also well represented and include early dictionaries of indigenous languages, travelers' tales and the first systematic description of ruined Maya cities.

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Click on thumbnails for a larger view and discussion of the image.
Christopher Columbus
(1451-1506)
De Insulis nuper in Mari Indico repertis in Carolus Verardus: Historia Baetica.
Basel: I.B. [Johann Bergman de Olpe], 1494.
PA8585.V39 H57 1494
Martin Waldseemüller
(b. 147-?-1518)
Cosmographiae Introductio
St. Die: Walter Lud, 29 August 1507.
E125.V6 W15 1507a
Hernando Cortés
(1485-1547)
Praeclara Ferdinandi Cortesii de nova maris oceani Hyspania narratio...
Nüremberg: F. Peypus, 1524
F1230 .C883 1524m
Hernando Cortés
(1485-1547)
Power of Attorney, "Tenustitan" (Mexico City)
4 July 1526
Kislak MS 0193
Hernando Cortés
(1485-1547)
Manuscript, Dowry for Montezuma's Daughter
[Original written "Temextitan" (Mexico City)
27 June 1526
copied Valladolid, ca. 1750
Kislak MS 1016
Martín Fernandez de Enciso
(d. 1525)
Suma de Geographis Q Trata de Todas las Partidas y Prouincias del Munda: En Especial de las Indias
Seville: Andres de Burgos, 1546
G113 .E5 1546
Juan Díaz
Manuscript, Itinerario del Armata del Rey Católico in India verso la Isola de Iucatan del anno M.D.XVIII. al la quale fu Presidents il Capitano Generale Johan de Grisalva: Il quale e Fecto per lo Cappellano Maggiore de dicta Armata, et Mandato a Sua Alteza
Italy, second quarter of the 16th century
Kislak MS 1018
Pietro Martire d'Anghiera
(1457-1526)
Opus Epistolarum
Florence: Michael de Eguia, 1530
D226.8.A6 A32 1530
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