New Library acquisition: Delle navigationi et viaggi

Author: Tracy Bergstrom

The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections recently acquired the following item: 


Giovanni Battista Ramusio.  Delle navigationi et viaggi.  Venice, Luca-Antonio Giunta, 1554, 1583, 1606.  

This three-volume set comprises one of the earliest and most important collections of travelers’ accounts.   The content is arranged geographically, with the first volume primarily concerned with Africa and southern Asia; the second documenting Central Asia, Russia, and the Northern Seas; and the third volume devoted to America.  Accounts of Marco Polo, Niccolò Da Conti and Magellan are included as well as those of Peter Martyr, Hernán Cortes, Cabeza de Vaca, Francisco de Ulloa, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, Fray Marcos di Niza and Jacques Cartier.

The set contains more maps and illustrations than any prior anthology devoted to exploration, including the most complete map of the western hemisphere of its time.  Each volume contains several double-page woodcut maps and illustrations of local flora and fauna.