Browse Exhibits (13 total)

"A Long, Troublesome, and Dangerous Passage" from England to India

The following exhibition catalogues Terry's voyage from England to India. It does not document every encounter on his journey, but instead highlights a number of encounters that give readers a glimpse into the life and times of a 17th-century Englishman. The entire journey of Edward Terry can be found in A voyage to East-India: Wherein some things are taken notice of in our passage thither, but many more in our abode there, within that rich and most spacious empire of the Great Mogol. Mix't with some parallel observations and inferences upon the storie, to profit as well as delight the reader, located in the James Ford Bell Library.

Captain Cook's Voyages of Discovery

Captain James Cook was the most prominent explorer of the late 18th century, and one of the greatest explorers of all time. His three famous voyages of discovery to the Pacific Ocean made great contributions to Western knowledge of the region, and changed the course of history.

This exhibit looks at the cultural and scientific discoveries of Cook’s voyages as illustrated by images from the collections of the Bell Library.

Celebrating Venice: On Land and Sea

In the fall of 2012, the Bell Library mounted a gallery exhibition with the same title. This online exhibit was drawn from the exhibit guide for the physical exhibition, exploring Venice from its origins as a sanctuary for refugees fleeing waves of Germanic invasions and Huns to a thriving a city state that functions as a cultural and commercial hinge between east and west.

Early Atlases and How They Shaped the World: Examples from the Bell Library

Tracing the myriad geographical discoveries that were made between the 15th and 17th centuries, the maps in early European atlases formed powerful perceptions of the newly mapped regions of the world by publicizing the most accurate geographical information shortly after it was known to explorers and scientists. This exhibit explores that history, and the achievements of six landmark atlases in shaping human perceptions of world geography, illustrated by images from the James Ford Bell Library.

Exploring the Historic Mississippi River


This exhibit examines maps and drawings of the Mississippi River and its various cultures, focusing on several of the most important explorations in the period of first contact between Europeans and Native Americans through the 19th century.

Martin Waldseemüller & the Map that Named "America"

German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller made history by carving the name "America" into wood blocks for two maps he created to illustrate new discoveries in the western Atlantic. This online component of the James Ford Bell Library's exhibition lets you explore Waldseemüller's life, works, and legacy, and understand his maps in the context of the world in which he lived.

Mary Read and Anne Bonny: Two of England's Most Notorious Pirates

Two of England's most notorious pirates happened to be women. This is their astonishing, swashbuckling, adventure-filled story.

This exhibit presented by the James Ford Bell Library.

Nagasaki Harbor, 1741: Navigating the Many Dimensions of a Map

Within the James Ford Bell Library rests folded within a thin, square wooden box sits; though the box is small, it once held a colorful, detailed cartographic depiction of a bird's-eye view of Nagasaki Harbor in the middle of the eighteenth century.  This is the story of that map.

Olaus Magnus' 16th-Century Map of Scandinavia

The Carta Marina is a fascinating map of Scandinavia from the 16th century. It was the first large-scale map of a European region. The portrayal of what we know as Scandinavia, while still not accurate by today's standards, was more accurate than on earlier maps of the period. The illustrations remain beautiful to this day.

Portolan Charts

Maps called "portolan charts" recorded the accumulated experience and wisdom of generations of Mediterranean seafarers. Portolan charts were practical, no-nonsense tools made for the use of sailors who sailed "great waters."

Ptolemy's World

Claudius Ptolemy is one of the most famous namesin the history of geography. His maps had order, logic, a sense of control in contrast to other fifteenth-century maps. Other maps of their time paled in impact by comparison.

The Correct Way to Sail from Lisbon to Calicut

From Lisbon to Calicut was translated by Alvin E. Prottengeier, with commentary and notes by John Parker, curator of the James Ford Bell Library from 1953 until his retirement in 1991. It was published in 1956 by the University of Minnesota Press; the copyright is held by the University of Minnesota.

Trade and Commerce in 17th-Century England: Proclamations

The James Ford Bell Library is home to a collection of several printed broadsides from 17th century England representing brief but critical moments that shaped many of the trade and commercial policies that influenced England’s role in the global economy and political sphere through the 17th and 18th centuries.