During the 16th and early 17th century the De Bry family published some of the greatest collections of illustrated voyages to the Americas. Considered one of the most influential and sought-after collection of voyages and maps ever published.
The images portrayed in the copper plate engravings are of the highest artistic quality and the best copper engravings of their time.
When the first accounts of Spanish, English and French exploration to South and North America began to be published in the late 1580s, De Bry became interested in producing illustrated editions of these early reports to the Americas based on first hand observations by explorers.
The narratives in the Great Voyages are drawn from Principal Navigations, collected and published by Hakluyt without illustrations (1589).
Part 1 has the first engraved map of Virginia and was the basis for most European-based maps for 80 years. Engravings of the Virginian Algonquian Indians provide an insight into daily life and local customs, artefacts, rituals, hunting, fishing and dwellings.
Contained within the 13 parts are voyages of Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, Drake, Raleigh and Cavendish. Also an account of Willem Schouten and Jacob Le Maire’s circumnavigation voyage of 1615-16 round Cape Horn.
De Bry’s work represented the first attempt to introduce to Europe on a large scale a pictorial image of the New World through the 290 engravings contained within the 13 parts
This treasure was acquired with York Gate Library 1905. Bound in Vellum, it was published Frankfurt in 13 parts from 1590-1634.
The RGSSA holds Latin editions.