German cartographer Martin Waldseemuller’s 1507 world map was the first to name the New World as “America,” for the Italian-born explorer, Amerigo Vespucci. The Library holds the only copy of the map known to still exist.
The Library’s Geography and Map Division recently acquired a rare 18th-century carving of a Theravada Buddhist cosmography that originated in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). The Library’s John Hessler translates and explains the nine-foot-tall carving.
Joy Harjo, the first Native American to serve as the U.S. Poet Laureate, will serve a third term in the office, the Librarian of Congress announced today.
In 1619, German astronomer Johannes Kepler wrote “Harmonices Mundi” (“Harmony of the Worlds”), a book that tried to understand the mystery of the polyhedral designs of viruses. Four centuries later, the same designs are seen in the building blocks of COVID-19. The Library has copies of Kepler’s work in the Rare Books and Special Collections Division.
The Library’s Geography and Map Division has several 19th-century maps that show how malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases spread across the nation. Produced long before current map-making technology, they still show how diseases spread across the landscape.
The remarkable story of how the Japanese post-raid assessment of their attack on Pearl Harbor came to be held by the Library of Congress.