Selected Special Collections
Henry Harrisse Collection
Publications, papers, and maps pertaining to the early exploration of America
Perhaps best known for Bibliotheca Americana Vetusissima, a description of over three
hundred writings on America published between 1492 and 1551, Henry Harrisse
(1829-1910) wrote extensively on Christopher and Ferdinand Columbus, John
and Sebastian Cabot, and the early voyages of American exploration. Through
his bequest, the Library of Congress acquired in 1915 his personal copies
of his publications, complete with marginal comments and interleaved notes.
In addition to over two hundred volumes, the collection preserves correspondence
pertaining to Harrisse's research, an original letter by Pietro Martire d'Anghiera,
and a manuscript (ca. 1533) describing a voyage along the northern coast
of South America.