The John Carter Brown Library

Brown_Ptolemy31137_30_normal_R7G5B2_lower_left_riverThe John Carter Brown library in Providence holds a variety of fascinating and important objects. We imaged several items there, among which a Walseemüller map of America , the Boban Aztec Calendar Wheel written in Nahautl and Spanish on pounded fig bark (Amatl), and a medieval Ptolemy map of Africa showing the earliest representations of topographical detail of the Southern African coast. This details of this map point to a geographic knowledge of Africa that would have made maritime travel to India and the East from Europe possible at least half a century earlier than thought up to now.