There have been many different approaches to studying seafaring in the past. We can look at the evidence of voyages in books written by prominent explorers or follow the maps maintained by successful prominent trading companies.
Starting at the turn of the twentieth century, U.S. and insular government offices and textile and garment businesses incorporated women of the New South and Puerto Rico into manufacturing in distinct yet interrelated ways.
Brochure for the South Carolina Inter-State and West Indian Exposition / Charleston Exposition, 1901-1902
This is the cover for a pamphlet to promote the Charleston Exposition and recruit exhibitors and attendees from along the entire U.S. Atlantic, which ran from New England to Florida to Cuba and Puerto Rico.
For a long time, historians tended to study colonial empires of the 19th and 20th centuries one colony at a time, or through the relationship of one colony to its metropole.
This ship plan from the late-19th century offers a partial view of spatial arrangements within a Messageries steamship.
This route-map of the Messageries Maritimes shipping company displays the main routes connecting metropolitan France to its empire in the Indo-Pacific. While the map dates to 1889, these routes retained their basic structure through the 1950s.
Business contract between Richard P. Waters and his Omani-Zanzibari trading partner, Esau bin Abdul Rahman
This contract represents how business was typically transacted in Zanzibar and throughout the Omani Empire.
This essay pushes back against European-dominated narratives of world history to suggest that the Omani Empire was a crucial space for the emergence of our present-day system of global capitalism.
A letter from President Andrew Jackson to the Senate where the President discusses the possibility of extending US trade. Jackson was particularly interested in the potential trade connections with areas around the Indian Ocean.
This is an ostensibly mundane document that contains a tremendous amount of information for interpreting the global dynamics of this period of history, all while peering out into the world from the tiny island of Zanzibar.