Detail of an engraving showing Saint Peter's cathedral ca. 1587

Vatican Library

But the best use of this site might be to accept it as an exhibit and encourage students to wander through it themselves, stopping where they choose, so that they discover the beauty and variety of the collection.
Detail of a page from Andreas Vealius' book Bruxellensis showing a map of major arteries

Vaulted Treasures: Historical Medical Books at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

This website features roughly 200 digitized pages drawn from more than 50 medical books published between 1493 and 1819. The website is structured as a virtual exhibit, presenting a separate page for each of 45 authors, including a brief biography of each.

Vergennes, "Memorandum against Necker" (1781)


In 1781, after the failure of two successive finance ministers, Turgot and then Necker, to reform the royal bureaucracy, and after the death of his politically astute first minister Maurepas, Louis XVI turned to a more conservative politician, Count Charles Gravier de Vergennes, to shore up his support at court and with the Parlements. Vergennes was, for several years, quite successful, partly... Read More »

Victims on Display


Meaningless violence was precisely how the Duchess of Gontaut viewed the events of July 14th, especially the murder of the military governor of the Bastille and of the mayor of Paris, whose heads were placed on pikes and paraded around the city.

Viefville des Essars, On the Emancipation of the Negroes (1790)


This project to free enslaved people in the French colonies was presented to the National Assembly. The defensive tone and rhetorical structure that emerge in the course of this document demonstrate the power of the interests opposed to even cautious steps toward emancipation.

A nineteenth century Vietnamese banknote


Some of the sections under the “Literature” and “History” categories are largely written in Vietnamese and may, therefore, be inaccessible to students. However, the vast majority of the site is in English and well worth a careful read.

View from the Top: the October Days


In this letter to a friend, Madame Elizabeth, Louis XVI’s younger sister, takes an upbeat approach to the October march on Versailles. Even though the demonstrations clearly threatened the royal family, even forcing the Queen to flee her chambers, the outpouring of support obviously swayed the princess’s views. The actions of the crowd clearly indicated their split view that allowed a rage... Read More »

Engraving of View of the Mound of Champ de la Reunion

View of the Mound of Champ de la Reunion


In this watercolor of the Festival of the Supreme Being, we see a procession that includes a woman wearing a Phrygian cap paraded past a statue of Hercules holding two smaller statues of Liberty and Equality, towards a Liberty tree, atop the hill. In the foreground, a patriotic woman explains the meaning of the spectacle to her young son, an allegory of the didactic intent of the entire... Read More »

Virginia’s Declaration of Rights (1776)


The Declaration of Rights drafted in 1776 by George Mason for the state constitution of Virginia influenced both Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. It clearly states that rights are "the basis and foundation of government." The Virginia Declaration of Rights also influenced the drafting of the Bill of Rights added to the U.S.... Read More »

A close up of the ships outside the port Santo Domingo during a pirate attack

Vistas: Visual Culture in Spanish America, 1520-1820

Students could speculate on who made the objects, who used them, and how they were used. This would give them a sense of the kind of interpretive work done by historians.