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Image of a compass taken on the Burke and Wills expedition

Burke and Wills – Terra Incognita

Review
Supplementary material is easy to follow and fairly extensive... Information is included on the background to the expedition, its historical context, biographies of those involved, the preparation for and events of the expedition, and its aftermath.
Thumbnail of a photo of women working in a factoryThere is also a great deal of material on the foundation of female education and on the women’s suffrage movement.

Canadian Women's History

Review
There is also a great deal of material on the foundation of female education and on the women’s suffrage movement.
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Cultural Contact in Southern Africa: Letters, Johanna Maria van Riebeeck

Source

Johanna Maria van Riebeeck (1679-1759) was from an elite family in the Dutch colonial network. She was the granddaughter of Jan van Riebeeck, first Dutch Commander at the Cape, who went on to hold important posts in the Dutch government in Batavia (Indonesia), and the daughter of Abraham van Riebeeck, Governor-General of Batavia. She made three advantageous marriages, and died a very wealthy... Read More »

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Early Modern Period: Autobiography, Bahina Bai

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This selection comes from the autobiography of Bahina Bai (1628-1700), a Hindu poetess. Most of what we know about Bahina comes from her own writings, where she tells her life story. Born into a family of the Brahmin—or priestly—caste, she was married at the age of five to a widowed thirty-year-old priest, in keeping with the practices of the time. From the age of nine, Bahina traveled... Read More »

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Early Modern Period: Fiction, Gargantua and Pantagruel

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The following passage comes from one of the most famous literary works of early modern Europe: François Rabelais’s Gargantua and Pantagruel, first published in four volumes between 1532 and 1552. A satirical chronicle of the journey through France of the giant Gargantua and his son, Pantagruel, the story’s intended audience was the French aristocracy, the educated elite upon whose patronage... Read More »

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Early Modern Period: Nonfiction, Jesuit Relations

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This excerpt comes from a 1639 letter written by Mother Marie de Saint Joseph, a French Ursuline nun in Canada. The letter is part of the Jesuit Relations, a collection of official yearly reports on the progress of Catholic missionary efforts based on the first-hand accounts of field missionaries. Published for 41 years beginning in 1632, the Relations offer a glimpse into European-Native... Read More »

The gate to the second courtyard at Xihuang Si (Xihuang Temple) 西黃寺. The tip of the stupa is slightly visible over the top of the gate.

East Asian Collection

Review
Students could be encouraged to probe the social, religious, cultural, and geographic diversity of China in the early 1900s as well as the impact of momentous events upon different regions and social groups.
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Excerpt from Ibn Battuta's Travels in Asia and Africa 1325-1354

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The following excerpt focuses on Ibn Battuta (1304-1369), a Moroccan Berber scholar and explorer, who traveled extensively in Central Asia, China, northern and eastern Africa, as well as the Mediterranean for much of his adult life. While the details of some of his diaries may exaggerate what he saw and experienced, they do give an interesting portrayal of customs in the places in which he... Read More »

A Journal of Captain Cook's Last Voyage to the Pacific Ocean thumbnail image

Excerpt from Ledyard's Journal

Source

This is an excerpt from John Ledyard’s journal of his travels along the North American coast in the late 18th century. Ledyard, born a British subject, became an American citizen after Independence. He traveled with the British explorer Captain Cook to Alaska, Siberia, and the Pacific Islands. Along the way he encountered many cultures—indigenous and Russian—and left behind an entertaining... Read More »

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Excerpt from the Memoirs of Ma Huan

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The following excerpt is from the memoir of Ma Huan (1380-1460), a Chinese Muslim voyager and translator, who accompanied Admiral Zheng He on three of his seven voyages. The excerpt focuses on their journey in Calicut (modern day Kozhikode, India) in the 1430s and highlights on aspects of their experiences there. In this excerpt Ma Huan describes the cultural and religious practices of the... Read More »

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