Childhood headshot of Laura Jernegan

Laura Jernegan: Girl on a Whale Ship

Laura Jernegan: Girl on a Whale Ship is useful for those seeking primary source material on the myriad of subjects with which Laura Jernegan's young life intersected and to students wishing to learn more about the whaling industry and the adventures of a young girl and her family aboard a whaling ship.
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu


The following are excerpts from the letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762), a noted English essayist and one of the earliest advocates of women’s rights. She is perhaps best known for her letters from Constantinople, which she wrote to various friends and family members while living abroad with her husband, Lord Edward Wortley Montagu, the British Ambassador to the Ottoman court from... Read More »

Detail: 1592 letter to Don Pedro Verastigui

Letters of Philip II, King of Spain, 1592-1597

The letters, grouped by the year in which they were written, are offered in a clear, readable facsimile.
Black text reading Livingstone Online in large font, followed by the subheading illuminating imperial exploration. The background is a litograph of a steamboat on a river.

Livingstone Online

While the site is primarily dedicated to digitising the famed British explorer’s works, Livingstone Online is far more than a mere repository of primary sources.
Thumbnail image of The Secret of England's Greatness painting.

Long Teaching Module: Women in the British Empire, 1800-2000


This module will help students explore the importance of women—both British women and women from British colonies—to the British Empire, as well as their importance in developing an understanding of Britain as an imperial power to a domestic audience at home. As a result, these materials provide some insight into the ways in which concepts of racial purity and proper gender roles bounded the... Read More »

Title page of witch hunter manual, Malleus Maleficarum

Long Teaching Module: Women in the Early Modern World, 1500-1800


Talking about an “early modern world” allows us to investigate the interconnectedness of world cultures, as opposed to their isolation. In fact, the period between 1400 and 1800 was characterized by the advent of the Age of Exploration, which made encounters between cultures almost inevitable, even when some areas (most notably, China) turned inwards and shunned international interactions.... Read More »

Thumbnail of the king's flight

Louis XVI Stopt in his Flight at Varennes


This romantic English painting of the King’s flight suggests only a few feet separated the King from escape.

Map of the Union Pacific Railway

Map of the Union Pacific Railway


This 19th century map illustrating the many places one could travel on the Union Pacific Railway is the product of a multitude of choices made by the mapmaker. As a product for, and advertisement of, the Union Pacific Railroad, it obviously only depicts that one railway to the neglect of all of the others that were beginning to be built in the late 19th century. Additionally, one can see the "... Read More »



The map is one of the oldest forms of nonverbal communication. Humans were probably drawing maps before they were writing texts. Mapmaking may even predate formal language. As far as historians and geographers can determine, every culture in every part of the world uses and makes maps. This deep lineage reflects the descriptive usefulness of a map—a map is one of the best proofs that a “... Read More »

Marshall Island Stick Chart, ca. 19th century.

Marshall Islands Stick Charts


The Marshall Island stick charts represent a unique and non-Western tradition of mapmaking. Whereas Western maps generally attempt to capture and visualize distance and space, the charts of the Marshallese dwelt not just on general direction, with shells representing nearby islands, but, more importantly, ocean currents and swell movements. This information was crucial in a region where water... Read More »