Archive for October, 2015

Pacific Voyages of Exploration

October 27, 2015

The Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages “…remains the most extensive gathering of publications that document early voyages of exploration and discovery to the Pacific.” It spans the centuries and includes land explorations as well; more than 2,000 works are in this specialized collection. If you search the above term in some large book databases, you will come up with some of the entries; see here where there are a little over 50 items listed. But do not despair, that is more a function of how these books were cataloged; maybe the designation Hill Collection…. was not made part of the metadata for the books. However, there is a way around this. By clicking on the catalog link, you are sent to a listing of the titles in the collection along with links to aggregated online book collections. Click on the title for each entry and to the right will be further links to Google Books and HathiTrust. Since I prefer HathiTrust, I used that repository. While I did not check each and every title, many of them are indeed available in digital form. (Hint: When using HathiTrust, you will find that truncating the titles helps retrieving the works in question.)

Early English Sea Law

October 19, 2015

The Black Book of the Admiralty is actually a four-volume compilation that contains a wide variety of documents that deal with the duties/office of the lord high admiral originating in the 14th century. Actually, most of this work does NOT revolve around the admiralty per se but presents maritime law from different areas such as Amalfi, Bruges, Flanders, and Jerusalem. Most of the texts are translated into English giving the reader a unique perspective into the development of maritime law in various parts of the world. Volume 4 also contains Anglo-Norman, Saxon, and Catalan glossaries, a valuable asset. An additional source of material is the two-volume Documents relating to law and custom of the sea.