Special Collections: Africa, Asia + Oceania


The smallest, but by no means insignificant, area for collections relating to Africa, Asia and Oceania deals specifically with antiquarianism and archaeology, perhaps the earliest being a 1534 edition of Apianus’s work on north African monumental history and inscriptions, which contains  extensive and interpretive contemporary manuscript annotations—a work somewhat mirrored in Bernardo Aldrete’s 1614 treatise on the various antiquities of Iberia and north Africa.  Numerous early editions, in multiple languages, of Diodorus Siculus’s ancient Bibliotheca Historica also appear in the collections, which include seminal accounts of ancient Egypt, India, Arabia, and North Africa as well. 

Other notable titles include a first edition of the physician and historian, Nicolas Gabriel Clerc’s history of the ancient Chinese Emperor, Ta Yü (1769), which the author dedicated to the future Russian Czar, Paul I, calling upon him to emulate the ancient figure as an ideal prince whose personal virtue led to his control of vast imperial holdings.  One of the greatest monuments of early nineteenth-century chromolithography is embodied in Lepsius’s vast archaeological survey of Nubia, which is held in the Sheridan Libraries in a pristine, complete set.

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