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Exploring the Early Americas

The Jay I. Kislak Collection at the Library of Congress contains over 3000 rare maps, documents, paintings, and other artifacts that span hundreds of years. Recently, the Library of Congress created this very engaging online exhibition in order to provide the general public with access to a selection of these documents. As the site notes, the collection "provides insight into indigenous cultures, the drama of the encounters between Native Americans and European explorers and settlers, and the pivotal changes caused by the meeting of the American and European worlds." The online materials are divided into three sections: "Pre-Contact America", "Explorations and Encounters", and "Aftermath of the Encounter". Some of the objects included throughout these sections include a Mayan jaguar sculpture and a hand-colored engraving detailing the route of Sir France Drake from the late 16th century. Finally, the "Interactives" area includes a complete version of the classic work "The Buccaneers of America" and the famed 1507 and 1516 world maps by Martin Waldseem'ller.
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