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Visual Representations

Visual depictions of the West Indies are an excellent way to examine how outside observers perceived the Caribbean region at one moment in time. This collection is a small taste of the visual and graphical resources available in AAS’s collections.

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As the title suggests, this large volume contains pen and pencil (and therefore monochromatic) drawings of the Cuban landscape and cityscape. It also contains lengthy chapters describing travels by the author, a US citizen, around the island that resulted in each illustration.

A large, folio-bound volume from the mid-eighteenth century dedicated to the Archbishop of Canterbury, this thorough listing of the natural environment of the island of Barbados cites both previous scholarship and scripture as its sources. With large illustrated plates of both locations and species, this book robustly illustrates some of the most striking natural features of Barbados, from topography and marine life to plants and their uses.

The artist/author self-deprecatingly describes this brochure as a mere pocket-book collection of way-side pen-and-ink sketches, the chance results of idle moments. In reality, the fifty-some drawings in this volume are caricatured but energetic depictions of what an American visitor to Cuba envisioned the reality of daily life to be on that island.

The last volume of a monumental series of illustrated histories/geographies, this volume focusing on North America and the West Indies. Beginning with a geographical description and various accounts of "discovery" by Europeans, the volume provides textual and pictorial depictions of events in the history of the Americas. Though it focuses on the history of the United States, the integration of the Caribbean throughout is another reminder that the histories of the two regions were rarely distinguished between.