Theodore de Bry (1528-98), Map of Africa (1599)

"Map of Africa"; engraved by Theodore de Bry

De Bry was an engraver in Cologne who took advantage of the increased commerce in maps during the sixteenth century. His maps of the Americas were so popular that they were reprinted and adapted through the mid-seventeenth century because of their rich naturalistic and ethnographic information. This map is from a volume that describes the Congo and uses an Italian map printed in 1591 and designed by Filippo Pigafetta as its source. Whereas DeBry's images of the Americas provided a common view of other cultures and valorized present-day Europe over the customs of native culture, this map does not contain ethnographic information. The map is a remarkably accurate view of the coast and Horn of Africa although much of the interior is fictional.

Courtesy of the Department of Special Collections, Memorial Library