Copperplates of the Americas

Book of curiosities

This Treasure is paired with: Book of curiosities (New worlds)

A set of printing plates brought to light in the Bodleian in the 1980s poses something of a mystery. They are perhaps those to which William Byrd asked the naturalist Mark Catesby in 1737 to add figures of plants and animals, for his Journal on American history. The maps were engraved first by an unidentified hand, the flora and fauna etched afterwards. The book was never completed or published. The Bodleian made sets of prints from the surviving 7 (of 11) plates.

This Treasure isn’t currently on display in the Weston Library.