Hakluyt @ 400 Exhibitions and Events

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of Hakluyt's death in November 1616, in autumn 2016, we are preparing a major exhibition and series of events in collaboration with the Hakluyt Society, Bodleian Library and Museum for the History of Science. On behalf of the Hakluyt Society, the series of events is coordinated by Professor Daniel Carey (NUI, Galway), Professor Claire Jowitt (UEA) and Anthony Payne, in partnership with Dr Alexandra Franklin (Bodleian), Dr Stephen Johnston (MHS) and Dr Cristina Neagu.

As Hakluyt’s old college, Christ Church Library is a key site for this commemorative series and will make a distinctive contribution to it. His The Principall Navigations Voiages and Discoveries of the English Nation (1589) is one of the most important collections of travel writing ever published. The Library has Robert Burton's copy of the first edition with extensive marginalia annotations, as well as rare copies of works by Theodor de Bry, Sebastian Münster, Abraham Ortelius, Melchisedec Thévenot, amongst many others.

Events will start with the opening of the exhibition Hakluyt and Geography in Oxford 1550–1650. This exhibition will be launched on 14 October 2016 with a symposium at Christ Church on Renaissance scientific instruments. Professor Jim Bennett (MHS) and Dr Johnston have accepted our invitation to speak at the symposium, at which our archivist Judith Curthoys will also be speaking on Christ Church in Hakluyt’s time. The exhibition provides an exciting opportunity to showcase the Library’s exceptional materials in this area.

On 28 October 2016, a related exhibition, The World in a Book: Hakluyt and Renaissance Discovery, opened at the Bodleian Library. This exhibition launched with a lecture by Dr William Poole (New College).
We ran a series of workshops and talks on Renaissance scientific instruments by Dr Allan Chapman and Dr Stephen Johnston. We also held a two-day conference, Hakluyt and the Renaissance Discovery of the World, on 24 November at the Bodleian Library, and on 25 November at Christ Church. Twenty renowned experts on Hakluyt and early modern travel and exploration accepted an invitation to speak at the conference. The keynote speaker on 24 November was Professor Joyce Chaplin (Harvard University). At the conclusion of the event on 25 November, a free to attend public lecture, "Voyages, Traffiques, Discoveries", was given by the well-known broadcaster and historian Professor Michael Wood.