Virtually explore the British Library with Smarthistory as your guide
videos + essays
While this map may look like a true physical route, its maker traces a spiritual journey that mirrors a monk's route in their abbey
Surveying India with maps was a key tool for colonial and territorial acquisitions for the East India Company in the second half of the 18th century
Byzantine book illumination was at its most ambitious and innovative in the decorated psalters produced between the 9th and 11th centuries
Kathleen Maxwell describes some of the remarkable illuminated copies of the Gospels to be found in the British Library’s collections.
Eleven painted scenes in a single page.
Christine de Pizan was an author and intellectual and wasn't afraid to show the strength of women in the early 15th century.
Christine de Pizan was the first professional author and an important female role model from the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance.
De Bry's images of the Americas affirm and assert a sense of European superiority.
A luxury reserved for royals, moralized bibles paired image and text. Their commentary compared 13th-century bad guys to biblical villains.
No splashes of wine stain this luxurious book! Its 56 miniatures illustrate the story of Passover.
The “cross-carpet” pages of this early 8th-century manuscript weave together birds, knots, spirals—and the Cross.