Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Finding Greenland in America

Title page of Relation Du GroenlandSomething compelled us to take a look in our famed Stefansson Collection on Polar Exploration for something cool related to Greenland. The oldest book devoted to Greenland that we have was published in Paris in 1647. Relation Du Groenland is pocket sized and our copy is still in its original limp vellum binding. It appears to be a compendium of just about everything that was known about Greenland at the time by southerners, which wasn't a whole lot. The topography, glaciers, and flora and fauna of some of the coastal regions are all described. Typical of the unenlightened time, the peoples living there are described as "Savvages Groenlendois," and seem to be treated as curiosities. The person who wrote the book had a clear interest, but just didn't have all of the facts straight.

Map of coast of Greenland showing it connected to North America
We were particularly intrigued by the map that shows Greenland connected to America just north of Hudson Bay. Weird.

Take a look by asking for Stef G740.L31.

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