For C16 historians: Thomas Harriot lecture at Oriel College, 5pm, 31 May

‘The whole earth, a present for a Prince’: Molyneux’s English globes and the creation of a global vision in Harriot’s time

Thursday 31 May 2012 at 5pm in The Champneys Room, Oriel College

by Dr Lesley B Cormack, Professor of History and Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta

After the lecture, it will also be possible to visit an exhibition of books related to 16th-century navigation and map-making in the college’s Senior Library.

See also the accompanying online exhibition with maps and other illustrations


Portrait believed to be of Thomas Harriot from Trinity College, Oxford. A copy hangs in Oriel College Hall.

Who was Thomas Harriot?

(taken from the Oriel College, Oxford website)

“Thomas Harriot, mathematician and natural philosopher, was born in Oxfordshire; matriculated at Oxford in 1577 as a member of St Mary Hall (which united with Oriel College in 1902), and was awarded a BA degree at Easter 1580.

Harriot developed the skills of astronomical navigation, and was employed by Sir Walter Ralegh (another member of Oriel) to teach Ralegh and his sea captains about navigation and prepare him for his journey to establish a settlement in America, although in the end, Ralegh himself was not part of that expedition.” more

Related exhibitions

The Renaissance in Astronomy: books, globes and instruments of the 16th century, Museum of the History of Science, Oxford

Database trials until 31/1/11: Early European Books and The Cecil Papers

Oxford users now have trial access to two databases until 31 January 2011:

Early European Books – now with Part 2 (Italian imprints):

Early European Books builds upon and complements Early English Books Online (EEBO) and is largely concerned with providing online access to non-Anglophone early printed materials. It offers scholars new ways of accessing and exploring the printed record of early modern Europe, drawing together a diverse array of printed sources from the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. All works printed in Europe before 1701, regardless of language, fall within the scope of the project, together with all pre-1701 works in European languages printed further afield.

The Cecil Papers

The Cecil Papers is a collection of documents, principally from the reigns of Elizabethan I and James I/VI, privately held by the Gascoyne-Cecil family at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. Until now, researchers of Elizabethan & Jacobean history have only been able to view these papers by applying to visit the archives at Hatfield House or by consulting a pair of aging and increasingly-degraded black & white microfilm copies. Now, these documents are available digitally. The resource contains nearly 30,000 documents gathered by William Cecil (1521-98), Lord Burghley and his son Robert Cecil (1563-1612), First Earl of Salisbury. Occupying some of the highest offices of state in the land (both men were Secretary of State to Elizabeth I and Robert Cecil also served her successor, James), these two men were at the heart of events during one of the most dynamic periods in Western history.

Please send feedback to Isabel Holowaty (  Note that there is currently no funding for either of these. However, we will use your feedback to help prioritise the desiderata list.

DigiDocs update 8: Document Pack for Government, Politics and Society in England, 1547–1558 now available

The following document pack  is now electronically available for Oxford History students on the HFL Weblearn site.

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