Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Columbus, Christopher (1451-1506) Epistola Christofori Colom... de insulis Indie supra Gangem.... [exploration]

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01427 Author/Creator: Columbus, Christopher (1451-1506) Place Written: Rome Type: Pamphlets Date: 1493 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: First edition, in Latin, second (corrected) issue, printed at Rome after 29 April 1493. Gothic type; 33 lines per page. Pamphlet printing letter to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain concerning his first voyage to America, the so-called Barcelona letter. The earliest printed Columbus letter, describing his discovery of the Caribbean islands of Juana and Hispaniola.

People: Columbus, Christopher, ca. 1451-1506.
Ferdinand V, King of Spain, 1452-1516.
Isabella I, Queen of Spain, 1451-1504.

Historical Era: The Americas to 1620

Keywords/Subjects: Caribbean, Frontiers and Exploration, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Maritime, Geography and Natural History

Sub Era: Native Americans Imperial Rivalries Exploration