The University of Miami Libraries opened a new gallery and inaugural exhibition, Open New Worlds: A Journey Through the Kislak Collection, featuring two-hundred rare books, manuscripts, maps, globes, and artifacts related to exploration of the early Americas.
The gallery celebrates the vision, passion, and generosity of collector and philanthropist Jay I. Kislak. In 2017, he presented the University of Miami Libraries with a landmark gift of rare books that constitutes the bulk of the exhibition. It includes a first edition of Christopher Columbus’ famous 1493 letter, in which his describes the New World; a 1486 edition of Ptolemy’s Cosmographia; a 1521 volume describing Cuba by Italian historian Peter Martyr d’Anghiera, who wrote the first accounts of Spanish explorations in the Caribbean and Central and South America; a 1589 volume The Principal Navigations, Voiages and Discoveries of the English Nation, by Richard Hakluyt; and a two-volume account of the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition, commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson.
RWD took full advantage of the unique exhibit material, incorporating antique maps into a tabletop interactive and creating graphics evocative of the Age of Discovery.