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Hakluyt Society (16th-19th century)

The Hakluyt Society was founded in 1846 by a group of eminent scientists and historians, including the geologist Sir Roderick Impey Murchison and the geographer and historian William Desborough Cooley. It was named after the Elizabethan historian and expansionist Richard Hakluyt the Younger, a celebrated collector and editor of narratives of voyages and travels and other documents relating to English interests overseas. 

The aim of the Society was to publish rare accounts of voyages, travels and geographical records dating from any period prior to William Dampier’s circumnavigation, that is, before the end of the 17th century. The scope was later broadened to include material from a later period. Many of the Society's early volumes relate to British ventures, with documentary sources in English.  Later publications concern non-British enterprises and are English translations of texts in languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French Greek, Chinese, Persian or Arabic. All editions contain scholarly annotation which provides assistance in the understanding of the material presented, and offers guidance on the relevance of the material within the context of global development and world history.