Since its foundation in 1846, the Hakluyt Society has been centrally concerned with the publication of scholarly editions of primary records of voyages and travels. With some 370 volumes published, this remains our principal activity, while we now extend our work to conferences, lectures and the award of grants and prizes. The volumes, which are distributed to current members, are illustrated with maps and plates and are widely prized for their standards of scholarship and book production.
The Hakluyt Society is named after Richard Hakluyt (1552-1616), collector and editor of narratives of voyages and travels and other documents relating to English interests overseas, his most celebrated work being The Principal Navigations, Voyages and Discoveries of the English Nation. His name was almost certainly pronounced hak’loowt, the family having come from the forest of Clwyd in the historic county of Radnor.
“The Hakluyt Society volumes are the Gold Standard for historical eyewitness accounts of exploration and discovery, annotated in detail by first rank scholars and beautifully bound.” Dr. Jack Benson, University of Zurich.
“When I was writing The Conquest of the Incas, it was fortunate for me that Sir Clements Markham … shared my passion for Peru … . Markham translated and got Hakluyt to publish a bonanza (for me) of texts about the Incas, which were invaluable in my research.” John Henry Hemming CMG, historian and explorer.
“For more than 150 years, the Hakluyt Society’s many publications, the texts carefully edited according to modern principles and accompanied by informative maps, charts and illustrations, have constituted a matchless resource for those interested in Europe’s explorations of the outer world.” Prof. Alan Frost, FRHistS, FAHA, La Trobe University.
“I stumbled on the Society’s books in my teens. I’m still entranced with the wonder I felt then at worlds disclosed through the minds of discoverers to whom everything was strange and transforming. Each new volume enriches an eagle-eyed vision of Earth – sweeping in scope, vivid in detail.” Felipe Fernández-Armesto, University of Notre Dame.
Membership of the Hakluyt Society is open to all and is strongly recommended to everybody interested in the history of exploration and travel, exploratory voyages, geographical discovery and worldwide cultural encounter.
On payment of an annual subscription, members receive all volumes issued by the Society (other than those of the Extra Series) for the year of membership. These historically significant texts and translations, often appearing in print for the first time, are fully annotated, well illustrated with maps and plates, and conform to the highest standards of scholarship. As such they often represent the ‘last word’ on the material they embrace, and are widely valued by historians and geographers throughout the world. Normally, two volumes are published each year, representing extraordinary value for money. These books are beautifully bound and printed, and stamped in gold with the familiar ‘Victoria’ logo of the Society, and rapidly become treasured collectors’ items.
The Hakluyt Society has received the very sad news that Professor Roy Bridges passed away on 1 August 2020. Having joined the Society in 1962, he came to play a leading role in many aspects of its work and was President from 2004 to 2010. For an appreciation of his work for the Society please follow this link.
Dr Guido van Meersbergen introduces a Hakluyt Society publication project on the Norris Embassy to Mughal India, 1699-1702. Please follow this link.
The Hakluyt Society’s Annual Lecture for 2020 was given by Peter Barber under the title, ‘From Geneva to the Rigi: British images of Switzerland in texts, guidebooks and maps, 1650-1904’. To find it in our new space for videos on the website, simply follow this link.
The talk Professor Brennan was planning to give to the editorial workshop scheduled for 20 March is now available as a video by following this link. Professor Brennan’s subject is the Hakluyt Society volume he is editing on English travellers to Venice, 1450-1600.
The lecture by Carla Rahn Phillips, ‘The Struggle for the South Atlantic: Sources and Serendipity’ has been printed and distributed to members. Instructions for purchasing copies may be found here.
More news and upcoming events.
Trevor H. Levere: The Arctic Journal of Captain Henry WemyssFeilden, RA, the Naturalist on HMS Alert, 1875-1876. The first publication of the daily diary of Feilden, one of the two full-time naturalists on what was the first major British naval expedition to the high Arctic.
431 pages, 10 maps, 17 colour plates, 68 figures; including a 34-page Introduction, appendices, bibliography, indexes. The book was issued free of charge to Society members and was distributed in November / December 2019.
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For more about Hakluyt Society activities, sponsored events and news related to our fields on interest, we recommend visiting the Hakluyt Society Blog from time to time. Our posts relate to historical exploration, expeditions, navigators, voyages of discovery, nautical history, maritime history, geographical discovery, travel journals, accounts of pilgrimages, sailing ships, historical log books, topographical discovery, narratives of discovery, the history of cartography and much more. The Hakluyt Society Blog.
The Hakluyt Society website is written, maintained and updated by Raymond John Howgego FRGS (Hon. Editor Online Publications) who will be happy to answer enquiries relating to website content and the online Journal of the Hakluyt Society. These and any new material that might be of interest to members of the Society may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. For all other enquiries please go to the Contact page.