The Hakluyt Society for scholarly books on voyages of discovery, history of exploration, maritime history, historical travel accounts

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.

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.

Click here to join the Hakluyt Society.

Society News & Events

Printed Edition of the 2020 Annual Lecture

An extended version of Peter Barber’s 2020 Annual Lecture, previously available as an online video, has been published by the Society as a 46-page booklet, with 16 images. The title is unchanged: ‘From Geneva to the Rigi: British Images of Switzerland in Texts, Guidebooks and Maps, 1650-1904’.

Maps and Mapping Conference

The Hakluyt Society is one of the sponsors of an online conference, 15-16 January 2021, with the theme ‘Maps and Mapping in English-speaking Countries in the 17th and 18th Centuries’. Attendance is free of charge and open to all. For the full programme please follow this link.

New Addition to the Journal of the Hakluyt Society

Tony Campbell and Captain Michael Barritt RN, ‘The Representation of Navigational Hazards: the Development of Toponymy and Symbology on Portolan Charts from the 13th Century onwards.’ Download for free.

New Publication from the Hakluyt Society

The latest publication from the Society, The Javanese Travels of Purwalelana, is now in print and is currently being distributed to members.

Video introduction to a major new project

Dr Guido van Meersbergen introduces a Hakluyt Society publication project on the Norris Embassy to Mughal India, 1699-1702. Please follow this link.

Lecture by Peter Barber online

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.

Online talk by Michael Brennan

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.

More news and upcoming events.

Latest Member Volume

The Javanese Travels of Purwalelana / A Nobleman’s Account of his Journeys across the Island of Java 1860-1875 / Translated, with an introduction and notes by Judith E. Bosnak and Frans X. Koot

The Javanese nobleman Raden Mas Arya Candranegara V (1837-85) made four journeys across his homeland between the years 1860 and 1875, travelling around 5,000 kilometres by horse and carriage, and sometimes by railway. He describes the architecture of cities and temples, and the beauty of the landscapes, as well as the latest technological developments such as steam trains and gas lanterns.

294 pages, 4 maps, 24 colour plates, 49 monochrome photographs, 5 diagrams, including a 32-page introduction, appendixes, bibliography, etc. This book is issued free of charge to Society members.

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The Hakluyt Society Blog

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 webeditor@hakluyt.com. For all other enquiries please go to the Contact page.