Hakluyt Society books to be available as Print on Demand and ebooks

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 Ashgate Publishing has announced that hundreds of books from the Hakluyt Society Publications series will soon be available again, including many important translations of medieval texts. The publications are now being made available in a Print-on-Demand format, with ebook versions to go on sale starting in December.

The Hakluyt Society has published over 350 scholarly volumes of primary sources on the ‘Voyages and Travels’ undertaken by individuals across the world. The volumes address the geography, ethnology and natural history of all parts of the globe, covering all continents and every period over the last two thousand years.

Many of these invaluable records were previously unavailable in any printed editions. In other cases, the volumes provide English translation of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French or Dutch, along with some in Russian, Greek, Latin, Ethiopic, Chinese, Persian or Arabic. Books in the series feature numerous maps and illustrations, and all have an introduction and annotation, giving the reader scholarly guidance on the content within the context of global development and world history.

The First Series comprises 100 volumes, published between 1846 and 1899; the Second Series, published between 1899 and 2000, comprises 190 volumes. The Third Series inaugurated in 1999, has a larger book format to better display maps and illustrations.

While the publications usually focus on travel and exploration in the early modern world, many of their books cover medieval texts – they are translations of accounts of travelers or descriptions of various places.  Among the titles related to medieval history are The Travels of Ibn Battuta; Narrative of the Embassy of Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo to the Court of Timour, at Samarcand, A.D. 1403-6; The Voyages of the Venetian Brothers, Nicolò and Antonio Zeno, to the Northern Seas in the XIVth Century; and A Description of the Northern Peoples, 1555, by Olaus Magnus.

Books in the First and Second Series are now available in print-on-demand format, with the First Series available now, and all out of print titles in the Second Series available by December 2010.  Titles in the First Series will also be available in fully searchable ebook format by December 2010, followed by the Second Series in ebook format in spring 2011. Ashgate will be sellibng both versions for£35.00/$70.00 US. Please see  www.ashgate.com/hakluytpublications for more details.

Sharan Newman