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Cyprus and Greek Cypriot Collections at the Library of Congress

Rare Books and Special Collections

Portuguese Travel Writing on Cyprus. Library of Congress Rare Book and Special Collections Reading Room.

The Library of Congress holds a modest number of rare materials concerning Cyprus. Some relate to the island's early Christian traditions, some bring out examples of the island's influence on Shakespearean literature, while later genres on Cyprus represent travel writings. Depicted in the picture above is a page from a 16th-century Portuguese travel guide, Itinerario de Terra Sancta e Todas suas particularidades, in which the author, Frey Pantalião Daueyro, a Catholic friar from the Order of San Francisco of the Province of  Algarues (today Algarve) talks about stopping in Nicosia, then the main city of the Kingdom of Cyprus. It is a unique example of a genre that is otherwise overwhelmingly dominated by English-language writings. The Library holds many travel books on Cyprus and the broader Eastern Mediterranean region. Below is a representative selection of works that reference Cyprus in the Rare Book and Special Collections Reading Room.

About the Rare Book & Special Collections Reading Room

The unique materials of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, now totaling over 1 million items, include books, broadsides, pamphlets, theater playbills, prints, posters, photographs, and medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. At the center is Thomas Jefferson's book collection, which was sold to Congress in 1815. The Rare Book & Special Collections Reading Room is modeled after Philadelphia's Independence Hall. This room is home to the divisional catalogs, reference collection, and reference staff. Collections are stored in temperature and humidity controlled vaults.