John Harris (ca. 1667-1719). Navigantium atque Itinerantium Bibliotheca. Or, A Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels. Consisting of Above Six Hundred of the Most Authentic Writers. Originally Published by John Harris. Now Carefully Revised. 2d ed. 2 vols. London: Printed for T. Woodward et al., 1744-1748.The government of Virginia probably acquired the two-volume second edition of John Harris's Navigantium atque Itinerantium Bibliotheca sometime during the 1750s, in all probability before the editor, John Campbell (1708-1775), published a second revised edition in 1764. Harris, an impecunious clergyman and amateur naturalist, first published the work in London in 1705. The Library's copy of volume two of the first revised edition still wears the distinctive bookplate of the colonial Council. Both volumes were in the library of the governor's Council in the Capitol in Williamsburg until the government moved to Richmond in 1780. They were listed in the first published catalog of the State Library, printed in 1828.
The engraving of a right whale, a finback whale, a narwhal, and a walrus, together with a whaling scene, illustrates a lengthy section on the Arctic. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, compilations of accounts of voyages of discovery were often found in learned men's libraries and in the libraries of educational institutions and provided a wide variety of useful information on numerous places, their cultures, and natural resources.