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"Two Hundred Years Before the Mast" highlights sea voyages of exploration, adventure, and enterprise in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as the second phase of sea travel following the two centuries of exploration after Columbus. Through published accounts and reports; printed and manuscript journals, logs, and memoirs; maps and charts; scientific and historical treatises; and fictional narratives, materials on display reflect various aspects of sea voyages and their impact on contemporary western society between 1700 and 1900, including collections of voyage accounts that preserved and interpreted documents relating to historical and contemporary sea explorations; voyages around the world; exploration of an arctic passage to the East; voyages to the south seas; scientific expeditions; narratives of personal adventure on the high seas; and fictional accounts and literary works inspired by contemporary sea voyages. Together these materials illustrate that three and four centuries after the opening of the age of exploration, navigators and sailors continued to earn their discoveries on the ocean frontier "before the mast."

This exhibition was on display in the Special Collections Gallery from February 24-July 31, 1992.

Tags: Ocean travel; Travel writing; Ships--History