The 18th Century Search for the Blue Nile

Natural History - ተፈጥሯዊ ታሪክ

Our project considers the role of natural history in James Bruce's journey through Ethiopia (Abyssinia) in the 1770’s, as well as the larger historical role played by natural history in 18th century Europe and beyond. James Bruce devoted the entire sixth volume of his six-volume Travels in Search of the Source of the Nile (1790), to natural history. In this volume, Bruce provided a plethora of detailed engravings of the flora, fauna, and landscapes he encountered during his expedition through East Africa. This exhibit will cover topics such as: natural history through the ages, Enlightenment debates about classification (as well as Bruce’s place within those debates), and a critical review of Bruce’s natural history agenda in East Africa.


Suzanna Mayer, Sam Gibson, Will Kibler