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Nominated for the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography – R. J. Howgego’s Encyclopedia of Exploration

When the Prize Jury meets in fall 2013, its members - Felix de Marez Oyens (B.H. Breslauer Foundation), David Adams (Manchester University), Jean-Marc Chatelain (Bibliothèque Nationale de France), Poul Jan Poulsen (Aldus Antikvariat), Umberto Pregliasco (Libreria Antiquaria Pregliasco), and Arnoud Gerits (A. Gerits & Son) - will look over more than 70 bio-biographical studies on a wide range of subjects. One of them is Raymond John Howgego's Encyclopedia of Exploration.
Published on 30 Aug. 2013
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The World’s Best Books about Books


During the 41st ILAB Congress, preceded by ILAB’s International Antiquarian Book Fair, both in Paris in April 2014, the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography will be awarded. This prestigious international Prize of 10.000 USD for a scholarly work in the field of bibliography is handed out every four years. Since 1967, when Jean Peeters-Fontainas received the first Prize for his outstanding “Bibliographie des impressions Espagnoles aux Pays-Bas méridionaux”, famous scholars have submitted the best books about books. Many of them have become standard works both in scientific research and in the antiquarian book trade.

When the Prize Jury meets in fall 2013, its members - Felix de Marez Oyens (B.H. Breslauer Foundation), David Adams (Manchester University), Jean-Marc Chatelain (Bibliothèque Nationale de France), Poul Jan Poulsen (Aldus Antikvariat), Umberto Pregliasco (Libreria Antiquaria Pregliasco), and Arnoud Gerits (A. Gerits & Son) - will look over more than 70 bio-biographical studies on a wide range of subjects. One of them is Raymond John Howgego’s Encyclopedia of Exploration.

Howgego's name is well-known to researchers in the field of exploration and discovery. The scholar and traveler was born in London in 1946. After graduating in physics from Nottingham University, he travelled widely through Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, India, West Africa and South America, following in the footsteps of the explorers and seeking out local sources of information. Howgego has been researching the history of travel and exploration for much of his adult life, and the Encyclopedia of Exploration is the distillation of that research. It has taken him some fifteen years to complete.

The highly-regarded Encyclopedia, published in 5 volumes between 2009 and 2013, is destined to become the standard work of reference for the history of world exploration, travel and colonization. The vast scope of the Encyclopedia makes it a work unlike any other in its combination of historical, biographical and bibliographical data. The first part covers the years up to 1800. The second part continues the history of exploration, travel and colonization through the following fifty years until 1850. The third volume covers the oceans, islands and polar regions for the period between 1850 and 1940, while the fourth volume deals with continental and land exploration during the same decades. The fifth and final part of Howgego’s Encyclopedia of Exploration deals with something unique and even more amazing: imaginary voyages and invented worlds.

Each volume includes a catalogue of all known expeditions, voyages and travels as well as biographical information on the travelers themselves, which places them in their historical context. The whole Encyclopedia contains 4500 major articles with almost 3.7 million words in more than 3660 pages – mentioning more than 15,000 names of persons or ships. Within the text itself there are more than 10,000 cross-references between articles. More than 50,000 bibliographical citations accompany the articles. In short: a massive work, as informative as interesting, thrilling and fascinating, or, as Ian Boreham pointed out in his review for the Captain Cook Society:

“WARNING: This book is addictive.”


R. J. Howgego: Encyclopedia of Exploration.


5 volumes. Potts Point (Sydney), Hordern House, 2009-2013.

>>> For more information please visit Hordern House in the internet.

16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography


>>> Click here to view the full list of submitted books

Read also


>>> Nominated for the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography - Ernst Fischer: Antiquarian Booksellers in Exile

>>> Nominated for the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography - Michael Suarez & H. R. Woudhuysen: Oxford Companion to the Book

The series will continue next week with “Ian Fleming. The Bibliography”, by J. Gilbert. (Pictures: Courtesy of Hordern House)

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