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Who Was Tudor's Top Traveler?

Sir Francis Drake, English explorer and naval strategist, circumnavigated the globe from 1577 to 1580, during the reign of Elizabeth Tudor, who became queen of England in 1558. During these travels, Drake visited the Caribbean and the Pacific, claiming a portion of California for Queen Elizabeth and waging battles on the Spanish. His voyages revealed significant new geographical information about the New World and added greatly to Queen Elizabeth's treasury.

Sir Francis Drake Portrait of Elizabeth Regina

The Library of Congress has just released a collection online of important materials that document Drake's travels. The presentation, "The Kraus Collection of Sir Francis Drake," is available from the Global Gateway Web site.

The Kraus Collection comprises important materials related to Drake's voyages throughout the then Spanish territory of the Americas. It consists of 60 items -- 16 manuscripts, 29 books, eight maps and views, and seven medals and portraits. The materials range from 1579 to 1765.

Hans Peter Kraus, one of the foremost booksellers of the second half of the 20th century, and his wife, Hanni, assembled the collection. Born in Austria in 1907, Hans Peter Kraus exhibited a love of collecting from an early age. In 1939, during the Nazi occupation, he fled Austria for the United States. Within two weeks of his arrival in New York, Kraus met Hanni, his future wife and business partner. The couple established an antiquarian bookselling firm, H.P. Kraus Inc., in the early 1940s and did not close this legendary company until Hans Peter's death in 1988.

Hans and Hanni Kraus generously donated their collection of Drake materials to the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress in 1980.

This online presentation of "The Kraus Collection of Sir Francis Drake" joins other world history collections available on the Library of Congress' Global Gateway Web site. This Web site features the extraordinary international collections of the Library of Congress as well as those of its partners from libraries in Brazil, Spain, the Netherlands and Russia. This site also makes available such rare items as "The Lewis Carroll Scrapbook" and "Selections from the Naxi Manuscript Collection," which documents ceremonial writings of the Naxi people of China, who write using the only living pictographic language in the world.


A. Jodocus Hondius(?), creator. Franciscus Draeck Nobilissimus Eques Angliae An° Aet Sue 43, ca. 1583. Engraved portrait. Rare Book and Special Collections Division. Call No.: 84233428 DA86.22.D7 H66 1583. Reproduction information:

B. Henry Holland, creator. Heroo_ologia Anglica, hoc est clarissimorvm et doctissimorvm aliqovt [sic] Anglorvm qvi florvervnt ab anno Cristi M.D. vsq' ad presentem annvm M.D.C.XX viuae effigies vitae et elogia, authore H.H., [1620]. [Portrait of Elizabeth Regina]. Rare Book and Special Collections Division. Call No.: CT780 .H6. Reproduction information:

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