Books, maps, and manuscripts in the James Ford Bell Library chronicle the development of global trade, particularly in the early modern period, ca. 1350-ca.1800. It was during this period that the desire to obtain goods that they could not produce at home lured Europeans to far distant lands in search of these products and the raw materials with which to manufacture them. In some regions, Europeans entered into trade networks that had existed for centuries; in other parts of the world they created new trade networks and established colonies. A worldwide trading system resulted.

The trade products listed below are linked to short papers—illustrated with images from the James Ford Bell Library—that were contributed by graduate and advanced undergraduate students in the Expansion of Europe Seminar. We hope you will enjoy learning about these products, as we have.

Chinese Silk Production From Du Halde, Description geographique, l'empire de la Chine... Paris, 1735