This online version of the Treasures of the Americas exhibit, which has been on display in the Richter Library since June of 2008, presents a selection of rare and unique materials documenting North and South America and the Caribbean. The items highlighted include rare books, maps, correspondence, diaries and journals, architectural drawings, photographs, paintings and sculpture from the University of Miami Libraries' Special Collections Department.

The Special Collections Department is a notable repository for works on the discovery of the New World, the history and culture of the Caribbean basin, the exploration and development of Florida, and the art and literature of the Americas. The department houses more than 50,000 rare books, hundreds of manuscript and archival collections, thousands of maps, and significant holdings of photographs, oral histories, and other fascinating materials, including original art work.

The rich histories behind each item on display are part of their enduring allure. The history embedded in the swirl of John Hancock's signature, the frustrated complaints of a soldier fighting in the Seminole Indian War, vintage photographs of early white settlers of Florida and the beguilingly intricate and abstruse interpretation by an Italian artist of an Indian counting system are both fascinating to view and provide inspiration for further research for scholars and amateur historians alike.

The online exhibit provides high-resolution scans and photographs of the materials along with a description. The materials are grouped into three categories. To view items, click on the thumbnail images in the scrollbar that corresponds to the categories. Images can enlarge up to 1280 pixels, depending on monitor resolution.