Online Edition Copyright © 2008-2011 EagleRidge Technologies, Inc..
Used with permission.


autoportrait of Theodor de Bry 1597, from Wikipedia

Self-portrait of Theodor de Bry from article in Wikipedia.
Click to zoom (481kb .png file; source: Wikipedia)

New! A briefe and true report of the new found land of Virginia . . . by Thomas Hariot (1588), published with illustrations by Theodore de Bry (1590) is now online.

We are delighted to present our new edition, based on the 1590 book.

This new edition is fully searchable in both the original 1590 spelling and in modern U.S. English. It does have an extra online-only Table of Contents with links to chapters and sections.

Start by clicking here for the Online Table of Contents, or scroll down to navigation links.

Our new edition of "A briefe and true report . . ." is copyright © 2008-2011 by EagleRidge Technologies, Inc., and used here with permission.

decorative design from Hariot/DeBry

Editor's notes on this new edition:

decorative design from Hariot/DeBry

Suggested citation examples:

  • Print citation of page 22:

    Hariot, T. (2008). A briefe and true report of the new found land of Virginia . . . (1590) (p. 22). (Electronic ed. 2008). Rockwood, TN: EagleRidge Technologies. (Original work published 1590). Retrieved July 2, 2009, from

  • Scholarly online citation of page XII:

    Hariot, T. (2008). A briefe and true report of the new found land of Virginia . . . (1590) (p. XII). (Electronic ed. 2008). Rockwood, TN: EagleRidge Technologies. (Original work published 1590). Retrieved July 2, 2009, from
    HTML code:
  • Informal online citation of page XII:

    Source: A briefe and true report of the new found land of Virginia . . . (1590) (2008 Electronic ed.), p. XII. Copyright © 2008-2011 EagleRidge Technologies. Used with permission.
    HTML code:
  • Short informal online citation:

    Source: A briefe and true report of the new found land of Virginia . . . (1590) (2008 Electronic ed.)
    HTML code:

decorative design from Hariot/DeBry


  • Conception, typing, scanning, digital image restoration, editing: G. Anne Sloan.
  • Database design, programming, web development, some image editing: Crystal Sloan.
  • Additional Programming: Theresa Applegate.
  • Web hosting provided by EagleRidge Technologies, Inc.

decorative design from Hariot/DeBry

Preparation of A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia by Theodor de Bry:

First of all, we wish to thank Dr. Paul Royster, University of Nebrasks at Lincoln librarian, for authorizing the use of his notes.

De Bry's illustrated edition of A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, containing engravings that were based on the watercolors of John White, was published in 1590.

Links shown in the Other links about this page section of applicable pages of this on-line edition are from a rare hand-colored edition of the book in the North Carolina Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The url to this site is This is a valuable public service by the University of North Carolina.

The preparation of A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia by Thomas Hariot and Theodore deBry, published in 1590, entailed a new approach to this work. Whereas the previous books we have placed in were written in modern English, and images were a minor part of the works, A Brief and True Report... presented an entirely new set of problems. The book is out-sized—almost fourteen and a half inches by eleven inches. It was the coffee table book of the year in 1590. The text is written in Early Modern English in a period when spelling and punctuation were not standardized.

Except for page 13 in the original (earlier English) version of the book I did not use the long s symbol (ſ). For your enjoyment in reading the old type face, I incorporated the long s on this page,

By the time I had typed the text in its original spelling, my ability to spell standard English was corrupted: I was leaving the extra 'e' on many words while typing the translation. (I first typed the Early Modern English from the original and copied it to new files and changed the words, as much as possible, to modern American English spelling, but not modern usage. It was during the translation that I made the annotations.)

The annotation of the text was interesting and I hope the reader will find its use productive. (The Internet makes available an almost unlimited amount of information.)

Most of the images of etchings were straight-forward, but several were so large that it was necessary to make multiple scans and put them together using Photoshop.

The image of the town of Secota was larger than the surface of the scanner. It was necessary to make four scans to include all of the image.

click to zoom to first scanned image of town of Secota (169.9 kb)Secota Scan 1 click to zoom to second scanned image of town of Secota (158.5 kb)Secota Scan 2
click to zoom to third scanned image of town of Secota (227.2 kb)Secota Scan 3 click to zoom to fourth scanned image of town of Secota (258.8 kb)Image Four

It was then necessary to examine the scans and decide the order in which to use the images and where it was most advantageous to crop them. In Photoshop the images were combined until the full image was available:

click to zoom to combined image of town of Secota (69.11 kb)Secota Image, Combined

Those areas nearest to the spine showed a reddish/brownish cast compared to the areas which lay flatter of the bed of the scanner. The Photoshop pattern stamp tool was used to blend these areas together. The pattern was selected from the image of the actual paper to preserve the texture of the original.

One of the most difficult images was the two-page map of the coast of Virginia. At some point in the past glue had been applied to the center of the map along the area of the spine of the book. The glue did not interfere with the visual enjoyment of the map in the book, but the scanner darkened this area in the scanned image. It was necessary to go to a 1200% magnification to find the image in this area. Also, there was one tiny piece of the paper missing at the center top of the map. Probably twenty mountains were drawn before one was produced that could possibly belong on this map. Two or three trees were copied from the map and planted at the base of the mountain. Also, the scanner did not pick up the map border well as the image is so large. I cut and pasted the border as necessary. Other than these small discrepancies the map is as scanned except for the clean-up.

To see watercolors of most of these etchings, visit the library of the University of North Carolina website. While there click on the images to enlarge them. Use your back button/arrow to return to the page. There are two pages of images: to the right of the blue bar above the images/descriptions, in tiny print are the words page 2 of 2:(<<1 2>>)::previous:next You can toggle between the two pages of images easily with the previous and next. These are well worth viewing. These images have also been linked to in the other links about this page section of each applicable page, as mentioned above.

When my daughter made a gift to me of this treasure she thought it would take a few weeks to prepare for the web. Instead it has taken approximately eight months.

— G. Anne Sloan

decorative design from Hariot/DeBry

Note 1 (from title page):

One of the frequently used printer's marks is a over a vowel, i.e., "ẽ" in "plẽty" indicates the word "plenty". This is used to indicate that the vowel has a nasal sound and that the vowel is followed either by an "n" or an "m" which has been omitted. This was an used to save space by the printer.

Included in the text is only one reference to this particular printer's mark. This mark was maintained in the original version but omitted in the modernized version.

The use of by the printer is confusing. The printer used a Roman numeral symbol for 1,000which was frequently used in the sixeenth century. This, abstracted from Wikipedia's article on Roman Numerals, is illustrative. The symbol for 1,000 is written with C|Ɔ, appearing as a capital C, a perpendicular line, followed by a backwards capital C, also known as a Latin Capital Letter Open O (Ɔ). The printer of A Brief and True Report... used this symbol plus the symbol for five hundred—a perpendicular line plus a backward capital C ()— and XC for ninety. Thus A Brief and True Report... was shown as printed in 1590.

* Scans by G. Anne Sloan; digital restorations by G. Anne Sloan with assistance from C. Sloan. Copyright © 2008-2011 by EagleRidge Technologies, Inc.