In the second half of the 19th century, when European colonial powers were still mapping Asian river valleys, explorers and missionaries accidentally discovered a kind of picture-writing still in use by tribes in southwest China. These tribes would be grouped under one official umbrella: Naxi.
A new map genre emerged in the 19th century: the Stream of Times-map, depicting history as a system of dividing and converging rivers. Friedrich Strass published 'Der Strom der Zeiten' in 1803, considered a first of its kind. Dutchman Johan Willem Scheele, however, designed one a century earlier.
The Special Collections of Leiden University hold the diaries of Jacques Aanstoots (1910-1912). They attract the attention of the Dutch readership for the name of the writer alone: ‘aanstoot’ means ‘offence’ in Dutch. Who was he? What did he write? And how did ‘his’ writings function?