Christmas Card (NYPL Digital Gallery)
You’ve never heard of it!? It is not part of your imagination. Go ahead, look at a globe, or Google it.
The island really exists and drifts alone in the Indian Ocean uninhabited by humans until the 17th century. Unfortunately Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus do not live there and it’s not even close to the South Pole. But in the spirit of the holidays, I wanted to explore our research collections of Christmas Island from the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.
Discovered on Christmas Day in 1643, Captain William Mynors from the British East Company named the deserted island “Christmas Island.” After a series of political struggles with Great Britain, Christmas Island was declared to be part of Australia in 1957.
Today this tiny island has an estimate population of 1,500 and is home to many rare species of birds, fauns and floras waiting to be discovered. A wonderful gift for naturalists, botanists and scientists alike!
In the General Research Division, we have a collection of research books covering the history and anthropology of Christmas Island:
1. Christmas Island: An Anthropological Study by Simone Dennis. Amherst, N.Y.: Cambria Press, c2008.
2. Christmas Island, Indian Ocean: a fascinating first-hand account of life in Australia's most isolated territory by Julietta Jameson. Sydney: ABC Books, 2003.
3. Christmas Island: the early years, 1888 to 1958: historic photographs with many untold tales from the early years of Christmas Island, an isolated island in the Indian Ocean by Jan Adams, Marg Neale. Chapman, ACT: B. Neale, c1993.
4. Christmas Island Cracker: an account of the planning and execution of the British thermo-nuclear bomb tests, 1957 / Wilfrid E. Oulton.
Map of Southeast Asia & Australia
For an extensive look of NYPL's collection beyond the General Research Division, please click here! Happy Holidays!