In the 15th and 16th centuries European ships set out to explore and map the planet,

bringing together populations, ideas, plants, animals, foods, flavors, scents, and worldviews.

As J. Richard Steffy used to say, ships carried people, merchandise, and ideas.

This project aims at understanding the ships of this period, how they were thought of, designed, built,

and how they changed as knowledge of the oceans and coasts of the world increased.