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Synchronological Chart of Universal History Exhibit: Home

34-foot horizontal wall installation showcasing an elaborate Victorian-era timeline of "Universal" history.

Show Dates and Location

Exhibit Dates: April 10, 2010 - March 22, 2015

Exhibit Location: CSUEB University Library, Hayward Campus, Upper-Mall Elevator Lobby

Exhibit Publicity Statement

Want to Experience a Victorian View of World History Firsthand?

You can't do any better than Sebastian C. Adams' famous Synchronological Chart of Universal History!

Come to the CSUEB Hayward Campus' Library and view this 23-foot visual marvel, originally published in 1877.

The "chart" - what we today would term a "timeline" - traces human history from a specific date in 4,000 B.C. as determined by Biblical scholars of the time, and attempts to unravel the complex threads of the Old and New Testaments, before merging into a secular record of various world empires and leaders, right down to U.S. President Garfield in 1877!

The chart is compelling visually, as well as for the mind-set and underlying cultural assumptions it betrays in a critical period in world history, characterized by Imperialism and Industrialization.

Title Poster for This Exhibit

Librarian Liaison

Diana Wakimoto's picture
Diana Wakimoto
Fall Semester 2018
Feel free to email to schedule an appointment!

Note: I will be on leave starting approximately around Oct. 17th; after this time, please contact Jeffra Bussmann if you have biology research questions

Office: LI 2128
(Lower Mall of Library, walk in, turn right, & you will literally run into my office door)
Subjects:Biology, History

Background on the Chart

The volume from which this wall chart imaged is formally titled (in the Victorian style): Deacon's synchronological chart, pictorial and descriptive, of universal history : with maps of the world's great empires and a complete geological diagram of the earth.

The title plate indicates the "Maps, etc"  were "drawn by Professor Edward Hull."

Originally the famous 23-foot chart of "Universal History" was both imagined and drawn by Sebastian C. Adams, a Presbyterian missionary. He published it in many forms over a period of years, with the first edition of the Chart being published in 1877.

After Adams' death, several updates were published to include more recent historical events and people. The volume from which we have imaged the published chart represents one of these later revisions of the Chart. In this particular publication, Professor Edward Hull is credited with drawing a "Complete Geological Diagram of the Earth," but the centerpiece remains the fabulous Timeline created by Adams.

- DA


Producer: Richard Apple
Concept and Content Development: Linda Dobb, Richard Apple
Text, Poster and Graphic Design: Richard Apple
Archival Support: CSUEB Special Collections

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