The notebook contains pencil or ink notes written between June 1824 and early 1825. In it, Taunay describes excursions he made around the city of Rio de Janeiro. In particular, a trip he took to the mountainous region of Morro Queimado on the way to the mines of Cantagalo, an area where a colony of Swiss producers had settled, the village of Nova Friburgo.
The writings reveal a wide range of interests, from the lives of the inhabitants to the cultural traits of the Swiss settlers who had recently arrived in the region. In addition, the notebook includes jokes, observations of the wildlife, local customs, landscapes drawn in pencil (unfortunately erased). It also displays the author’s knowledge of English and Latin.
The notebook’s content is an important evidence of the complex networks between foreign travelers, nature and the Brazilian society in the 19th century. It also contributes to a deeper understanding of the conceptions and prejudices from which the exuberance of flora and fauna, the diverse society and its inhabitants, as well as the territory were apprehended and exposed, both in writing and through visual narratives.