Theodorus de Bry created a large number of engraved illustrations for his books. Most of his books were based on first-hand observations by explorers, even if De Bry himself, acting as a recorder of information, never visited the Americas. To modern eyes, many of the illustrations seem formal but detailed.
In 1590 Theodorus de Bry and his sons published a new, illustrated edition of Thomas Harriot's A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia about the first English settlements in North America (in modern-day North Carolina). His illustrations were based on the watercolor paintings of colonist John White.In 1591, de Bry published a book about the first French attempts to colonize Florida. It had accounts of Jean Ribault and René de Laudonnière about the attempt to found the French colony of Fort Caroline and 43 illustrations based on paintings of Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, one of the few survivors of Fort Caroline. Jacques de Moyne had planned to publish his account of his expeditions but died 1587.
de Bry made adjustments to both the texts and the illustrations of the original accounts, on the one hand in function of his own understanding of Le Moyne's paintings, and, most importantly, to please potential buyers. Many illustrations depict day-to-day life of the American natives.