The Public Domain Review

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Fore-Edge Book Paintings from the Boston Public Library

Thursday 7 June 2018 at 18:57

Wonderful examples of "fore-edge painting", where an illustration or design appears on the "fore-edge" of a book.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/fore-edge-book-paintings-from-the-boston-public-library/


Early Modern Memes: The Reuse and Recycling of Woodcuts in 17th-Century English Popular Print

Wednesday 6 June 2018 at 18:19

Expensive and laborious to produce, a single woodcut could be recycled to illustrate hundreds of different ballads, each new home imbuing the same image with often wildly diverse meanings. Katie Sisneros explores this interplay of repetition, context, and meaning, and how in it can be seen a parallel with the meme culture of today.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/2018/06/06/early-modern-memes-the-reuse-and-recycling-of-woodcuts-in-17th-century-english-popular-print/


The Bakemono Zukushi “Monster” Scroll (18th–19th century)

Tuesday 5 June 2018 at 16:09

Ghoulish array of shapeshifting monsters from Japanese folklore.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/the-bakemono-zukushi-monster-scroll-18th-19th-century/


Ernst Haeckel’s Jellyfish

Thursday 31 May 2018 at 15:54

Haeckel's stunning illustrations of medusae, in whose ethereal forms he glimpsed a reflection of his first wife, who died tragically at the age of 29.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/ernst-haeckels-jellyfish/


Mary Wollstonecraft’s Adventures in Scandinavia

Wednesday 30 May 2018 at 19:22

Letters Written during a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, the book produced after the radical philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft took her infant daughter in 1795 on an expedition through Scandinavia in search of stolen treasure.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/mary-wollstonecrafts-adventures-in-scandinavia/


The Sky: A Film Lesson in “Nature Study” (1928)

Thursday 24 May 2018 at 16:51

Short educational film on what can be seen in the night sky through a telescope, including a look at constellations, the mountains of the moon, the planets, and the sun.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/the-sky-a-film-lesson-in-nature-study-1928/


E. T. A. Hoffmann’s Strange Stories

Tuesday 22 May 2018 at 16:29

English translation of E. T. A. Hoffmann's Nachtstücke published in 1816, a collection of supernatural horror short stories including his classic The Sandman.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/e-t-a-hoffmanns-strange-stories/


Exquisite Rot: Spalted Wood and the Lost Art of Intarsia

Wednesday 16 May 2018 at 18:39

The technique of intarsia — the fitting together of pieces of intricately cut wood to make often complex images — has produced some of the most awe-inspiring pieces of Renaissance craftsmanship. Daniel Elkind explores the history of this masterful art, and how an added dash of colour arose from a most unlikely source: lumber ridden with fungus.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2018/05/16/exquisite-rot-spalted-wood-and-the-lost-art-of-intarsia/


Maps Showing California as an Island

Tuesday 15 May 2018 at 16:37

California used to be thought of as an island. This stunning collection of 17th- and 18th-century maps illustrates how.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/maps-showing-california-as-an-island/


Mnemonic Alphabet of Jacobus Publicius (1482)

Wednesday 9 May 2018 at 19:27

Illustrated alphabet, used to aid memory, in which each letter is paired with an object (in some case more than one) which echoes its shape.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/mnemonic-alphabet-of-jacobus-publicius-1482/