The Public Domain Review

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Filippo Buonanni's Harmonic Cabinet (1722)

Tuesday 13 October 2020 at 10:32

Engravings from an ambitious and beautiful attempt to catalogue, for the first time, the musical instruments of the world.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/filippo-buonanni-harmonic-cabinet


Fungi, Folklore, and Fairyland

Wednesday 7 October 2020 at 13:12

From fairy-rings to Lewis Carroll's Alice, mushrooms have long been entwined with the supernatural in art and literature. What might this say about past knowledge of hallucinogenic fungi? Mike Jay looks at early reports of mushroom-induced trips and how one species in particular became established as a stock motif of Victorian fairyland.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/essay/fungi-folklore-and-fairyland


Herbert Geddes’ “Life in Japan” Collection: Hand-Coloured Glass Transparencies of the Meiji-Era

Tuesday 6 October 2020 at 14:39

Stunning hand-colored transparencies of life in Meiji-era Japan, from the Canadian businessman Herbert Geddes’ collection, acquired in Yokohama from 1908–1918.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/herbert-geddes-life-in-japan


Charles Babbage’s Observations on Street Nuisances (1864)

Thursday 1 October 2020 at 11:39

A chapter from Charles Babbage’s The Life of a Philosopher railing against noise pollution in 19th-century London.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/observations-on-street-nuisances-charles-babbage


Kaspar Hauser’s Art (1828–1833)

Wednesday 30 September 2020 at 07:31

Artwork by the famous foundling Kaspar Hauser, ranging from pen-and-ink self-portraits to watercolour studies of fruit and flowers.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/kaspar-hauser-art


William Elliot Griffis’ Korean Fairy Tales (1922)

Tuesday 22 September 2020 at 07:21

Vivid retellings of Korean folktales by an American scholar and Protestant minister, including several stories about the sprite Tokgabi.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/korean-fairy-tales


“More Lively Counterfaits”: Experimental Imaging at the Birth of Modern Science

Thursday 17 September 2020 at 08:51

From infographics to digital renders, today's scientists have ready access to a wide array of techniques to help visually communicate their research. It wasn't always so. Gregorio Astengo explores the innovations employed in early issues of the Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions, the world's first scientific journal — new forms of image making which pushed the boundaries of 17th-century book printing.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/essay/more-lively-counterfaits


Joseph-Balthazar Sylvestre’s Alphabet Album (1843)

Wednesday 16 September 2020 at 08:44

Alphabets from across the ages, drawn and collected by the French paleographer Joseph-Balthazar Sylvestre.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/sylvestre-alphabet-album


Der Naturen Bloeme: The Flower of Nature (ca. 1350)

Thursday 10 September 2020 at 09:07

Early Dutch illuminated manuscript containing imaginative images of both real and fantastic creatures.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/jacob-van-maerlant-der-naturen-bloeme


Food Pasts, Food Futures: The Culinary History of COVID-19

Wednesday 9 September 2020 at 09:30

A criti-fictional course-syllabus from the year 2070 — a bibliographical meteor from the other side of a “Remote Revolution”.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/essay/food-pasts-food-futures