The Public Domain Review

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Redressing the Balance: Levinus Vincent’s Wonder Theatre of Nature

Wednesday 20 August 2014 at 17:26

Bert van de Roemer explores the curiosity cabinets of the Dutch collector Levinus Vincent and how the aesthetic drive behind his meticulous ordering of the contents was in essence religious, an attempt to emphasise the wonder of God's creations by restoring the natural world to its prelapsarian harmony.


The Expositor, or Many Mysteries Unravelled – including that of the Learned Pig (1805)

Tuesday 19 August 2014 at 13:53

A wonderful book amounting to something akin to an early 19th-century version of the Masked Magician, in which the reality behind various tricks and illusions of the day are exposed, including that of the Learned Pig.


Highlights from Folger Shakespeare Library’s Release of almost 80,000 Images

Wednesday 13 August 2014 at 19:01

Highlights from the Folger Shakespeare Library's Digital Image Collection, released now under a Creative Commons Share-Alike license.


The London Guide and Stranger’s Safeguard against the Cheats, Swindlers, and Pickpockets (1819)

Tuesday 12 August 2014 at 18:23

A comprehensive guide to help the unwitting visitor avoid falling victim to the various and nefarious crimes abound in early 19th-century London.


Jack and the Beanstalk (1902)

Thursday 7 August 2014 at 17:34

A short adaptation in nine scenes from the Edison Manufacturing Company of the popular fairytale "Jack and the Beanstalk", directed by George S. Fleming and Edwin S. Porter and starring Thomas White as Jack.


“O, Excellent Air Bag”: Humphry Davy and Nitrous Oxide

Wednesday 6 August 2014 at 18:53

The summer of 1799 saw a new fad take hold in one remarkable circle of British society: the inhalation of "Laughing Gas". The overseer and pioneer of these experiments was a young Humphry Davy, future President of the Royal Society. Mike Jay explores how Davy's extreme and near-fatal regime of self-experimentation with the gas not only marked a new era in the history of science but a turn toward the philosophical and literary romanticism of the century to come.


Cabinet Card Photographs from the Harvard Theatre Collection

Tuesday 5 August 2014 at 16:16

HOUGHTON LIBRARY, HARVARD UNIVERISTY - John Overholt shines a spotlight on a few examples from the eclectic lot of cabinet card photographs found in the Harvard Theatre Collection, a series of images which are currently making their way onto Wikimedia Commons courtesy of the Wikipedian in Residence scheme.


Made in the Trenches: a WW1 Magazine Created by Soldiers (1916)

Thursday 31 July 2014 at 18:14

A magazine-style book created in 1916 and composed entirely of articles and sketches contributed by British soldiers fighting on the front lines - an eclectic mix of stories, poems, cartoons and, littered at regular intervals throughout, a comic series of encyclopaedic entries for military terms.


Adriaen Coenen’s Fish Book (1580)

Tuesday 29 July 2014 at 17:25

Selected double-page spreads from Adriaen Coenen's exquisite Visboek (Fish Book), an epic 800 page tome on all things fish and fish-related. Coenen began work on this unique book in 1577, at the age of 63, and in three years gathered an unprecedented amount of information on the sea and its coasts, coastal waters, fishing grounds and marine animals.


John Wanamaker recounts a Leo Tolstoy anecdote (1908)

Thursday 24 July 2014 at 15:54

Recording of the U.S. merchant, religious leader, and politician, John Wanamaker, recounting an anecdote of Leo Tolstoy, the man he banned as U.S. Postmaster General 18 years prior.