The Public Domain Review

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Hands (1944)

Monday 8 April 2013 at 16:38

“Have you ever thought about what hands can do?”, asks the opening of this short WWII propaganda film from the U.S. Army Pictorial Service. The film is from the Prelinger Archive, housed at the Internet Archive. Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using. HELP TO KEEP US AFLOAT The Public Domain Review is a not-for-profit project and we rely on support from our readers to stay afloat. If you like what we do then please do consider making a donation. We welcome all contributions, big or small - everything helps! Become a Patron Small angel : £3.00 GBP - monthly Medium sized hero : £5.00 GBP - monthly Large emperor : £10.00 GBP - monthly Vast deity : £20.00 GBP - monthly Make a one off Donation SIGN UP TO THE NEWSLETTER Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/04/08/hands-1944/


Extracts from the Endeavour Journal of Joseph Banks (1769)

Friday 5 April 2013 at 16:02

Appointed as the expedition’s official botanist, a 25 year old Joseph Banks travelled on Captain Cook’s first great voyage to the South Pacific in 1768. After landing on the island of Tahiti, Banks was soon to become an invaluable member of the crew by virtue of the friendly relations he struck up with the islanders; a mutual trust he built up through his openness, natural curiosity and fascination with their customs and way of life. In his willingness to learn their language, eat their food, sleep in their huts, record their customs and partake in their rituals, Banks was pioneering a new kind of science – that of ethnology. As the weeks progressed his botanical observations increasingly gave way to a study of the people (“studies” that were not always at arm’s length!). His experiences in his three month stay on the island are recorded in his Endeavour Journal. The journal is unique in character, not merely in terms of its content but also, as the writer Richard Holmes comments, “for their racy style, appalling spelling and non-existent punctuation”. Below are a few choice extracts, highlighted by Richard Holmes in his (highly recommnded) The Age of Wonder – a book [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/04/05/extracts-from-the-endeavour-journal-of-joseph-banks-1769/


Joseph Banks: Portraits of a Placid Elephant

Thursday 4 April 2013 at 15:39

Patricia Fara traces the changing iconography of Joseph Banks, the English botani…

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/04/04/joseph-banks-portraits-of-a-placid-elephant/


The History of Four-footed Beasts and Serpents (1658)

Wednesday 3 April 2013 at 17:10

A selection of woodcuts from a book entitled The History of Four-Footed Beasts and Serpents, published in 1658. Most of this three-volume compilation is comprised of the zoological works of the English clergyman Edward Topsell who published several books on religion and other matters during his lifetime. A whole host of animals are represented in Topsell’s illustrations, all of which which came directly from earlier works by the Swiss physician, naturalist, and author Konrad Gesner. Amongst the usual suspects there are also more unusual mythical specimens, such as the “Hydra,” with two claws, a curled serpent’s tail, and seven small mammalian heads; the “Lamia,” with a cat-like body, hooves on the hind feet, claws on the front, and a human woman’s face and hair; and the “Mantichora,” with a lion’s body and mane, a man’s face and head of hair, and a grotesquely smiling mouth. (All images taken from the University of Houston Digital Library). HELP TO KEEP US AFLOAT The Public Domain Review is a not-for-profit project and we rely on support from our readers to stay afloat. If you like what we do then please do consider making a donation. We welcome all contributions, big or small - [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/04/03/the-history-of-four-footed-beasts-and-serpents-1658/


James Mooney’s Ghost Dance Recordings (1894)

Tuesday 2 April 2013 at 16:09

A series of recordings made by James Mooney in 1894 of different Native American Ghost Dance songs. According to the Library Of Congress notes that accompany the recordings, the performances are probably by Mooney himself and not by Native Americans. Mooney was an ethnographer and self-taught expert on American tribes through his own studies and his careful observation during long residences with different groups, specifically the Cherokee. He did major studies of Southeastern Indians, as well as those on the Great Plains. His most notable works were his ethnographic studies of the Ghost Dance after Sitting Bull’s death in 1890, a widespread 19th-century religious movement among various Native American culture groups. According to the prophet Jack Wilson (Wovoka)’s teachings, proper practice of the dance would reunite the living with the spirits of the dead and bring peace, prosperity, and unity to native peoples throughout the region. MP3 Download Part 1 / Part 2

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/04/02/james-mooneys-ghost-dance-recordings-1894/


The World Turned Upside Down (18th century)

Thursday 28 March 2013 at 15:55

A series of woodcuts from an 18th century chapbook entitled The World Turned Upside Down or The Folly of Man, Exemplified in Twelve Comical Relations upon Uncommon Subjects. As well as the amusing woodcuts showing various reversals (many revolving around the inversion of animal and human relations) there is also included a poem on the topic. The chapbook is reproduced in the wonderful Chapbooks of the Eighteenth Century (1882) edited by John Ashton, which brings together hundreds of facsimiles of 18th century chapbooks upon a huge range of subjects. All images are from the book housed at the Internet Archive, donated by University of Pittsburgh Library System. HELP TO KEEP US AFLOAT The Public Domain Review is a not-for-profit project and we rely on support from our readers to stay afloat. If you like what we do then please do consider making a donation. We welcome all contributions, big or small - everything helps! Become a Patron Small angel : £3.00 GBP - monthly Medium sized hero : £5.00 GBP - monthly Large emperor : £10.00 GBP - monthly Vast deity : £20.00 GBP - monthly Make a one off Donation SIGN UP TO THE NEWSLETTER Sign up to get [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/03/28/the-world-turned-upside-down-18th-century/


A Pack of Cavalier Playing Cards (1886)

Tuesday 26 March 2013 at 17:57

Explanatory notes of a pack of Cavalier playing cards, temp. Charles II. forming a complete political satire of the commonwealth, by Edmund Goldsmid; 1886; E. & G. Goldsmid, Edinburgh. A facsimile with explanations of a “very curious Pack of Cards” which used to belong to Lord Nelson and date from around 1660. The cards feature various satirical allusions to the politics of the time – namely the English Civil War and the following Interregnum – and, along with the explanations given, form (as the subtitle announces) “a complete political satire of the commonwealth”. The book is housed at the Internet Archive, contributed by the University of Toronto. HELP TO KEEP US AFLOAT The Public Domain Review is a not-for-profit project and we rely on support from our readers to stay afloat. If you like what we do then please do consider making a donation. We welcome all contributions, big or small - everything helps! Become a Patron Small angel : £3.00 GBP - monthly Medium sized hero : £5.00 GBP - monthly Large emperor : £10.00 GBP - monthly Vast deity : £20.00 GBP - monthly Make a one off Donation SIGN UP TO THE NEWSLETTER Sign up to get [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/03/26/a-pack-of-cavalier-playing-cards-1886/


Sketches by Yoshitoshi (1882)

Thursday 21 March 2013 at 18:08

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839–1892) is widely recognized as the last great master of Ukiyo-e, a type of Japanese woodblock printing (literally meaning “pictures of the floating world”). He is additionally regarded as one of the form’s greatest innovators. His career spanned two eras – the last years of Edo period Japan, and the first years of modern Japan following the Meiji Restoration. This series of coloured woodblock prints were produced in 1882. (Wikipedia) (All images from the series “Sketches by Yoshitoshi” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.) HELP TO KEEP US AFLOAT The Public Domain Review is a not-for-profit project and we rely on support from our readers to stay afloat. If you like what we do then please do consider making a donation. We welcome all contributions, big or small - everything helps! Become a Patron Small angel : £3.00 GBP - monthly Medium sized hero : £5.00 GBP - monthly Large emperor : £10.00 GBP - monthly Vast deity : £20.00 GBP - monthly Make a one off Donation SIGN UP TO THE NEWSLETTER Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/03/21/sketches-by-yoshitoshi-1882/


Mary Toft and Her Extraordinary Delivery of Rabbits

Wednesday 20 March 2013 at 17:18

In late 1726 much of Britain was caught up in the curious case of Mary Toft, a woman fro…

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/03/20/mary-toft-and-her-extraordinary-delivery-of-rabbits/


Phrenology Diagrams from Vaught’s Practical Character Reader (1902)

Tuesday 19 March 2013 at 16:17

Illustrations from Vaught’s Practical Character Reader, a book on phrenology by L. A. Vaught published in 1902. As he confidently states in his Preface: The purpose of this book is to acquaint all with the elements of human nature and enable them to read these elements in all men, women and children in all countries. At least fifty thousand careful examinations have been made to prove the truthfulness of the nature and location of these elements. More than a million observations have been made to confirm the examinations. Therefore, it is given the world to be depended upon. Taken in its entirety it is absolutely reliable. Its facts can be completely demonstrated by all who will take the unprejudiced pains to do so. It is ready for use. It is practical. Use it. The theory that one can ascertain a person’s character by the shape of their features is disturbing to say the least. You can see the book in its entirety, including many more diagrams, over in our post in the Texts collection. (All images taken from the book housed at the Internet Archive, contributed by the Library of Congress. Hat-tip to Pinterest user Lisa M. Finnegan.) HELP TO [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/03/19/phrenology-diagrams-from-vaughts-practical-character-reader-1902/