The Public Domain Review

This is just an automatic copy of Public Domain Review blog.

The Expressions of Emotion in the Pigeons (1909–11)

Thursday 30 April 2020 at 07:27

Article about the emotional life of the passenger pigeon, including musical notation of its songs, kahs, and coos.


“Invisible Little Worms”: Athanasius Kircher’s Study of the Plague

Wednesday 22 April 2020 at 09:24

Living through the devastating Italian plague of 1656, the great polymath Athanasius Kircher turned his ever-enquiring mind to the then mysterious disease, becoming possibly the first to view infected blood through a microscope. While his subsequent theories of spontaneous generation and "universal sperm" were easily debunked, Kircher's investigation can be seen as an important early step to understanding contagion, and perhaps even the very first articulation of germ theory. John Glassie explores.


Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s Bed Series: An Intimate Look Behind the Scenes at a Paris Brothel (1890s)

Tuesday 21 April 2020 at 08:30

A series of depictions of prostitutes, likely lesbian couples, drawn and painted in a Paris brothel during the Belle Époque.


Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron (ca. 1353)

Wednesday 15 April 2020 at 08:06

A masterpiece of early Italian prose, in which 100 tales are told by a group of young people in self-quarantine during the plague of Florence in 1349.


Studies on Twilight Phenomena, after Krakatoa (1888)

Thursday 9 April 2020 at 16:56

Wonderful series of images by Eduard Pechuël-Loesche documenting the strange skies following the Krakatoa eruption.


Public Domain Backgrounds for Zoom

Wednesday 8 April 2020 at 14:38

Collection of 15 images to liven up your video chats and conferences.


Eastern Sports and Western Bodies: The “Indian Club” in the United States

Wednesday 1 April 2020 at 13:42

Although largely forgotten today, exercise by club swinging was all the rage in the 19th century. Daniel Elkind explores the rise of the phenomenon in the US, and how such efforts to keep trim and build muscle were inextricably entwined with the history of colonialism, immigration, and capitalist culture.


Announcing the PDR Colouring Book! Free to Download and Print Off at Home

Tuesday 31 March 2020 at 18:03

We made you a colouring book to help you through these strange times, featuring works by Hokusai, Albrecht Dürer, Virginia Frances Sterrett, and Aubrey Beardsley.


Coronavirus Update

Monday 30 March 2020 at 17:02

Quick update as to how the coronavirus crisis is impacting The Public Domain Review.


London's Dreadful Visitation: A Year of Weekly Death Statistics during the Great Plague (1665)

Thursday 26 March 2020 at 10:25

Bills of mortality for the year 1665 in London, recording the number of plague dead, as well as other causes of mortality.