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The Whole Booke of Psalmes collected into Englishe Metre (1584)

Sunday 27 May 2012 at 12:24


The Whole Booke of Psalmes collected into Englishe metre, by T. Sternhold, W. Whitingham, J. Hopkins, and others, conferred with the Hebrue, with apt notes to them withall; 1584; John Daye, London.

Thomas Sternhold published his first, short collection of nineteen Certayn Psalmes between mid-1547 and early 1549. In December of 1549, his posthumous Al such psalmes of Dauid as Thomas Sternehold … didde in his life time draw into English Metre was printed, containing thirty-seven psalms by Sternhold and, in a separate section at the end, seven psalms by John Hopkins. This collection was taken to the Continent with Protestant exiles during the reign of Mary Tudor, and editors in Geneva both revised the original texts and gradually added more over several editions. In 1562, the publisher John Day brought together most of the psalm versions from the Genevan editions and many new psalms by John Hopkins, Thomas Norton, and John Markant to make up The Whole Booke of Psalmes, Collected into English Meter. In addition to metrical versions of all 150 psalms, the volume included versified versions of the Apostles’ Creed, the Magnificat, and other biblical passages or Christian texts, as well as several non-scriptural versified prayers and a long section of prose prayers largely drawn from the English Forme of Prayers used in Geneva. Sternhold and Hopkins wrote almost all of their Psalms in the “common” or ballad metre. Their versions were quite widely circulated at the time; copies of the Sternhold and Hopkins psalter were bound with many editions of the Geneva Bible, and their Psalms were used in many churches. The Sternhold and Hopkins psalter was also published with music, much of it borrowed from the French Geneva Psalter. (Wikipedia)

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Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/05/27/the-whole-booke-of-psalmes-collected-into-englishe-metre-1584/


The Faerie Queene (1596)

Sunday 27 May 2012 at 11:05


The Faerie Queene – Disposed into twelue bookes, fashioning XII. morall vertues, by Edmund Spenser; 1596; William Ponsonbie, London.

Original 1596 first edition of the second part to Edmund Spenser’s epic poem The Faerie Queene – disposed into twelue bookes, fashioning XII. morall vertues – a book published, according to Spenser, to “fashion a gentleman or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline.” It is a highly allegorical tale, the adventures of several medieval knights, dragons, damsels in distress, etc., in a mythical “Faerie land” ruled by the Faerie Queene, all used to explore moral issues and what makes for a life of virtue under the reign of his ‘Queene’ Elizabeth. The language of his poetry is purposely archaic, reminiscent of earlier works such as The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer and Il Canzoniere of Francesco Petrarca, whom Spenser greatly admired. He originally indicated that he intended the poem to be twelve books long, so the version of the poem we have today is incomplete.

Read the first 3 books in Part 1 in this later (and slightly more legible!) edition from 1859.

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Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/05/27/the-faerie-queene-1596/


Scott Joplin

Friday 25 May 2012 at 15:33




Scott Joplin (1867? – 1917), “The King of Ragtime”, wrote 44 original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two operas. One of his first pieces, the Maple Leaf Rag, became ragtime’s first and most influential hit, and has been recognized as the archetypal rag. He was born into a musical African American family of laborers in Northeast Texas, and developed his musical knowledge with the help of local teachers, most notably Julius Weiss. While growing up in Texarkana he formed a vocal quartet, and taught mandolin and guitar. During the late 1880s he left his job as a laborer with the railroad, and travelled around the American South as an itinerant musician. He went to Chicago for the World’s Fair of 1893, which played a major part in making ragtime a national craze by 1897. In 1894 he moved to Sedalia, Missouri, and earned a living teaching piano and going on tour across the Southern US. During this period he taught future ragtime composers Arthur Marshall, Scott Hayden and Brun Campbell. Joplin began publishing music in 1895, and publication of his Maple Leaf Rag in 1899 brought him fame and had a profound influence on subsequent writers of ragtime. It also brought the composer a steady income for life. During his lifetime, Joplin did not reach this level of success again and frequently had financial problems. In 1901 he moved to St. Louis where he continued to compose and publish music, and regularly performed in brothels and bars in the city’s red-light district. By the time he had moved to St. Louis, Joplin may have been experiencing discoordination of the fingers, tremors, and an inability to speak clearly, as a result of having contracted syphilis. The score to his first opera, A Guest of Honor, was confiscated in 1903 with his belongings due to his non-payment of bills, and is considered lost. He continued to compose and publish music, and in 1907 moved to New York City, seeking to find a producer for a new opera. He attempted to go beyond the limitations of the musical form which made him famous, without much monetary success. His second opera, Treemonisha, was not received well at its partially staged performance in 1915. In 1916, suffering from tertiary syphilis and by consequence rapidly deteriorating health, Joplin descended into dementia. He was admitted to a mental institution in January 1917, and died there three months later at the age of 49. (Wikipedia)

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Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/05/25/scott-joplin/


Turtle Anatomy (1821)

Wednesday 23 May 2012 at 15:58

Images from Anatome Testudinis Europaeae (1819-21) by the German physician and naturalist Ludwig Heinrich Bojanus (1776–1827). Bojanus was born at Bouxwiller in Alsace and studied at Darmstadt and the University of Jena. In 1806 he became professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Vilnius, switiching to comparative anatomy in 1824. As well as his anatomy of turtles, he was also the author of several scientific discoveries, including a glandular organ in bivalvular molluscs that is now known as organ of Bojanus, and the aurochs. In 1821, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. (Wikipedia)

(All images extracted from the Biodiversity Heritage Library via the Internet Archive. A mention also to BibilOdyssey where we first came across the images).



































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Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/05/23/turtle-anatomy-1821/


Freedom Highway (1956)

Tuesday 22 May 2012 at 21:01



In this film from the Prelinger Archives, a Greyhound bus rides from San Fransisco to Washington D.C, transporting us at the same time through the landscape of American mythology (and unwavering patriotism). The cast of bus riders include: Fred Schroder who, embittered by the death of his son in Korea, is riding to Washington to accept a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor on the son’s behalf; Jimmy Rollins, a Scout, heading to Washington for his first Jamboree; Mary (a young Angie Dickinson) and Bill Roberts, a basketball star on the make; actor and country star Tex Ritter, playing himself, taking a short ride on the bus as it passes through Texas, singing about the Alamo and the “freedom road.”; and most importantly, a black-suited mysterious stranger who appears, as if from nowhere, to transform the outlook of the passengers. Greyhound Lines and America have never looked so good. Winner of the Freedoms Foundation Special Award.

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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.










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Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/05/22/freedom-highway-1956/


Fortification Theory (1600)

Thursday 17 May 2012 at 23:16

Images from Jean Errard’s Fortification Réduicte Art and Démonstrée (Paris, 1600), a seminal work in fortification theory. Errard (1554-1610) was a mathematician by training, and used his love of geometry (he made several translation of Euclid’s Elements) to develop a comprehensive theory of military fortifications. He developed a series of geometric designs, based on polygons of various kinds, which were optimised for defence. The most important of his rules stressed the reliance on infantry for defence of a fortress, who, with their potential rapid rate of fire, were better suited than the artillery, which at this period, given its enormous consumption of gunpowder, was only suitable for providing enfilade fire, not engaging in frontal action.

(All images from Deutsche Fotothek via Wikimedia Commons).



























































































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Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/05/17/fortification-theory-1600/


The Practical Magician and Ventriloquist’s Guide (1876)

Wednesday 16 May 2012 at 13:21


The Practical Magician and Ventriloquist’s Guide, a Practical Manual of Fireside Magic and Conjuring Illusions, also Containing Complete Instructions for Acquiring & Practising the Art of Ventriloquism; 1876; Hurst & Co., New York

Ex. 1. The Suffocated Victim – This was a favorite illustration of Mr. Love, the polyphonist. A large box or close cupboard is used indiscriminately, as it may be handy. The student will rap or kick the box apparently by accident. The voice will then utter a hoarse and subdued groan, apparently from the box or closet.

Student (pointing to the box with an air of astonishment) : “What is that ?
Voice: I won’t do so any more. I am nearly dead.
Student: Who are you ? How came you there ?
Voice: I only wanted to see what was going on. Let me out, do.
Student: But I don’t know who you are.
Voice: Oh yes, you do.
Student: Who are you ?
Voice: Your old schoolfellow, Tom. You know me.
Student: Why, he’s in Canada.
Voice (sharply): No he aint, he’s here; but be quick.
Student (opening the lid): Perhaps he’s come by the underground railroad ? Hallo !
Voice (not so muffled as described in direction): Now then, give us a hand.
Student (closing the lid or door sharply): No, I won’t.
Voice (as before): Have pity (Tom, or Jack, or Mr_____, as the case may be), or I shall be choked.
Student: I don’t believe you are what you say.
Voice : Why don’t you let me out and see before I am dead ?
Student {opening and shutting the lid or door and varying the voice accordingly): Dead ! not you. When did you leave Canada?
Voice: Last week. Oh ? I am choking.
Student : Shall I let him out ? {opening the door). There’s no one here.


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Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/05/16/the-practical-magician-and-ventriloquists-guide-1876/


How to Become a Magician (1882)

Wednesday 16 May 2012 at 12:48


How to Become a Magician, Containing a Grand Assortment of Magical Illusions as Performed by the Leading Magicians and Wizards of the Day; 1882; F. Tousey, New York

A grand assortment of various tricks, illusions, conjurings, deceptions and slights of hand….

The following pages are not intended to make the young reader either a cheat or a trickster; there is nothing perhaps so utterly contemptible in every-day life as trickery and deceit, and we would caution our young friends not to cultivate a love of deception, which is only allowable in such feats of amusement, because it is in fact not deception at all, when everybody expects to be puzzled, and is only left to find out the mystery the best way he can.


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Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/05/16/how-to-become-a-magician-1882/


Codex Mendoza (1542)

Monday 14 May 2012 at 20:13

The Codex Mendoza is an Aztec codex, created about twenty years after the Spanish conquest of Mexico with the intent that it be seen by Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain. It contains a history of the Aztec rulers and their conquests, a list of the tribute paid by the conquered, and a description of daily Aztec life, in traditional Aztec pictograms with Spanish explanations and commentary. It is named after Antonio de Mendoza, then the viceroy of New Spain, who may have commissioned it. After creation in Mexico City, it was sent by ship to Spain. The fleet, however, was attacked by French privateers, and the codex, along with the rest of the booty, was taken to France. There it came into the possession of André Thévet, cosmographer to King Henry II of France. Thévet wrote his name in five places on the codex, twice with the date 1553. It was later bought by the Englishman Richard Hakluyt for 20 French francs. Some time after 1616 it was passed to Samuel Purchase, then to his son, and then to John Selden. The codex was deposited into the Bodleian Library at Oxford University in 1659, 5 years after Selden’s death, where it remained in obscurity until 1831, when it was rediscovered by Viscount Kingsborough and brought to the attention of scholars. (Wikipedia)

(All images Wikimedia Commons).

Depicts the founding of Tenochtitlan, and the conquest of Colhuacan and Tenayucan.


Depicts the rule and conquests of Chimalpopoca.


Depicts the rule and conquests of Axayacatl


Depicts the rule and conquests of Ahuitzotl



Lists the tribute towns were required to pay to the Aztec empire


Lists the tribute towns were required to pay to the Aztec empire


Lists the tribute towns were required to pay to the Aztec empire


Lists the tribute towns were required to pay to the Aztec empire


Lists the tribute towns were required to pay to the Aztec empire










Depicts the palace of Motecuhzoma













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Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/05/14/codex-mendoza-1542/


Rip Van Winkle (1896)

Saturday 12 May 2012 at 12:37



The first film adaptation of Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle”, a short story about a man who awakes after a 20 year long sleep to a huge white beard on his face and a much changed world. In this footage, Joseph Jefferson, the actor most associated with the character on the 19th century stage, makes a series of short films recreating scenes from his stage adaptation.

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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.










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Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/05/12/rip-van-winkle-1896/