In this section of the site we bring you curated collections of images, books, audio and film, shining a light on curiosities and wonders from a wide range of online archives. With a leaning toward the surprising, the strange, and the beautiful, we hope to provide an ever-growing cabinet of curiosities for the digital age, a kind of hyperlinked Wunderkammer – an archive of materials which truly celebrates the breadth and variety of our shared cultural commons and the minds that have made it. Some of our most popular posts include visions of the future from late 19th century France, a dictionary of Victorian slang and a film showing the very talented “hand-farting” farmer of Michigan. With each post including links back to the original source we encourage you to explore these wonderful online sources for yourself. Check out our Sources page to see where we find the content.
Photographs from the personal collection of Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing (1840-1902), a German-Austrian psychiatrist, early sexologist, and author of Psychopathia Sexualis, first published in 1886. …Continued
Coloured engravings from France’s first ice-skating manual Le Vrai Patineur (The True Skater) written by Jean Garcin, a book praised in Honoré de Balzac’s Illusions Perdues. As well as the aide of eight engraved plates, four of which are featured here, the manual details many movements and poses, putting an …Continued
Illustrations from a 16th century manuscript detailing the phenomenon of Nuremberg's Schembart Carnival, (literally "bearded-mask" carnival). Beginning in 1449, the event was popular throughout the …Continued
Contrary to what many believe, Santa Claus as we know him today – sleigh riding, gift-giving, rotund and white bearded with his distinctive red suit trimmed with white fur – was not the creation of the Coca Cola Company. Although their Christmas advertising campaigns of the 1930s and 40s were …Continued