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.
William Penn Adair “Will” Rogers (1879–1935) was an American cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, social commentator and motion picture actor. He was one of the world’s best-known celebrities of the interwar period and by the mid-30s was internationally known as a leading political wit and top-paid Hollywood movie star. At the …Continued
Thought to be the oldest surviving recording of Thomas Edison’s voice, made in October 1888 he describes an imagined trip “around the world on the phonograph,” by Cunard steamer from New York City to Liverpool, through Europe and Asia, noting specific ships, railroads, cities, and points of interest en route. …Continued