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.
Recording of the voice audition of Frank Lenord from around 1913, including the reading of a letter as well as a short rendition of Hamlet's 'To be or not to be' speech - all recorded on a Kinetophone. …Continued
A recording from the Library of Congress Berliner collection – the performer N.R. Wood imitates various animal sounds heard during the early morning, including sheep, cattle, cock, hens, guinea hen, turkey, hawk, crow, and other birds. Recorded in Washington, D.C. by Berliner Gramophone, 5th August 1897. Housed at: Internet Archive …Continued
In this 1927 recording made by Thomas A. Edison at the Golden Jubilee of the Phonograph ceremony, he recalls the first words he spoke into the phonograph, a recital of the “Mary Had a Little Lamb” nursery rhyme. In his writings, Edison recounts further the 1878 recording: I designed a …Continued