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.
American country singer Frank Luther, born Francis Luther Crow (1899 – 1980), performing the folk song Barbara Allen. The earliest mention of the song can be found in a diary entry of Samuel Pepys from January 1666 while the first printed version of the song in the United States is …Continued
“Ah! fors’è lui” and “Sempre libera” from Act I of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata performed by the Spanish singer Lucrezia Bori in August 1910 for Edison Records. Verdi’s opera in 3 acts has a libretto penned by Francesco Maria Piave and is based on La Dame aux Camélias (1852), a …Continued
A recording from 1905 of one of the 19th century’s most famous opera singers Adelina Patti singing “The Last Rose of Summer“, a song based on the poem by Irish poet Thomas Moore. Although the sound quality isn’t great and her voice is past its prime (she was 62 yrs …Continued