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.
“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
Until the discovery of an 1860 recording of “Au clair de la lune” in 2009, this haunting excerpt from Handel’s oratorio recorded in 1888 was the oldest known recorded human voice in existence. A note on the cylinder reads: “A chorus of 4000 voices recorded with phonograph over 100 yards …Continued