Welcome to George Peabody Library's Wunderkammer!

From dandies in danger to the lusty dramas of educated fleas, the George Peabody Library proves that the past was indeed STRANGE! Visit us in Baltimore (don't worry, in addition to the strange things depicted here, we also have plenty of old and rare and classy books, too).

Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 9am -5pm; Friday 9-3

Address: 17 East Mount Vernon Place Baltimore, MD 21202

Phone: 410-234-4943

Libguide: http://bit.ly/g1UsTk

Email: hherr1@jhu.edu

The Smart Set was an important literary journal featuring short works by F. Scott Fitzgerald and James Joyce, amongst other 20th century literary luminaries.  And, the covers are pretty awesome, to boot! Sassy flappers whose hair embodies flaming youth, the well-heeled admiring abstract art, and the sullen masses sunk by the weight of life, literature, and wit!  We have issues of all The Smart Sets edited by H.L. Mencken, sage of Baltimore, at the Peabody Library!

Check this out!  A collection of first edition science fiction books were anonymously returned to the library after something like a 30 year absence!  So many amazing dust jackets!

Sometimes if you believe in magic, Houdini will reward you!  Seriously, we had no idea at all that this copy of Houdini’s Paper Magic (which unfortunately looks at though it has a tragic case of the bloats) contains his signature!  We now feel all fancy and magical by association!

(Leonard Leopold Mackall, for whom Houdini’s greeting was originally intended, graduated from Hopkins in 1900 and became a prominent bibliographer and book collector!)

Photographs by our undergraduate photography intern Eric Chen showcasing student life at the Sheridan Libraries!

Absolutely beautiful photographs of Hopkins libraries, including the John Work Garrett Library, the Brody Learning Commons, and the MSE Library all taken by one of our undergraduate photography interns, John Belanger!

Fore-edge Friday presents: the battle between the sloop Hartford and the ironclad Manassas, April 24, 1862.  Interestingly, this painting does not adorn a book about military history or the Civil War, but rather an 1897 printing of The Golden Treasury, a collection of English poems and songs.

Here’s a look at the George Peabody Library’s collection of books and ephemera relating to The Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in 1851. First up is a lively chromolithograph of the Crystal Palace and its grounds, showcasing boating, carriage rides, and tourists taking in the sites.

Next we have a print of “Wot is to be” : or probable results of the industry of all nations in the year ‘51 : showing what is to be exhibited, who is to exhibit it : in short, how it’s all going to be done,” a look into the inner-workings of the great exhibition. This particular print showcases inventors with their patent machines for putting down revolutions, subduing Chartism, and grinding paupers’ noses. Of course, the real star of the print is the Prize Pig, because no exhibition would be complete without impressive farm animals!

The next two images are chromolithographic prints showing the Arms of All Nations (because we all know the world is comprised of nineteen countries) and the interior of the Crystal Palace’s exhibition hall.

For a more unique view of the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace, check out the Lane’s Telescopic View! This ‘Telescopic View’ is made of printed paper and card, and is supplied in a slip-in card box. When you view the internal scene through the little peep hole in the cover, you see a three dimensional view of the inside of the Crystal Palace in 1851, and the grand opening by Queen Victoria. Cool, right?

All hail Mr. Moon Man in all his honey moon glory! Sing his song of yore about lovers spooning in his glow! He is surely a “happy chappie in the sky.”
Download your own copy here!

All hail Mr. Moon Man in all his honey moon glory! Sing his song of yore about lovers spooning in his glow! He is surely a “happy chappie in the sky.”

Download your own copy here!

Ready for some steamy summertime reading?  Then why not pour yourself a spiked lemonade, sit back, and enjoy the provocative Picturesque Botanical Plates of the New Illustration of the Sexual System of Linnaeus (1799)?  You too shall be graced with wreaths of flowers while under the books esteemed powers!

Old book burn! “This book is interesting by reason of its fore-edge painting.” Alas, the author of The World Before the Flood (1815) would probably agree.  From the book’s preface:

"The poem of The World Before the Flood is submitted to the Public with great diffidence.  The subject is unpromising; its difficulties are numerous, and the objections that might be urged against it formidable.”

Okay.  We, the diffident public, are now totally committed to reading this thing!