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

Happy Mardi Gras from Hopkins’ very own Lester Levy Collection of Sheet Music!

Happy Mardi Gras from Hopkins’ very own Lester Levy Collection of Sheet Music!

GPL Presents: Love Letter Advice from the Past!
Though today it would be rather creepy to receive, say, an email or a tweet requesting a lock of hair, it used to be the height of romance!  So popular indeed was the amputation of hair in the pursuit of love that stock letters were created for the terse of word!
From: Frost’s Original Letter Writer (1867)
Call No.: 808.6 F9296 1867Location: George Peabody Library

GPL Presents: Love Letter Advice from the Past!

Though today it would be rather creepy to receive, say, an email or a tweet requesting a lock of hair, it used to be the height of romance! So popular indeed was the amputation of hair in the pursuit of love that stock letters were created for the terse of word!

From: Frost’s Original Letter Writer (1867)

Call No.: 808.6 F9296 1867
Location: George Peabody Library

The Peabody Library has 4 photographs depicting the aftermath of the  Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 (for those of you who aren’t from  Baltimore, the fire started on February 7 and destroyed over 1,500  buildings).  Shown here is a photograph depicting the intersection of  Pratt and Gay streets following the disaster.
Want to learn more about the fire?  Check out this cool interactive feature produced by the Maryland Digital Cultural Heritage Project.

The Peabody Library has 4 photographs depicting the aftermath of the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 (for those of you who aren’t from Baltimore, the fire started on February 7 and destroyed over 1,500 buildings).  Shown here is a photograph depicting the intersection of Pratt and Gay streets following the disaster.

Want to learn more about the fire?  Check out this cool interactive feature produced by the Maryland Digital Cultural Heritage Project.

Looking for a Personalized Gift for Your Victorian Paramour?
Then why not purchase Leaflets of Memory (1846), an example of the Victorian gift book.  Gift books were kind of like early coffee table books.  They are chock full of illustrations and poems and stories of dubious literary merit. They were meant to be displayed and cherished. 
Our copy of Leaflets of Memory is rather boss as it is inscribed to “La Belle Marguarite” from the Doctor who “hopes to have a page” in her life.  Hot stuff in deed.  Do you think Marguarite had to loosen her corset upon reading the dedication?  Did the mysterious Doctor encounter Marguarite whilst taking a Tardis joyride to 19th century America?  The world wants to know, gosh darnit!
Call No.: 818 .L434
Posted by Heidi Herr

Looking for a Personalized Gift for Your Victorian Paramour?

Then why not purchase Leaflets of Memory (1846), an example of the Victorian gift book.  Gift books were kind of like early coffee table books.  They are chock full of illustrations and poems and stories of dubious literary merit. They were meant to be displayed and cherished. 

Our copy of Leaflets of Memory is rather boss as it is inscribed to “La Belle Marguarite” from the Doctor who “hopes to have a page” in her life.  Hot stuff in deed.  Do you think Marguarite had to loosen her corset upon reading the dedication?  Did the mysterious Doctor encounter Marguarite whilst taking a Tardis joyride to 19th century America?  The world wants to know, gosh darnit!

Call No.: 818 .L434

Posted by Heidi Herr

In this our esteemed third installment of Weird Word Wednesday we present to you, our gentle audience, a “petticoat pensioner,” indicating that the world forever was and forever shall be the domain of the cougar.
Call No.: 427 G877DLocation: George Peabody Library

In this our esteemed third installment of Weird Word Wednesday we present to you, our gentle audience, a “petticoat pensioner,” indicating that the world forever was and forever shall be the domain of the cougar.

Call No.: 427 G877D
Location: George Peabody Library

In the second installment of Weird Word Wednesdays, I present to you “Apple Dumplin’ Shop”.
I imagine this phrase was responsible for quite a few crazy stories in its heyday.

Call No.: 427 G877DLocation: George Peabody Library

In the second installment of Weird Word Wednesdays, I present to you “Apple Dumplin’ Shop”.

I imagine this phrase was responsible for quite a few crazy stories in its heyday.

Call No.: 427 G877D
Location: George Peabody Library

View from the Stacks!
This is a view from the third floor of the George Peabody Library.  It’s kind of cool because you can see the contrast between the opulent Victorian architecture and the rather drab and utilitarian bookcases.

View from the Stacks!

This is a view from the third floor of the George Peabody Library.  It’s kind of cool because you can see the contrast between the opulent Victorian architecture and the rather drab and utilitarian bookcases.

Completely Frivolous, Yet Totally Awesome!
Ornate revolving book cases requiring the strength of over a thousand Hercules to operate were on display at the 1851 Great Exhibition.  While we are quite happy that the George Peabody Library is chock full of traditional upright cases, we nonetheless but wish to have one revolving book case simply for the opportunities for mischief such a storage unit naturally creates.
From page 202 of History and Description of the Crystal Palace and the Exhibition of the World’s Industry in 1851, Volume 2. Printed in London by John Tallis and Co.Call No.: 606 L847GT V.2Location: The George Peabody Library

Completely Frivolous, Yet Totally Awesome!

Ornate revolving book cases requiring the strength of over a thousand Hercules to operate were on display at the 1851 Great Exhibition.  While we are quite happy that the George Peabody Library is chock full of traditional upright cases, we nonetheless but wish to have one revolving book case simply for the opportunities for mischief such a storage unit naturally creates.

From page 202 of History and Description of the Crystal Palace and the Exhibition of the World’s Industry in 1851, Volume 2. Printed in London by John Tallis and Co.
Call No.: 606 L847GT V.2
Location: The George Peabody Library

Happy Bastille Day!!!Behold a floor plan to the French fortress of terror as remembered by one of its former inmates.  Attention bibliophiles who are planning to time travel and commit crimes in France: there “is a library, founded by a foreign prisoner, who died in the Bastille at the beginning of the present century.  Some prisoners obtain permission to have occasional access to this place, and to read there; others have the books brought to their apartments.”
Title: Historical Remarks on the Castle of the Bastille (London, 1789).
Call No.: 365.44 B874 1780

Happy Bastille Day!!!
Behold a floor plan to the French fortress of terror as remembered by one of its former inmates.  Attention bibliophiles who are planning to time travel and commit crimes in France: there “is a library, founded by a foreign prisoner, who died in the Bastille at the beginning of the present century.  Some prisoners obtain permission to have occasional access to this place, and to read there; others have the books brought to their apartments.”

Title: Historical Remarks on the Castle of the Bastille (London, 1789).

Call No.: 365.44 B874 1780

Horrifying Comic Illusion to Call Your Own!
Looking  for a novel way to traumatize your friends?  Then why not  build your  very own Flexible Giant to the amusement, or, more likely,  horror of  your nearest and dearest?  Simply order a copy of “Dick’s One  Hundred  Amusements” and learn many a surprising trick, easy of  performance.   It’s bound to create a memorable (though not necessarily  enjoyable)  evening for all!  It’s sent free of postage on receipt of  price, so really what do you have to lose except a good and disturbingly  Victorianesque time?
Call No.: 808.6 F9296 1867Location: George Peabody Library

Horrifying Comic Illusion to Call Your Own!

Looking for a novel way to traumatize your friends? Then why not build your very own Flexible Giant to the amusement, or, more likely, horror of your nearest and dearest? Simply order a copy of “Dick’s One Hundred Amusements” and learn many a surprising trick, easy of performance. It’s bound to create a memorable (though not necessarily enjoyable) evening for all!  It’s sent free of postage on receipt of price, so really what do you have to lose except a good and disturbingly Victorianesque time?

Call No.: 808.6 F9296 1867
Location: George Peabody Library