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

Behold the amazing, incredible, not-edible Victorian peep egg, featuring a series of miniature prints showcasing the engineering might that is the Thames Tunnel! FYI, the awesome gif was created by one of our phenomenal student employees!

October at the Wunderkammer can mean only one thing — Victorian spirits are about to descend upon the library, yakking it up on the dreaded sixth floor (yes, it is indeed dreaded, for there was once a rumored sighting of feet running rampant amongst the stats — possibly running away from the floating eye balls another individual claimed to see before popping out his monocle in shock and horror).  Fortunately, a lovely old book called Spectropia is preparing us for our unearthly assignation!

"Send this wicked wretch to the sea," cries the depraved wretched female as her lover mercilessly whips her husband! Depravity, thy name is anonymous wretched female!

"Send this wicked wretch to the sea," cries the depraved wretched female as her lover mercilessly whips her husband! Depravity, thy name is anonymous wretched female!

Ladies, mind your corsets … . and your AMATIVE DESIRES!

These delightful illustrations (note especially the fig-leaf decorated intestines) are from an anti-corset book by the esteemed phrenologist Orson Squire Fowler!  And boy was he concerned! 19th century ladies were getting all bold what with their wrist-flashing, corset-wearing, and most likely novel-reading ways.  What hussies!  

Fortunately, Fowler was around to shame all the “Miss Fastidious Small Waists” he could find, leading many, we are sure, to the fainting couch.  Plus, Fowler’s bold use of concern-trolling text and exquisite handling of all-caps type for crucial points suggest he would be right at home engaging in online political discourse today! (Impure desires! AHHHHH!!!!)

From “Tight-lacing, or, The evils of compressing the organs of animal life” (1844)

 

Nothing says love like iguanas, right?  Well, welcome to the bizarre world of Victorian Valentines!  We have an entire album (125 hand-cut Valentines!) of one woman’s art of love, dating, we think, to the late 19th century.

No, this isn’t a set piece from Prometheus!  It’s actually a depiction of a mammoth Spanish wine jug that was displayed in London during the Great Exhibition of 1851. It was at least 10 feet tall. Do you think Bernard and Manny (from Black Books, duh!) ever tried to create their own — in honor of Prince Albert, of course.

from page 150 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 L847 GTquarto V.2
Location: The George Peabody Library

No, this isn’t a set piece from Prometheus! It’s actually a depiction of a mammoth Spanish wine jug that was displayed in London during the Great Exhibition of 1851. It was at least 10 feet tall. Do you think Bernard and Manny (from Black Books, duh!) ever tried to create their own — in honor of Prince Albert, of course.

from page 150 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 L847 GTquarto V.2
Location: The George Peabody Library

A close-up of the architectural details that, aside from the books and our wonderful library users, makes the George Peabody Library so beautiful — Corinthian pilasters, gilt work, and lovely florets!
Photograph taken by N. Barker

A close-up of the architectural details that, aside from the books and our wonderful library users, makes the George Peabody Library so beautiful — Corinthian pilasters, gilt work, and lovely florets!

Photograph taken by N. Barker

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!