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!

Two striking views of the Peabody Library taken by our illustrious undergrad photographer Eric Chen!

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!

These photos are totally gorgeous, right?  Well, they were taken by JHU undergrad Matthew Petroff!  You can see other amazing photos of the Peabody Library (including one from the rooftop!) at this year’s Baltimore Book Festival (September 27-29).  That’s right!  The Peabody Library will be open all weekend long!  Visit us and view beautiful photographs by the mastermind who created the incredible 360 view of the library!



Vivisection Sewing!!!!!
Obviously, these women are busily sewing the rest of their bodies based on patterns, of course, from Godey’s Ladies’ Book. More seriously, even regrettably, as implied in the illustrations, both proper and improper sewing techniques are ultimately hazardous to your health. Does the sewing machine require a corporeal sacrifice in order to create the latest frock coat?  Are these grotesques foretelling a future Dr. Who villain?  Is this what used to happen in the former warehouses of Baltimore’s Station North? Only the thread of time will tell! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
How to Ruin Your Health with the Sewing Machine by a Physician. Baltimore: Turnbull Brothers, 1874.Call No. 613.6 P578Location: George Peabody Library

Vivisection Sewing!!!!!

Obviously, these women are busily sewing the rest of their bodies based on patterns, of course, from Godey’s Ladies’ Book. More seriously, even regrettably, as implied in the illustrations, both proper and improper sewing techniques are ultimately hazardous to your health. Does the sewing machine require a corporeal sacrifice in order to create the latest frock coat?  Are these grotesques foretelling a future Dr. Who villain?  Is this what used to happen in the former warehouses of Baltimore’s Station North? Only the thread of time will tell! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

How to Ruin Your Health with the Sewing Machine by a Physician. Baltimore: Turnbull Brothers, 1874.

Call No. 613.6 P578
Location: George Peabody Library

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)

 

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

Surely we are not the only ones to recite Chaucer’s Prologue to The Canterbury Tales whenever the month of April strikes, right?  Hmmm … maybe we are!  At least everyone can appreciate the beauty that is the Kelmscott Press edition of the The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. Printed by William Morris in 1896 and featuring lovely wood engravings by Burne-Jones (such as the one depicted showing Chaucer being all poetic and totally rockin’ some medieval robes), the Kelmscott Chaucer is surely a dandy’s delight to read!
Location: George Peabody Library
Call No.: 821 C496 1896 QUARTO

Surely we are not the only ones to recite Chaucer’s Prologue to The Canterbury Tales whenever the month of April strikes, right?  Hmmm … maybe we are!  At least everyone can appreciate the beauty that is the Kelmscott Press edition of the The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. Printed by William Morris in 1896 and featuring lovely wood engravings by Burne-Jones (such as the one depicted showing Chaucer being all poetic and totally rockin’ some medieval robes), the Kelmscott Chaucer is surely a dandy’s delight to read!

Location: George Peabody Library

Call No.: 821 C496 1896 QUARTO

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