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

We come across some pretty bizarre things at the George Peabody Library, and this book is pretty high up on the list!These prints are from a rather odd book called Les Animaux Savants (1816).  Published by the esteemed Didot family, this work of fiction details all the clever animals one middle-class French family encounters, from elephants that can open bottles of wine to horses that ascend the heavens in hot air balloons!  It appears that the exploits of the animals are used as political or social commentary. These select images are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to crazy animal antics in this book! Check out more on our flickr, or come by the George Peabody Library and look at them yourself!

Do You Have the (Polka Dot) Guts to Look at Rare Books?
Is it just us, or do the stomach and guts of a fox look like they would  be fabulous organ pipes in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory?From: Dr. Nejemjah Grew’s “Catalogue and Description of the Natural and Artificial Rarities Belonging to the Royal Society and Preserved at Gresham College ” (1681)Call No: 506 .R888GfLocation: George Peabody Library

Do You Have the (Polka Dot) Guts to Look at Rare Books?

Is it just us, or do the stomach and guts of a fox look like they would  be fabulous organ pipes in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory?

From: Dr. Nejemjah Grew’s “Catalogue and Description of the Natural and Artificial Rarities Belonging to the Royal Society and Preserved at Gresham College ” (1681)

Call No: 506 .R888Gf
Location: George Peabody Library

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Frenchman with his Flying Horse!
Us silly Americans have to make do with silly talking horses like Mr. Ed, but the French get flying horses! Believe it or not, but there actually was a noted 18th century French balloonist by the name of Pierre Testu-Brissy who reportedly took over 50 hot air balloon rides with his horse!From:  Les Animaux Savants, ou, Exercises des Chevaux de MM. Franconi, du cerf Coco, du cerf Azor, de l’elephant Baba, des serins hollandais, du singe militaire. Paris: P. Didot, 1816.
Location: George Peabody Library

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Frenchman with his Flying Horse!

Us silly Americans have to make do with silly talking horses like Mr. Ed, but the French get flying horses! Believe it or not, but there actually was a noted 18th century French balloonist by the name of Pierre Testu-Brissy who reportedly took over 50 hot air balloon rides with his horse!

From:  Les Animaux Savants, ou, Exercises des Chevaux de MM. Franconi, du cerf Coco, du cerf Azor, de l’elephant Baba, des serins hollandais, du singe militaire. Paris: P. Didot, 1816.

Location: George Peabody Library

Yep, Even We Have a Library Cat
We fully admit that those of us who work at the glorious George Peabody Library are a bit strange, especially when it comes to being representative of library folk.  Why, you may ask?  Because we can’t stand the world’s love affair with library cats!  We love French bulldogs and floppy, furry mutts!  Biblio-dogs forever!
However, we understand that we are in the minority, and hence present for your viewing pleasure our very own Tom the Creepy Cat. He is holding a sign that exclaims, in his own “cat-language” which oddly resembles English, why he is not a thin feline.  It’s weird.
Location: George Peabody Library

Yep, Even We Have a Library Cat

We fully admit that those of us who work at the glorious George Peabody Library are a bit strange, especially when it comes to being representative of library folk.  Why, you may ask?  Because we can’t stand the world’s love affair with library cats!  We love French bulldogs and floppy, furry mutts!  Biblio-dogs forever!

However, we understand that we are in the minority, and hence present for your viewing pleasure our very own Tom the Creepy Cat. He is holding a sign that exclaims, in his own “cat-language” which oddly resembles English, why he is not a thin feline.  It’s weird.

Location: George Peabody Library

Meet the French Trojan Horse … That’s Actually a Cow!This totally tubular illustration is from a rather odd book called Les Animaux Savants (1816) which details the animal-related adventures of a family in France.  The book is really strange, but appears to  be using weird animal stories as a way to make social or even political commentary.
This illustrations depicts an artificial cow for the lazy hunter to hide in.  After all, everyone knows cows aren’t scared of birds, so just dress up as a cow and shoot the birds as they endeavor to meet their bovine  neighbor.  Freaky!  It’s almost as if the French foresaw all those Chick-Fil-A ads!
Call No.:791.8 B1 DUODECIMO
Location: George Peabody Library

Meet the French Trojan Horse … That’s Actually a Cow!
This totally tubular illustration is from a rather odd book called Les Animaux Savants (1816) which details the animal-related adventures of a family in France.  The book is really strange, but appears to  be using weird animal stories as a way to make social or even political commentary.

This illustrations depicts an artificial cow for the lazy hunter to hide in.  After all, everyone knows cows aren’t scared of birds, so just dress up as a cow and shoot the birds as they endeavor to meet their bovine  neighbor.  Freaky!  It’s almost as if the French foresaw all those Chick-Fil-A ads!

Call No.:791.8 B1 DUODECIMO

Location: George Peabody Library

Hey Kids — It’s Taxidermy Tea Party Time! 
These scenes are odd at best.  The upper picture features studious rabbits, one of which was apparently not as studious as it should have been.  The lower one inspires memories of children’s tea parties with stuffed animals, except that it was orchestrated by an adult and the animals were once alive.  Please notice that the rodent on the right has its legs crossed and a napkin on its lap.  How polite! The question that just keeps coming up upon seeing these is simply “Why?” from page 115 of History and Description of the Crystal Palace and the Exhibition of the World’s Industry in 1851, Volume 1. Printed in London by John Tallis and Co.Call No.: 606 L847 GTquarto V.1Location: The George Peabody Library

Hey Kids — It’s Taxidermy Tea Party Time!

These scenes are odd at best.  The upper picture features studious rabbits, one of which was apparently not as studious as it should have been.  The lower one inspires memories of children’s tea parties with stuffed animals, except that it was orchestrated by an adult and the animals were once alive.  Please notice that the rodent on the right has its legs crossed and a napkin on its lap.  How polite! The question that just keeps coming up upon seeing these is simply “Why?”

from page 115 of History and Description of the Crystal Palace and the Exhibition of the World’s Industry in 1851, Volume 1. Printed in London by John Tallis and Co.
Call No.: 606 L847 GTquarto V.1
Location: The George Peabody Library