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

To dance upon nothing is to be hanged, which in turn is to be married? I can’t tell if these 19th century sailors were really existentially obsessed with the inseparability of sex / marriage and death, or were just really confused about it.

To dance upon nothing is to be hanged, which in turn is to be married? I can’t tell if these 19th century sailors were really existentially obsessed with the inseparability of sex / marriage and death, or were just really confused about it.

Did you know? 19th century sailor slang was actually an ancient, variant form of English.

Did you know? 19th century sailor slang was actually an ancient, variant form of English.

We all come from the same place. This is an important thing to keep in mind.

We all come from the same place. This is an important thing to keep in mind.

It’s Wednesday again, and you know what that means—time for a weird word! Well, actually, today’s word isn’t really weird per se, but the definition here is certainly not the usual one, and would be rather embarrassing for us if we weren’t lucky enough to be part of the Peabody Institute and Johns Hopkins University (no Academies here!).
This definition of the word is actually not as strange as one might think. In one of his philosophical dialogues called “The Symposium,” Plato, the founder of the original Academy, suggests a connection between the erotic and the life of the mind—the word “philosophy,” in fact, actually means “love of wisdom.” Still, I don’t think this is exactly what Plato had in mind! 

It’s Wednesday again, and you know what that means—time for a weird word! Well, actually, today’s word isn’t really weird per se, but the definition here is certainly not the usual one, and would be rather embarrassing for us if we weren’t lucky enough to be part of the Peabody¬†Institute and Johns Hopkins University¬†(no Academies here!).

This definition of the word is actually not as strange as one might think. In one of his philosophical dialogues called “The Symposium,” Plato, the founder of the original Academy, suggests a connection between the erotic and the life of the mind—the word “philosophy,” in fact, actually means “love of wisdom.” Still, I don’t think this is exactly what Plato had in mind!¬†

This gives new meaning to the phrase “tying the knot.”

This gives new meaning to the phrase “tying the knot.”

Znees: it’s the bees’ knees.
Call No.: 427 G877DLocation: George Peabody Library

Znees: it’s the bees’ knees.

Call No.: 427 G877D
Location: George Peabody Library

Part of what makes The Grose Dictionary of English Slang so great is its portrayal of everyday, vulgar life as it was at the time. This entry is a wonderful example of that.
Call No.: 427 G877DLocation: George Peabody Library

Part of what makes The Grose Dictionary of English Slang so great is its portrayal of everyday, vulgar life as it was at the time. This entry is a wonderful example of that.

Call No.: 427 G877D
Location: George Peabody Library

The military: coming up with the best euphemisms since the early 19th century.
Call No.: 427 G877DLocation: George Peabody Library

The military: coming up with the best euphemisms since the early 19th century.

Call No.: 427 G877D
Location: George Peabody Library