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

hdunsirn:

Peabody library, baltimore 9.6.14
©hannahdunsirn

Study at our place and look all fancy! And while you are at it, try to figure out how those wacky card catalogs work!

Somehow we think Tina Belcher would approve of this cover. The subtitle is a thing of beauty: “How to Bathe, When to Bathe, When not to Bathe, etc.”
An awesome, not yet cataloged new acquisition!

Somehow we think Tina Belcher would approve of this cover. The subtitle is a thing of beauty: “How to Bathe, When to Bathe, When not to Bathe, etc.”

An awesome, not yet cataloged new acquisition!

Don’t you hate it when this happens?


Death being a complete killjoy from Freund Heins Erscheinungen in Holbeins Manier  (1785).

Don’t you hate it when this happens?

Death being a complete killjoy from Freund Heins Erscheinungen in Holbeins Manier  (1785).

The Five Little Pigs, more commonly known as This Little Piggy illustrated in all its disturbing glory: gin-addled pigs, on death row, clogging their arteries with roast beef, full of pretensions with their “wee-wees,” and forcing the latest in haberdashery and banjo music on their unsuspecting audiences.

Fore-edge Friday presents: the battle between the sloop Hartford and the ironclad Manassas, April 24, 1862.  Interestingly, this painting does not adorn a book about military history or the Civil War, but rather an 1897 printing of The Golden Treasury, a collection of English poems and songs.

Here’s a look at the George Peabody Library’s collection of books and ephemera relating to The Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in 1851. First up is a lively chromolithograph of the Crystal Palace and its grounds, showcasing boating, carriage rides, and tourists taking in the sites.

Next we have a print of “Wot is to be” : or probable results of the industry of all nations in the year ‘51 : showing what is to be exhibited, who is to exhibit it : in short, how it’s all going to be done,” a look into the inner-workings of the great exhibition. This particular print showcases inventors with their patent machines for putting down revolutions, subduing Chartism, and grinding paupers’ noses. Of course, the real star of the print is the Prize Pig, because no exhibition would be complete without impressive farm animals!

The next two images are chromolithographic prints showing the Arms of All Nations (because we all know the world is comprised of nineteen countries) and the interior of the Crystal Palace’s exhibition hall.

For a more unique view of the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace, check out the Lane’s Telescopic View! This ‘Telescopic View’ is made of printed paper and card, and is supplied in a slip-in card box. When you view the internal scene through the little peep hole in the cover, you see a three dimensional view of the inside of the Crystal Palace in 1851, and the grand opening by Queen Victoria. Cool, right?

Ready for some steamy summertime reading?  Then why not pour yourself a spiked lemonade, sit back, and enjoy the provocative Picturesque Botanical Plates of the New Illustration of the Sexual System of Linnaeus (1799)?  You too shall be graced with wreaths of flowers while under the books esteemed powers!

Old book burn! “This book is interesting by reason of its fore-edge painting.” Alas, the author of The World Before the Flood (1815) would probably agree.  From the book’s preface:

"The poem of The World Before the Flood is submitted to the Public with great diffidence.  The subject is unpromising; its difficulties are numerous, and the objections that might be urged against it formidable.”

Okay.  We, the diffident public, are now totally committed to reading this thing!

Batter up with these 19th century ads for baseball equipment!  I don’t know about you, but we totally would make sock monkeys out of the Peck & Snyder wares!

Fore-edge Fridays: Lady golfer edition!

You are looking at a beautifully-bound copy of The works of Alfred Lord Tennyson, poet laureate (1900) featuring a lovely, Gibson Girl-esque lady golfer, golfing in the style of Watteau!

The bookplate reads: “Ithamar / Her Book / On my Book / As a Friend I look / All entertaining / Never complaining.”