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!

Remember, remember the 5th of November … in chapbooks!



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

Happy Friday the 13th from us all!  We look forward to invading your dreams.  MWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

(These fabulous creatures are from Fortunio Liceti’s De Monstrorum Cuassis, 1634.)

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Tawdry content from yesteryear: a section from a truly gruesome, yet amazingly compelling collection of early 19th century chapbooks depicting infamous murderers of yore.  So many executions. So many early “comic strips” lovingly hand-painted to showcase gore! 

Early 19th century French fashion plates prove that awkward poses are always en vogue! Coy shoe adjustment! Stylish headaches! Vapors onset!  Plus, what’s up with the arms?  It’s like the vintage version of a photoshop of horrors!

Us Wunderkammerians discovered a number of awesome anti-prohibition manuals produced by the esteemed National Wholesale Liquors Association of America especially for libraries!  These manuals make us spit in disgust whenever the demon Anti-Saloon League is brought up, and make us long for the days of barbed wire and fine French wine!

Hubba-hubba semi-nude headless statue receives platter of gigantic pancakes  while the boar’s head looks on, intrigued and sullen (“Do I not deserve such tribute,” he ponders, while noting he lacks even an apple in his mouth.).  Oh, Berlin tunnel book of 1896, thou art wunderbar!

What are you doing right now?  Well, you better stop because George Washington doesn’t approve of any of your shenanigans.  His jowls are meant to judge.

From a souvenir silk textile in honor of the Philadelphia International Exhibition of 1876. 

Planning a vacation that is totally out of this world, but can’t do anything about it because your TARDIS broke down?  Then why not take a lovely voyage to galaxies past, as imagined  by 19th century French caricaturist J.J. Grandville?  In his opus Un Autre Monde (1844), you can view a lovely comet parade, try a variety of organic artisanal vegetables, and learn to contemplate one’s beauty as though one was the moon herself! 

Want to see it and it’s lovely hand-colored prints?  Then visit us a the Peabody Library!  Totally retro space suits not required, though encouraged.