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

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!

Behold the amazing cats of Dame Wiggins of Lee!  They rescue lambs and are rewarded with ham! They frolic on ice! They terrorize geese! They paint portraits!

The story of Dame Wiggins was very popular in the 19th century.  Our copy at the Peabody is ultra cool because it was printed right here in Baltimore in 1836 and features charmingly crude hand-colored engravings!

"Send this wicked wretch to the sea," cries the depraved wretched female as her lover mercilessly whips her husband! Depravity, thy name is anonymous wretched female!

"Send this wicked wretch to the sea," cries the depraved wretched female as her lover mercilessly whips her husband! Depravity, thy name is anonymous wretched female!

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.)

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.

FlowerMart 2012 is here!  Look at all the beautiful botanical books your eyes can feast on. Pretty, pretty, pretty!!!