The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency initiated the DOCUMERICA Project in the 1970s to capture images relating to social and environmental issues, as well as everyday life. The digitized photographs were provided by the U. S. National Archives and published on Flickr without any copyright restrictions. Here are some highlights of the project.
Nothing is known of Abraham Eleazar, supposedly a Jewish alchemist and author of this remarkable book about ancient alchemy: Uraltes chymisches Werk… (“Age-Old Chymical Work”) which was first published in Erfurt in 1734 (Source). The Jewish Encyclopedia states that the Eleazar’s name was likely to be fictional, and the real author might have been Julius […]
Here be Dragons, hic sunt dracones, is a famously inscribed on one of the oldest globes in the world, the Hunt-Lenox Globe from ca. 1510, as a phrase marking unchartered territory. The following images are not about terrae incognitae – but they are about dragons. Even African ones.
Most detailed image of the Crab Nebula This new  Hubble image – One among the largest ever produced with the Earth-orbiting observatory – shows gives the most detailed view so far of the entire Crab Nebula ever made. The Crab is arguably the single most interesting object, as well as one of the most […]
From the collection of the Rijksmuseum, these illustrations of scientific instruments appeared in Natuurkundige lessen, door proefneemingen bevestigd, eerste deel, written by Jean Antoine Nollet and published (?) by Kornelis van Tongerlo in Amsterdam im 1759. There is no further information about Dutch engraver Nicolaas van Falkendaal (1720–1791), who is credited as the creator of […]
Dutch explorer and naturalist Robert Jacob Gordon (1743–1795) went on several expeditions in southern Africa. On his travels, he kept detailed and meticulous records of the geology, flora and fauna of the Cape region, as well as observations on the indigenous peoples he encountered. He even spoke “Hottentot” and Xhosa. His notes and hundreds of sketches […]
Spirit photography, an effect created through multiple exposure, was a rather fashionable hoax in early photography. When the medium was still new and mysterious, “the idea of a photograph capturing the latent image of a spirit seemed quite possible.” (Kristi Finefield) This coincided with a rising interest in the paranormal (séances, spiritism). The photographs here are […]
Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875) remains a beloved Danish writer, well-known for his children books. For this edition of his collected fairy tales, Hans Andersen’s Fairy Tales (1913), illustrator W. Heath Robinson created some enchanting visualisations. Scroll down to browse through the entire book, or download it in different formats at Archive.org. Read the book: Source: Archive.org, Public […]
Taken from the Journal of the Institut Egyptien <al-Qāhira> in Cairo*, these geometric illustrations are about the Kight’s Tour Problem (Problème du cavalier in French), a mathematical problem in chess where the knight visits every square only once. * Mémoires ou travaux originaux présentés et lus à l’Institut Égyptien: Mémoires présentés et lus à l’Institut Égyptien, published between 1862 and 1916. […]
These illustrations originate from a compendium about magic and demonology from ca. 1775: Compendium rarissimum totius Artis Magicae sistematisatae per celeberrimos Artis hujus Magistros. Anno 1057. Noli me tangere. The book, which is owned by the Wellcome Library in London, was written in German and Latin and features 31 water-colour drawings of demons, and several pages of […]