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Old Books
March 10, 2012 8:11 PM   Subscribe

Old Book Illustrations are vintage pictures that were originally wood engravings or woodcuts, etchings or metal engravings. Old Book Art is pictures, drawings, maps and other images from antiquarian, public-domain books and other old documents.

Books Behind Pictures offers various documents and references related to the pictures in the galleries, and to the books from which they were taken. Browsing this page will give you access to text excerpts that put some of the illustrations back into their original context, notes about the lives or careers of some illustrators are also available.

Present Tense interviews and examines the backgrounds of contemporary illustrators.

OBI Scrapbook Blog goes into more detail about vintage illustrations from books published between the 18th century and the first quarter of the 20th century.

Browse the Old Book Art by Atlases and Maps | History | Literature and Poetry | Nature and Natural History | or Places and Travel.
posted by netbros (8 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite

 
I loves me some Gustave Doré.
posted by pashdown at 8:41 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, but, unfortunately, there is not much Gustave Dore on this site. When I was I child, we had a huge copy of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner illustrated by the master. I think his art led to my joy of words and books and poems and lyrics and linguistics.
posted by kozad at 8:46 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


kozad, you'll be pleased to see that Dover has the Gustave Dore Rime of the Ancient Mariner available for under $10. If it's the same Dover edition I have, it's a paperback but large size so you do get a sense of the full illustrations.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:51 PM on March 10, 2012


Beautiful stuff, but I hope you realize that when you post cool Public Domain stuff to the Web, a copyright lawyer kills a kitten. (well, they kill a lot of kittens anyway, but that's just a hobby)
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:59 PM on March 10, 2012


I'm amazed this hasn't been here before. I just checked and I've got an email exchange with the site's owner from 5 years ago. It's actually a pretty exemplary site, too, all things considered.
posted by peacay at 10:03 PM on March 10, 2012


A bit hard to find anymore, but vintage pictures from books were my favorite presents to bring back from visits to my family in Italy. I would hit a used book fair or two and walk away with illuminated initials, series of herbs and exotic animals, and fantastic small maps. I kept my best finds, a hand-painted series on the French revolution and a series of merchant costumes.
posted by francesca too at 9:58 AM on March 11, 2012


Awesome! I'm just putting out a new issue of my zine.
posted by msalt at 1:11 PM on March 11, 2012


Oh! What fun! Bliss! Thanks so much for this treasure netbros.
posted by nickyskye at 3:03 PM on March 11, 2012


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