Remember, if approached by a librarian, keep still. Do not run away.
December 26, 2013 5:58 PM   Subscribe

Welcome to a tumblr of wonders. Special Collections, archives, and libraries have many wonderful items, but getting to them all can be a bit like trying to walk into Mordor, unless you have unlimited time and grants. But now, thanks to Tumblr, you too can explore collections around the world, and one of the best comes to us from the University of Iowa. Want a Hamlet quote on a miniature book that unfolds into a tiny Globe Theatre? Of course you do. Actual flying squirrels? Adventure with Alice! Get close to illuminations? Catch a glimpse of hipster frames circa 1504? More awesome librar* tumblrs inside.

CLIR reblogs hidden gems from all over, like these wicked owls

Even more (chapbook) owls from the George Peabody Library! (Also featuring: EVEN MORE FORE-EDGE PAINTING)

The Smithsonian has everything from libraries to American Art on tumblr, though some of it is made of spiders. But also badass fashion coats, stunning 19th century business cards, and rooster puns.

Down the street, the National Archives host Today's Document, which has treasures like a 1928 newsreel with the chaotic flight of an "autogyro", surgery photographs from the Pacific Theater, war posters, and Civil War maps. Oh, and copies of the Bill of Rights. And their entire Congressional tumblr.

More of an art lover? Welcome to MOMA's own Library

Want to see footage of Vancouver in 1907? The Vancouver Public Library has it sorted.

Basically everything you've ever wanted to know about medieval books is probably here, with special features like this glove that's coincidentally a map of London and "bloody" books.

Georgetown University has a quieter tumblr, but check out this quite stern royal reminder

The New York Public Library has everything from literally the best article ever to the unlikely pairing of Percy Bysshe Shelley and Caturday

University of Iowa Special Collections & University Archives previously, along with Metafilter's own and Harvard's Houghton Library and also a previous discussion of Erik Kwakkel.

TItle: Night Vale
Good night, ladies and gentlemen, and don't forget to hat-tip your sources even on the internet
posted by jetlagaddict (12 comments total) 118 users marked this as a favorite
Wow! Thank you for taking the time!
posted by michellenoel at 6:09 PM on December 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

One of my favorite things at the U of I Special Collections was the awesome bookplates for the Szathmary collection of culinary works. It's been years since I've seen them, as I recall they involved sausages.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 6:43 PM on December 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Great post, and I'm especially glad to see U. of Iowa featured since their amazing work was my biggest inspiration for the Houghton Tumblr. A couple more I follow are Anatomy of Bibliomania and the Broadcasting Archives.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:43 PM on December 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

An impressive post! Thank you!
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 6:45 PM on December 26, 2013

Lovely poisonous time sinks.
Er... thanks.
posted by valannc at 6:53 PM on December 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

I also really enjoyed this post from the Cincinnati Public Library (even though I get shushed by patrons on a regular basis, oops!)
posted by jetlagaddict at 6:55 PM on December 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Vancouver 1907 film is a great example of the preservation, restoration and digitization that goes on in Archives and Special Collections of libraries. More than eight minutes of film from a streetcar ride in Vancouver! It's magical. One lady scurries across the street in a very long dress but boys, dogs, men and horses really run and rush. I loved this look into the past. This a fabulous FPP and I'll mark it so! Thank you.
posted by Anitanola at 7:45 PM on December 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Smithsonian tumblrs are amazing. I'm looking forward to exploring the rest of them.
posted by immlass at 8:51 PM on December 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is how the language changes! This is not a child's glove, but a lady's glove. I am probably the only one of you who has a pair of identical, brand new white kidskin gloves, sans map, wrapped in tissue paper in my glove and handkerchief drawer, saved long ago for a day when a new pair would be required. (I think now that day may never come!) In this context, kid does not refer to a child, it refers to a young goat and kidskin to the leather of which the glove is made! Ah, I've had my moment.
posted by Anitanola at 9:11 PM on December 26, 2013 [6 favorites]

holy crap this is all amazing. thank you.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 11:42 PM on December 26, 2013

Holy smokes, The Nelly Bly 72 Days Around The World Game.
posted by Katemonkey at 12:14 AM on December 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Tumblr suggested a couple more interesting sources: Colophon, from the Mandeville Special Collections at UC San Diego (Dr. Seuss collection!) and this one publicizing shots of old Baltimore and Maryland: Md. Historical Society Photographs.
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:26 PM on December 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

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