wooden library
November 9, 2005 11:08 PM   Subscribe

A xylothek is literally a library of wood, a collection of book-like boxes made from trees--the wood and bark with the seeds, leaves, flowers, fruit--or illustrations of the soft parts (site in German), inside.
posted by dhruva (29 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I wonder what it smells like.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:11 PM on November 9, 2005

A xylothek

Just knowing this word makes you win Scrabble.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:31 PM on November 9, 2005

it's all overwhelming me, oak and elming me...
posted by wakko at 12:04 AM on November 10, 2005

I pine for it, don't yew? Nice find.
posted by Cranberry at 12:08 AM on November 10, 2005

Nice one dhruva. I find it extraordinary that there seem to be no xylotheks in an english language country, and very few in any other countries. Wood was the major resource for centuries and knowledge of this resource was certainly collected. However it seems only the Germans specialised in this. Ain't life a beech.
posted by adamvasco at 1:52 AM on November 10, 2005

This is a very lovely amalgam of science and art. Something I've never heard about. Thanks.
posted by planetkyoto at 2:10 AM on November 10, 2005

Wonderful find, dhruva! I wonder if I could make one...
posted by iconomy at 2:14 AM on November 10, 2005

That's beautiful, had never heard of such a thing before - thanks dhruva!
posted by twistedonion at 2:18 AM on November 10, 2005

Very interesting. Good post.
posted by Frasermoo at 3:39 AM on November 10, 2005

Great post as usual. Thanks dhruva.
posted by peacay at 4:51 AM on November 10, 2005

Fabulous post. I'd never heard of a xylothek before and now I can think of nothing else.
posted by OmieWise at 5:22 AM on November 10, 2005

There's a whole section of these at the Strahov Monastery here in Prague. Thank you for providing a name for them and placing them in a larger context.
posted by wendyfairy at 5:45 AM on November 10, 2005

There is a section of the Field Museum (or at least there used to be) of thousands of samples of seeds, leaves and a plank made from the wood of various trees and woody plants. Among the samples was a narrow plank of some of the most beautiful wood grain, the plant species? Poison ivy.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:13 AM on November 10, 2005

Thanks drhuva for these fascinating links.

This page has a list of European xylotheks: sadly, many of the links are broken.

Searching on xiloteca brought up some more prosaic (although still interesting) wood-collections in Italy, Spain, Brazil, Venezuela, ...
posted by misteraitch at 6:24 AM on November 10, 2005

Metafilter: You learn something new every day.
posted by fungible at 6:26 AM on November 10, 2005

Wonderful! Somehow seems as much Tolkien as it does Linnaeus.
posted by gwint at 6:59 AM on November 10, 2005

[This is good]

Thanks, dhruva.
posted by loquacious at 7:00 AM on November 10, 2005

Very wonderful post, dhruva. (it kicks Ash - maybe the most Poplar post today!)
posted by taz at 7:34 AM on November 10, 2005

This is why I love it here! Thanks so much!
posted by mrs.pants at 7:55 AM on November 10, 2005

Awesome. thanks!
posted by vacapinta at 8:12 AM on November 10, 2005

So great, thanks.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:02 AM on November 10, 2005

posted by arcticwoman at 9:04 AM on November 10, 2005

Ser gut!!!
Vielen Dank.
posted by safetyfork at 9:43 AM on November 10, 2005

Searching on xiloteca
damn, I searched with three variant spellings, but not that one. :)
posted by dhruva at 3:39 PM on November 10, 2005

These are gorgeous! Great post, dhruva.
posted by LeeJay at 4:49 PM on November 10, 2005

Wow, that's fantastic - thanks, dhruva!
posted by livii at 6:11 PM on November 10, 2005

Manuel Soler states that the official xilotheque with a largest number of samples is the SAMUEL JAMES RECORD COLLECTION of the Forestry School of the Yale University in New Haven (Connecticut, USA) with 60,000 samples. - Though I think this just a "wood" collection rather than boxes with related content.
posted by adamvasco at 12:25 AM on November 11, 2005

Ah, dhruva, if I lived here, I would fill a shelf with these. I love, love, love this link. Thank you!
posted by melissa may at 1:14 PM on November 11, 2005

What a treat dhruva! Thanks for the interesting links. So fun to discover trees, wood, books, science, art and surprising whimsy all intertwined.

For anyone who enjoys wood textures and the poetry of exotic wood names like Cocobolo, Pink Ivory, Sapele, African Olive, Bocote, Tigerwood, Leopardwood...
posted by nickyskye at 11:56 AM on November 16, 2005

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