The mad Victorian scrapbook

On December 23, 2013, in Images, Work, by Luke McKernan


Die zweite Deutsche Nordpolarfahrt in den Jahren 1869 und 1870, unter Führung des Kapitän Karl Koldewey, etc. [Edited by Alexander Georg Mosle und Georg Albrecht. With plates and maps.] (1873)

Following the release of one million free-to-use images from the British Library, extracted automatically from digitised copies of nineteenth century, there has been an astonishing reaction worldwide. Well over 50 million visits have been made top the British Library’s Flickr pages, and more than just visiting people have been identifying, tagging, blogging and sharing those images in a happy orgy of knowledge sharing.

In the spirit of this, and as a follow-up to my previous post on the initiative, here’s a selection of some of the images that have caught my eye while browsing. There’s no particular theme to them – some are curious, some outlandish, some are beautiful, some are polar, some are by favourite artists (Phil May, Lancelot Speed), some are simply typical of their age.

The links take you to more information about the publications, other images from that publication, and other images available from the same publication year.


The Z.Z.G., or Zig Zag Guide round and about the bold and beautiful Kentish coast … Illustrated by Phil May (1897)


La fregate l’Incomprise. Voyage autour du monde à la plume par Sahib. [With illustrations.] (1876)


Voyages and Travels round the World by the Rev. Daniel Tyerman and George Bennet … compiled … by James Montgomery. The second edition, corrected, etc (1841)


The Demon McGuire. [In verse.] (1885)


The American Metropolis from Knickerbocker days to the present time: New York City life in all its various phases … Illustrated (1897)


Elsass-Lothringen (1885)


London (illustrated). A complete guide to the leading hotels, places of amusement … Also a directory … of first-class reliable houses in the various branches of trade (1872)


Marching with Gomez. A war-correspondent’s field note-book kept during four months with the Cuban army … Illustrated by the author. With an historical introduction by J. Fiske (1898)


The Frozen Crew of the Ice-bound Ship; or, the Terrors of the arctic regions. A romance of the wild and wonderful. With illustrations (1868)


Svenska Expeditioner till Spetsbergen och Jan Mayen utförda under åren 1863 och 1864 af N. Dunér, A. J. Malmgren, A. E. Nordenskiöld och A. Qvennerstedt (1867)


Discovery of Lakes Rudolf and Stefanie: a narrative of Count S. Teleki’s exploring and hunting expedition in Eastern Equatorial Africa … Translated by N. Bell. With … illustrations, etc (1894)


In a Sea Bird’s Nest. A series of stories, some allegorical (1896)


Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Condition of the North American Indians. [With plates.] (1841)


La Terra, trattato popolare di geografia universale per G. Marinelli ed altri scienziati italiani, etc. [With illustrations and maps.] (1898)


Histoire de la Révolution Française (1887)


I det mörkeste Afrika … Oversat af … C. Delgobe og B. Geelmuyden. Med … Illustrationer, etc (1890)


De Aardbol. Magazijn van hedendaagsche land- en volkenkunde … Met platen en kaarten. [Deel 4-9 by P. H. W.] (1839)


The Paradise of Birds: an old extravnza in a modern dress (1889)


The World’s Inhabitants; or, Mankind, animals & plants … With … illustrations, etc (1889)


Очерки перомъ и карандащемъ изъ кругосвѣтнаго плаванія въ 1857, 1858, 1859 и 1860 годахъ … Изданіе второе, исправленное. Съ … рисункамн (1867)


True Stories from French History … Illustrated (1890)

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