Saturday, October 4



I remember years ago when the Internet was new (and I'm talking Gopher and alt- groups), you almost felt you could put your arms around it and keep up. Now I find thriving web sites and blogs that I CAN'T BELIEVE I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT, and BibliOdyssey is a prime example.

BibliOdyssey is an ongoing e-exhibition of long-forgotten imagery, now surfacing on the Internet as libraries, museums, and other institutions digitize their collections, collected and published by the author PK. The range and variety of images is absolutely amazing, from familiar architectural, anatomical and botanical drawings, alchemical and occult engravings, creepy things that are supposed to be creepy, drawing styles that creep me out even though they aren't intended to, to darling whimsical drawings of children at play, the Nepal horse book, and on and on. RUN DO NOT WALK (OK, CLICK RIGHT NOW) to this site. Give yourself some time.

It gets better -- BibliOdyssey, The Book! is now available.
BibliOdyssey: Amazing Archival Images from the Internet, by PK

Here is blogger and author peacay's description of the book:

The book (like the site) covers a very wide spectrum of styles, time periods and subject matter. You can expect everything from astronomy to zoology and from Art Nouveau to the Renaissance, in something reminiscent of what I call a multi-post (except on steroids and growth hormone and with better grooming habits and no noisy computer fan in the background). I like to think that the trajectory of the book aims somewhere roughly between our internet users' penchant for a concentrated package of beguiling ephemera and as an introductory overview of the cultural wealth accessible from web archives for luddites. [redacted marketspeak: "making it the ideal Christmas present for everybody"] As a final point I'd offer that, while it might sound like a totally haphazard collection of unrelated visual material, the book is in fact much more of a cohesive and interrelated survey of illustration history than any loose-canon wording here might suggest. The book is also a beautiful product - FUEL have done a wonderful job in the designy-printy stakes, and my objectivity is of course unimpeachable as I was on the other side of the planet and had no role in this facet of production.

My library doesn't have this ordered yet (or at least not available in the online catalog), and if yours doesn't, you can go to a bookstore and browse the book.

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