Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities

The Word and The Image

Posted in Beinecke Library, Shirley Collection by beineckepoetry on July 23, 2009

A Curious Hieroglyphick Bible; or, Select Passages in the Old and New Testaments. London: T. Hodgson, 1785

The third edition of this title, a format that was used to teach children and uneducated adults passages from the Bible through the use of iconic graphics.


Wonder Movies

Posted in Beinecke Library, Shirley Collection by beineckepoetry on May 26, 2009

A curious production from the early 1920s intended to mimic motion in a book for young readers. Each “movie” is viewed by turning back successive panels on a scored page to reveal new scenes. While a bit awkward to manipulate, the idea works well enough to entertain and delight.

Wonder movies by Victor M Earle; Illustrated by Benjamin Seielstad
(Garden City, N.Y. : Doubleday, Page, 1923).

Drawn to Enchant

Posted in Beinecke Library, Shirley Collection by beineckepoetry on October 16, 2007

New — An Interview with the Author: Tim Young on Drawn to Enchant (MP3)

Little girls with barbells!
Dogs using quill pens!
Odd looking men fishing for odd looking mermaids!

They are all part of the the world of Drawn to Enchant: Original Children’s Book Art in the Betsy Beinecke Shirley Collection, a celebration of the collection gathered by one of the world’s most astute collector’s of children’s literature.

Artists whose works are represented include many beloved favorites, among them Ludwig Bemelmans, Maurice Sendak, A. B. Frost, Wanda Gag, Peter Newell, N. C. Wyeth, Tony Sarg, Robert Lawson, and Johnny Gruelle.

From variant illustrations for Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are to little-known sketches for nineteenth-century periodicals that delighted generations of children, Drawn to Enchant offers a unique opportunity to study the reading lives of children throughout American history. Just as important, it invites each reader to recollect favorite images from the treasured books of his or her own childhood.


The book is officially released on October 15, 2007 and is available via the Yale University Press website: (in US at and in the UK at and fine bookstores everywhere. Containing over 200 full color illustrations, it makes a wonderful gift for readers of all ages! [DISCLAIMER: Yes, this is a shameless plug for a publication by one of this blog’s curators. But the book is *really* lovely!]

Frederick Burr Opper, illustration (watercolor on board) for The Jolly Gymnasium, undated, apparently never published.

Unidentified artist, illustration (watercolor on board) for Little Stories for Little Folks (McLoughlin Bros., 1890).

Gelett Burgess, “Fishing for Mermaids”, pen and ink with watercolor on paper, for The Burgess Nonsense Book (Frederick R. Stokes Co. 1901).