Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities

Visualizing History

Posted in Beinecke Library, Shirley Collection by beineckepoetry on September 2, 2011

Pages from Elizabeth Peabody’s Universal History: Arranged to Illustrate Bem’s Charts of Chronology. New York: Pub. for the author by Sheldon and Co, 1859.

A system for charting historical events on a grid (representing historical periods, arranged chronologically); squares, divided into 9 parts each, to represent distinct categories of historical events; and colors, to show different “Nations”.

A curious abstract visual system for reducing history to shapes and color on a standard, single field of two-dimensional representation.

The end product, while perhaps not becoming a real mnenomic device for learning history (or a compelling Visual Display of Quantitative Information), produced some intriguing designs.

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The Ninth month

Posted in Beinecke Library, General Modern Collection, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on September 7, 2010

“The sun shines high above
The sounds of laughter
The birds swoop down upon
The crosses of old grey churches
We say that we’re in love
While secretly wishing for rain
Sipping coke and playing games

September’s here again
September’s here again”

– David Sylvian

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Geographic Sing-Along

Posted in Beinecke Library, Shirley Collection by beineckepoetry on February 18, 2010

Sample pages from an 1848 book for children intended to teach physical and political geography by way of rhymes set to popular tunes – jingoism notwithstanding.

Lyon, Sarah M. 1848. The musical geography: a new natural arrangement of the names of all the physical features of the globe. Troy [N.Y.]: Young & Hart.