There is nothing I love more than scouring the digitized world of libraries on the Internet for things that catch my eye. Libraries across the world are digitizing books at an incredible pace, making images and text several centuries old available for all. It’s a vast ocean of wonder out there, and this week my net brought in more of what I like a great deal: old diagrams, charts, and informational graphics. There is a lot to learn from all of this. Taken out of context from their original meaning and intent, these vintage diagrams border on fine art.
These illustrations and diagrams come from attempts to explain navigation, the stars, geography, clairvoyance, physiology, color, archaeology, and more. Vintage illustrations similar to these can now be discovered and enjoyed by everyone. All it takes is a little curiosity, a few keywords, persistence, and perhaps at times, luck.