Digital Libraries


It is amazing to see the advances being made in the digitalization of some of the world's most prestigious and prolific libraries and art collections. I wanted to share some of the collections I've been perusing lately.

The University of Wisconsin's Digital Library of Decorative Art and Material Culture is great–Owen Jones's the Grammar of Ornament is a fascinating source of reference. I've enjoyed reading further about Owen Jones's ideas on textile redesign on the Textile Blog. (a very wonderful blog)



addition to a great text selection, the Decorative Arts also have an
archive of ceramics and furniture. Here is a ceramic handwarmer.




The Textile Museum of Canada
has a collection spanning 2,000 years and 200 world regions. There are
more than 12,000 artifacts in their permanent collection and lucky for
us, they have digitalized over 6,000 of these. Their collection of
African commemorative cloths is incredible, featuring things like this 1987 commemorative MPR jacket, and the below North Egyptian rug fragment c 400.

North Egyptian band 4th to 6th century

Kids and adults will appreciate the Children's Library–an
online archive of more than 4,000 children's books in more than 54
languages. Read some of the children's books from the 1800's. Pretty
dark stuff.


Below are a few images from the Prokudin-Gorskii Collection from the Library of Congress Digital Picture Collection

LIB Prokudin-Gorskii Collection loc.gov 

Nilova Monastery in 1910
Nilova Monastery in 1910.



See the back of Man Ray's Alfred Stieglitz from Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. If you're looking for the highlights of the Beinecke Library I suggest checking out Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities.

Ifa Pouch Yoruba

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has digitalized many of their artifacts and manuscripts. Very nice photographs of some beaded Yoruba pieces.

Stool by Yoruba Peoples 


Commision from the doge of Venice, 1685 — from the British Library's Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts

BibliOdyssey is an incredible blog specializing in obscure book art–covering everything from folk art to fauna. Always very interesting background information on every title they feature. I loved the "Facebook in the 1750s" post.

 Some of BibliOdyssey's scans of the Jewel Book of the Duchess of Bavaria (1550s).



A Journey Around My Skull is a treasure trove of bizarre and fantastic book art. I love his features on children's book art.

Journey Around My skull2 

Journey Around My skull1 

1959 illustration by Adolf Hoffmeister for Around the World in Eighty Days.

My head is spinning just from collecting information for this post.  It is unfathomable how much information is available to us instantaneously in this day and age. The foundations and people who make this possible are incredible.

Hope you enjoyed and check some of these places out!

xo Jane