Write Your Own Stories Based on These Public Domain Images

The British Library has used its flickr page to upload over a million obscure images that have passed into the public domain. It is an amazing collection, and I’m going to be featuring a bunch of them in the coming weeks.

The above image is from 1893’s The Angel of the Revolution: a tale of the coming Terror. ... With illustrations by F. T. Janes, which gives you a hint about what the original work was about. But when you look at it, what do you see?


As some background, the British Library put over a million of obscure images online in 2013, and also uses a “Mechanical Curator” to randomly select images out of copyrightIn addition to using new technology to make these pieces available, they’re also using the uploads to crowdsource tags for the images.

Boing Boing focused on some of the more insane covers of adventure magazines from the 1950s and 60s. And our friends at Gizmodo have covered this project before, picking out just 15 of the weirdest images, but I’m asking you to get creative. And possibly provide explanations (real or fake) based on these particularly strange ones:

Beards from The National and Domestic History of England ... With numerous steel plates, coloured pictures, etc.

Wisconsin’s “Peculiar Effigy Mounds” from 1898’s Leading Events of Wisconsin History. The story of the State)


Lots of weirdness and butts from this (1880, Lehrbuch der Geschichte der alten Welt, mit besonderer Berücksichtigung von Mythologie, Kunst- und Cultur-Geschichte für höhere Schulen ... Mit einem Vorwort von ... G. Kreyenberg):


Next week, I’ll pick a more coherent theme. This week’s theme was “What the hell is that?”

Contact the author at katharine@io9.com.


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