Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Sometime(s) Natural History of Japan

The always exasperating entertaining National Diet Library in Japan have just posted their new Fauna and Flora in Illustrations - Natural History of the Edo Era exhibition online. There is approximately zero english, but that's half the battle fun.

If natural history is your thing and you have some serious hours to kill, there is a huge amount of illustrative material either on this site or linked from it. Do Not Be Afraid To Click Links!

The actual links page from the NDL brings up the Glover Atlas and this site by way of example. I have just thrown away 3 hours -- being taken to everything from 17th century scrolls to MMUD games to archaeological progress reports about Syria to geology identification tables with many fully digitized manuscripts and books in between. There are herbaria, taxonomy databases, vintage anthropology photos and much much more in museum after museum. Almost everything in the way of zoology or botany images are from rare and/or old books - both Japanese and western. I have no idea where I've been for the mostpart but it was a serious and enjoyable time sink.


piranha said...

if i were still in college, the NDL would be single-handedly responsible for me dropping a couple of classes, i am afraid. :)

pk said...

Heh. It's strangely addictive.
Good thing there is digital serendipity to go along with the blind clicking.

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