Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Elementary Exercises In Youthful Intuition

Elementarwerke für die Jugend und ihre Freunde = Recuel D'Estampes relatives au Manuel Elémentaire D'Education Par Jean Bernard Basedow destinées A L'Usage Des Jeunes Gens Et De Leurs Amis = Tabularum Aenarum Collectio Ad Joannis Bernhardi Basedovii Opus Elementare In Usum Juventutis Et Illius Amicorum. (search result thumbnail page)

Approximately: "Elementary Work for Youth and their Friends"

Published in 1774 by JB Basedow with about 100 very detailed copper engravings by Daniel Chodowiecki.

From some rummaging around and very suspect translations I can tell you that Basedow founded an 'alternative' school in Dessau. His reforming beliefs came from a need to change from an hitherto agrarian outlook in society to education of young people to take up positions in newly emerging factories (I am paraphrasing).

"The elementary work treats humans, the logic, the religion and sittenlehre, the occupations and conditions of humans, finally history and natural history in nine books basic questions of the education, then. With the connection of text and picture, factual information and its dia.-logical discussion Basedow created the modern type of the Realienbuchs."

This funkily incongruous set of images comes from a german (historical - all out of copyright) illustration database called Pictura Paedagogica Online (translation).

You can't ask me how I found the above book because I really have no idea (nor any german knowledge whatsoever). But there is some intuitiveness about the website arrangement that may lead you on to finding some remarkable book illustrations, postcards and other images. It is a unique (to me) type of database and I will give them the BibliOdyssey award of the week for contributions to digital aesthetics, despite them having been online for 5 years.

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