Saturday, November 03, 2007


The host site of these images closed me out or died or was taken over. Needless to say that I lost quite a number of blog images.

Fortunately you CAN see all the images in this Internet Archive Wayback Machine retrieval for posterity.

image no.  2404

image no.  2418

image no.  2429

image no.  2439.1

image no.  2440.2

image no.  2443.1

image no.  2444.2

image no.  2450.1

image no.  2457.1

image no.  2571

image no.  2669

image no.  2673

image no.  2680

image no.  2683

image no.  2730

image no.  2736

image no.  2746

image no.  2787

image no.  2916

image no.  2917

image no.  2952

Every so often I like to strap on an oxygen tank and go archive diving into the depths of the German Natural History Museum sifting through the extensive legacy of the renowned microscopist, Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg. Beyond his published works, some of which have been featured here previously (see below), three thousand of Ehrenberg's original illustrations have been saved and digitised in high resolution format - but the material is only available as very large image files.

I can't believe it has taken me this long to develop a new downloading trick -- I start off eight or ten random file downloads (it's essentially blind fishing) and then keep an eye on the thumbnails that appear in the target folder. These mini-images tend to be visible immediately after the download commences. That way I can quickly terminate any in the queue that, for one reason or another, aren't as desirable. [... a 'note to self' for the future]

Despite this hallelujah revelation, I probably downloaded half a gigabyte of data by taking a cross section sampling from only six hundred out of the three thousand drawings available. (for anyone mad keen enough to pursue this themselves, the alt-tags for the above images note the file number - they all come from the series 2400-3013) [German Natural History Museum - Ehrenberg downloads] {by the way: just in case you are anything like me and you were hoping to cheat, the 'interesting' in the 'interesting drawings list.txt' does not seem to include 'exceptional visual quality' as one of its selection criteria}

Image dates on the sketch pages seem to be mostly from the 1830s, although there are a couple from the 1880s.

For more information about Ehrenberg and (more images from) his seminal contributions to the worlds of microgeology, micropaleontology, rotifera, radiolaria and diatoms, see in order:

All of the above images were reduced in size by about two thirds (they are still roughly 2000 x 1500px) and uploaded to Webshots - the Webshots album has more than twenty further images in addition to those you see here.



Unknown said...

Oh my - oh my word. Beautiful.

Diane Dehler said...

Such detail!

sensei said...

sehr schön, vielen dank! das herunterladen ist in der tat sehr diffizil ;).
gibt es hier schon diesen hinweis?:
jedenfalls liebe grüße aus germanien von sensei

bioephemera said...

Oh, happy happy happy. I have looked over them three times and that's not enough.

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