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Nature Illustrations Spanning Hundreds of Years Are Now Free Online #ArtTuesday

What is it about nature illustrations? They’re somehow strange and familiar. They make the practice of recording and indexing nature into something both clear and inscrutable. Technique, observation, and evocation all blend together in to a set of images that speak to just how much life has lived on our little blue planet.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library has made more than 150,000 imaged that date back as far as the 15th Century available on the internet. Every image is public domain.

Here’s more from MOTHERBOARD:

“To document Earth’s species and understand the complexities of swiftly-changing ecosystems in the midst of a major extinction crisis and widespread climate change, researchers need something that no single library can provide—access to the world’s collective knowledge about biodiversity,” BHL said on its website.

Users can browse the books by title and read them digitally, or pull up BHL’s Instagram account to scroll through images pulled from the books. You can find kick ass pictures of bats, read through an at-home taxidermist’s manual from 1833, or peruse Charles Darwin’s library. Not just the books Darwin wrote, but literally the ones he owned, scanned in full detail.

See more!



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