Rare book room of delights

Rndwar Via Friend Feed:

“The Rare Book Room site has been constructed as an educational site intended to allow the visitor to examine and read some of the great books of the world. Over the last decade, a company called “Octavo” digitally photographed some of the world’s great books from some of the greatest libraries. These books were photographed at very high resolution (in some cases at over 200 megabytes per page). This site contains all of the books (about 400) that have been digitized to date. These range over a wide variety of topics and rarity. The books are presented so that the viewer can examine all the pages in medium to medium-high resolution.” You can search by category, author or library.

The picture shown here is from Poissons, ecrevisses et crabes, de diverses couleurs et figures extraordinaires, by Louis Renard. “In 100 plates containing 460 brilliantly colored engravings that represent a dazzling multitude of fishes, along with crustaceans, grasshoppers, a dugong, and a mermaid, Louis Renard’s Fishes, crayfishes and crabs, of diverse coloration and extraordinary form displays the most fantastic evocation of exotic aquatic life ever produced.”

Other books included are Shakespeare’s quartos and folios from various libraries; issues of Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac and his major work Experiments and Observations on Electricity; books of hours; works by Galileo and Copernicus; and The Choix des plus belles fleurs by Redouté, also very pretty.