book

Annual report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution 1896

I have found the complete issue of an anual report of the Simthsonian Institute of 1896. The book was digitized and is available for download at https://archive.org/details/annualreportofbo1896smit. To be more precise: 1624 (!!!) pages were scanned. And it comprises such an enormous, huge knowledge about all sorts of ancient things from all over the world. All with illustrations and precise descriptions. It is a pure pleasure to read it and explore its illustrations.

So many things the book deals with: Games like chess in all of its variations and also loads of ancient games played by native people all over the world. Not only their names, but also exhausting description of how to play them. Same counts for excotic instruments like this bronze age horn: Bronze Age Horn And even more, it provides some interesting articles about possibly forgotten mysteries like that of this plate: Magi with Baresma Reading through this book, I cannot help but being reminded of how important it is to conserve knowledge. This book is a comprehensive archive of exotic utilities native people made use of in the 19th century. How many of this knowledge might already be forgotten, how many games no longer played, how many instruments haven’t made sounds for how long? And I really think this is one of the greatest achievements of the digital age and of the internet: making such rare knowledge available for everybody. And thus helping spreading and conserving it.

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