“We are looking for new, inventive ways to navigate, find and display these unseen illustrations,” said O’Sheen. The Library is hoping that the rich trove of visual material will create alluring starting points for both scholarly and artistic projects.

Although the books were no longer protected by copyright, their obscurity was cloaking them from public attention. By making the images freely available, the idea is to give them back to the public, and thereby make them important again.

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