The Brave New (and Old) World of Data

Data, made up of units so uniform as to be, almost by necessity, boring, unite to form collectives of information in a data-driven world that is recognized now as exciting, sexy, and consummately modern. And not for the first time, we must add. At least since the rise of print … Continue reading

Early Modern Literary Geographies

One of the gems in The Huntington’s library collection is a 16th-century image titled “View from Wotton Underwood.” Although officially cataloged as a “map,” it’s quite different from what we usually call a map today. Offering a detailed and colorful point of view on a particular Buckinghamshire village, this map … Continue reading

Instagram Takeover with Lynell George

Yesterday, we handed The Huntington’s Instagram account over to journalist and essayist Lynell George, who spent the day sharing photos of items in the archive of famed science fiction writer Octavia E. Butler. Lynell has been conducting research in the archive as part of “Radio Imagination,” a yearlong project organized … Continue reading

A Renaissance Curiosity

In J.K. Rowling’s novel Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, a quick-thinking Harry saves his best friend’s life by making him swallow a bezoar stone—a calcification from the stomach of a goat or other ruminant. Harry believed, as did many Renaissance doctors, that the stone served as a universal antidote … Continue reading

Empowering the Earl of Leicester

The Huntington possesses an astonishing Elizabethan-era illuminated manuscript, dating from 1567, entitled Heroica Eulogia. Containing a series of vignettes of earls and kings, it is an exquisite volume that combines paintings, coats of arms, Latin poems, 14 distinctive styles of handwriting, and historical documents. Its author (although “producer” might be … Continue reading