This list, as it currently stands, was fully digitized from the 2014 book BiblioCraft by Jessica Pigza. It's enough of a pain in the ass to type in dozens of links from a book (yes, I did these by hand, because I wasn't feeling up to figuring out OCR software), but none of these seem to be backed up anywhere digital, and a great deal of the links were dead.
In the future, I may choose to expand on this page, or maybe trim out dead links. If that happens, I will choose between making a visitable backup of this page as it currently stands, or shuffling dead links off to a subpage, but either way I will try my best to not destroy any information.
- Bibliodyssey: BiblioCraft describes this site as "frequently updated"; it last posted in 2015. When it was around, it seemed to cover a little bit of everything.
- Smithsonian Libraries Image Gallery: Previously the "Galaxy of Images", I guess they couldn't handle having a cool name. Tons of stuff from the Smithsonian.
- Images Online: Extensive search engine. Must purchase licensing for images.
- Public Domain Review: Lots of stuff, many of it published through the Internet Archive.
- NYPL's Digital Gallery: Tons of free-to-use things. This one's massive, I don't even know where to start.
- Hearth: A Digital Archive of Home Economics Publications: Digitized collection of Home Economics books.
- Glory of Women: An Introduction to Prescriptive Literature: A surface-level glance at etiquette books across multiple centuries. It doesn't seem you can actually read any of them through the site, but they have summaries and it's a good start to a search engine adventure.
- Human Ecology Collections Online: Thousands of digitally viewable historical textiles.
- Women Working: Woman's economics history between 1800 and 1930. Readable books, searchable text. They even link to the Wayback version.
- Antique Pattern Library: Public domain craft publications.
- American Craft Council Library: Tons of historical American crafts.
- Craft Revival: Period documents, photographs, and craft objects from North Carolina in the late 19th century. Searchable.
- American Folklife Center: I'll save you some fumbling, here's the online collections.
- Roadside America Postcards: I love this one. 130 postcards dating from 1930 to 1960.
- Winterthur's Digital Collections: Some weird stuff in here. Written receipts, playing cards, um... hair?
- What's on the Menu?: Historical restaurant menus! Text searchable!
- John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera: I can't tell you what's in this one since the catalogue search doesn't work for me. Here's a list of categories, including... "Magic and Mystery"?
- Victorian Valentines Collection: Nineteenth century Valentine cards.
- Northwestern University Library's World War II Poster Collection: Hundreds of propaganda posters from the U.S. government.
- Produce for Victory: Posters on the American Home Front: Man, the government really just wanted to kill us, huh? [NEW]
- Powers of Persuasion: Poster Art from World War II: More of that, this time with pressuring minorities! [NEW]
BOOK ARTS AND BOOKBINDINGS
- British Armorial Bindings: Catalogue of such famous heraldic charges found on bookbindings as the "squirrel".
- British Library's Bindings Database: Bookbindings. The default search style selects 25 random images, for some reason.
- Publishers' Cloth Bindings: Tons of categories and essays. Site is defunct but still mostly browsable.
- Hand Bookbindings: Different styles. Nicely cropped images.
- Inventory of Bookbinders' Finishing Tools: This is the only one I found that might actually be lost lost. The link is a 404, and Wayback doesn't have it.
- Decorative and Decorated Papers Collection: Tons of cool patterned paper.
- Bindings Image Collection: More book bindings. Searchable
- Decorated Papers Digital Exhibition: This one is practically inaccessible, I can't seem to find a modern mirror of it. But it's here for completionism, and maybe someone will figure it out.
COSTUME AND FASHION
- Metropolitan Museum's Shared Image Database: Searchable database of costumes.
- FIT Special Collections and Archives: Searchable database of costumes.
- Chicago History Museum's Costume and Textile Collection: Collection of fashion from Chicago history.
ARTS AND DESIGN
- Getty Portal: Art history publications. Searchable.
- Archive of Art and Design: Searchable catalogue covering many different topics. I enjoy their Rapid Response Collection.
- Cooper-Hewitt National Design Library: Design and decorative art from the Renaissance to the present... allegedly. I can't figure out navigation.
- Cooper-Hewitt National Design Library's Collection: A more searchable version of the above, I think.
- D.B. Dowd Modern Graphic History Library: 20th-century graphic design. Mostly a remote catalogue, but some digital things.
- Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature: Digitized children's books from the mid-1600s to now.
- University of Pittsburgh's 19th Century Schoolbooks Project: 19th century schoolbooks.
- Free Library's Children's Book and Illustrator Collections: You'll have to scroll down a bit for the digitized books.
- Cotsen Children's Library: Online exhibitions.
- George M. Fox Collection of Early Children's Books: Digitized books, hosted via Internet Archive.
- Harvard Views of Readers, Readership, and Reading History: Digitized historical textbooks and manuscripts.
- Beyond Nancy Drew: A Guide to Girls' Literature: Sypnoses of historical girls' literature. No full texts as far as I can tell.
- Library of Congress' Childrens Literature: Digitized children's literature.
- The Walters Art Museum's Manuscripts and Rare Books: Digitized manuscripts and religious texts.
- British Library's Illuminated Manuscripts: Basically a whole tour to the concept of illuminated manuscripts, which I didn't even know the definition of until writing the description for this.
- Penn in Hand: Digitized manuscripts.
- Digital Scriptorium: Just a catalogue as far as I can tell. Not very easy to use right now.
- Catalogue of Digitized Medieval Manuscripts: The modern version of this website seems to have been an under-construction page since 2015. The archive is not complete.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
- Biodiversity Heritage Library: This is a favorite of mine. Public domain biology illustrations, books, and photographs.
- Medical Heritage Library: Digitized medical history, hosted through the Internet Archive.
- United States National Library of Medicine: Digitized medical history. Even has HIV/AIDS ephemera.
- William Andrews Clark Memorial Library: Online exhibitions.
- Royal Society Picture Library: Biology. Some lovely images of fish.
- Reanimation Library: Very peculiar site. Seems to be currently unusable as its catalog just throws an error.
- Wellcome Library: A whole bunch of stuff!
- Lloyd Library and Museum: Botany, pharmacy, medicine...
- Women and Nature: This one seems to be lost. What's still there is very nice. [NEW]
- Historical Anatomies: Sixteenth century animal illustration. [NEW]
- American Museum of Natural History: Tons of scientific collections. [NEW]
MAPS AND CARTOGRAPHY
- Old Maps Online: What it says on the tin.
- Library of Congress' Discovery and Exploration Collection: Maps.
- Osher Map Library: Maps.
- Map History: Links to other sites that have even more maps.
- Bell Library's Portolan Charts: Fascinating older website. Copyright dates it 1999-2001. [NEW]
- Yale University's Beinecke Library [NEW]
- National Maritime Museum [NEW]
- International Quilt Study Center and Museum: Historical quilts.
- Smithsonian's National Quilt Collection: Historical quilts.
- Richard Rutt Collection: Knitting how-to books.
- Victoria and Albert Museum: Knitting-related objects.
- Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Collection: Penmanship samples, ephemera, journals.
- Rob Roy Kelly American Wood Type Collection: Ooh, chunky letters.
- Cary Graphic Arts Collection: Graphic design. Browse here.
- Richard Harrison collection of Calligraphy and Lettering: Just another library catalog I think?
- Free Library of Philadelphia's Fraktur: Here's an impressively niche one. Folk art by the Pennsylvania Dutch.
- Newberry Library: This one I'm the most stumped on how to navigate. Here is the archived link from BiblioCraft.
- The International Association of Master Penman, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting: Digitized penmanship compendiums from the 19th century. Also, I'm convinced they made their name that long just so they could flex on that logo. [NEW]
- Horace Grant Healey penmanship collection: At the time of BiblioCraft having been written, this collection was not digitized. It still isn't fully, but a few pages have been scanned. Cool stuff! [NEW]
- Web Museum of Wood Types and Ornaments: Now THIS is a cool website. [NEW]
- Briar Press: Not really sure how I feel about this one (they scan ornaments from old specimens, then... put usage restrictions on them?) but I'm including it for completionism.
PERFORMING ARTS AND FILM
- New York Public Library for the Performing Arts: BiblioCraft swears this site has recordings, videotapes, sheet music, posters... I'm sure it does. Maybe it's been moved into their broader digital collection by now.
- Paley Center for Media: I'm sure this one is interesting if you know how to navigate it but to me it's just a bunch of text. BiblioCraft claims it has "moving image advertisements".
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives: This site was too slow for me to figure out, which is a shame, because it looks cool.
- Free Library of Philadelphia's Theatre Collection: Lobby cards, posters, and promo material.
- Watermarks of the Middle Ages: Surprisingly comprehensive searchable database of various symbols.
- Piccard Watermark Collection: I don't know German so I'm totally lost here.
- The Thomas L. Gravell Watermark Archive: Search isn't immediately intuitive; try using the dropdown instead of typing in keywords. I like their cats.
- Watermark Database of the Dutch University Institute for Art History: Limited search and an odd guest login.
- Watermarks in Incunabula Printed in the Low Countries: No image preview in search.
- William Augustus Brewer Bookplate Collection: Twelve thousand images!
- John Starr Stewart Ex Libris Collection: A thousand images, largely from the 19th century.
- Pratt Institute Libraries Special Collections: A thousand images, from the 15th to the 21st century.
- Ainslie Hewett Bookplate Collection): Bookplates from the 20th century.
- Leah Mishkin Bookplate Collection: Not very accessible, but still cool. Three thousand bookplates from worldwide Jewish institutions.
- Food Timeline: Ahhh, I've seen this site a few times while reading about bizarre 50s recipes. Hasn't been updated since 2022 - I wonder what they'd make of TikTok?
- Feeding America: the Historic American Cookbook Project: 76 digitized cookbooks from the 18th to the 20th century. Really cool!