Wednesday, 28 September 2011

"I See All"

Consisting of around 100,000 little black and white pictures with captions, interspersed with many gorgeous full-colour themed pages like this one, I See All (click on title for link) was billed as the "world's first pictorial encyclopedia" when it started appearing as a part-work in 1900, edited by Arthur Mee. Like the more recent Look and Learn, which I wrote about earlier, it is available online or in ebook format. My family inherited a set of the bound volumes, and I remember poring over it as a child. The imagination of a child invests such things with an intensity of life and colour - and an "atmosphere" - that grown-ups have mostly forgotten, until perhaps they chance on an old comic book or encyclopedia and experience a wave of nostalgia. We learn more from these experiences of beauty than we can put into words. I will be featuring some of the colour pages from this publication in future posts. They may be useful or inspirational to someone.

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