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Teeny, Tiny Shakespeare Books on Display at Yale

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Neale Albert with Works of William Shakespeare, 40 vols. (London: Allied Newspapers, 1904), bound by Jana Pribíková, 2005

Yale’s latest exhibition on William Shakespeare is decidedly pint-sized. This summer, the university is displaying almost 100 miniature books of writing by and about the Bard as part of an exhibit called “The Poet of Them All.”

These teeny, tiny bound books, all less than 3 inches tall, are a donation from Neale Albert, a Yale Law School grad and avid miniature book collector. The miniature versions of Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays are all covered with unique binding and cover designs commissioned by Albert over the past 10 years from prominent bookbinders from all over the world. Some of the books themselves date back to the 19th century. 

American binder Gabrielle Fox tooling with gold leaf, Queen Mab (Cincinnati: Squiggle Dot Press, 2007), photograph courtesy of Tom Allen

There are also 39 bound and illustrated copies, published in 2009, of the lyrics and music of “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” a song in Cole Porter’s 1948 musical Kiss Me, Kate from which the title of the exhibit was taken. 

Brush Up Your Shakespeare (New York: Piccolo Press, 2009), bound by Angela James, 2011, in goatskin with red, white, and printed calfskin onlays, Collection of Neale and Margaret Albert

King Henry IV, Part 1 from Shakespeare’s Works (New York: Knickerbocker Leather and Novelty Company, ca. 1910), bound by George Kirkpatrick, 2007, in leather with embossed silver covers, shown with casket enclosure made of resin, board, and leather, with paint and gold tooling, Collection of Neale and Margaret Albert

Julius Caesar from Shakespeare’s Works (New York: Knickerbocker Leather and Novelty Company, ca. 1910), bound by Santiago Brugalla, 2004, in goatskin with tooling and miniature hand-painted portrait medallions on front and back covers by John Hodgson, Collection of Neale and Margaret Albert

Brush Up Your Shakespeare (New York: Piccolo Press, 2009), bound by Derek Hood, 2010, in goatskin with multiple colored goatskin onlays, Collection of Neale and Margaret Albert

"The Poet of Them All" is at the Yale Center for British Art from June 16 to August 21, 2016. 

 All images courtesy the Yale Center for British Art 

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Thomas Quine, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Take a Peek Inside One of Berlin's Strangest Museums
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Thomas Quine, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Vlad Korneev is a man with an obsession. He's spent years collecting technical and industrial objects from the last century—think iron lungs, World War II gas masks, 1930s fans, and vintage medical prostheses. At his Designpanoptikum in Berlin, which bills itself (accurately) as a "surreal museum of industrial objects," Korneev arranges his collection in fascinating, if disturbing, assemblages. (Atlas Obscura warns that it's "half design museum, half horror house of imagination.") Recently, the Midnight Archive caught up with Vlad for a special tour and some insight into the question visitors inevitably ask—"but what is it, really?" You can watch the full video below.

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Courtesy of Nikon
Microscopic Videos Provide a Rare Close-Up Glimpse of the Natural World
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Courtesy of Nikon

Nature’s wonders aren’t always visible to the naked eye. To celebrate the miniature realm, Nikon’s Small World in Motion digital video competition awards prizes to the most stunning microscopic moving images, as filmed and submitted by photographers and scientists. The winners of the seventh annual competition were just announced on September 21—and you can check out the top submissions below.


Daniel von Wangenheim, a biologist at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria, took first place with a time-lapse video of thale cress root growth. For the uninitiated, thale cress—known to scientists as Arabidopsis thalianais a small flowering plant, considered by many to be a weed. Plant and genetics researchers like thale cress because of its fast growth cycle, abundant seed production, ability to pollinate itself, and wild genes, which haven’t been subjected to breeding and artificial selection.

Von Wangenheim’s footage condenses 17 hours of root tip growth into just 10 seconds. Magnified with a confocal microscope, the root appears neon green and pink—but von Wangenheim’s work shouldn’t be appreciated only for its aesthetics, he explains in a Nikon news release.

"Once we have a better understanding of the behavior of plant roots and its underlying mechanisms, we can help them grow deeper into the soil to reach water, or defy gravity in upper areas of the soil to adjust their root branching angle to areas with richer nutrients," said von Wangenheim, who studies how plants perceive and respond to gravity. "One step further, this could finally help to successfully grow plants under microgravity conditions in outer space—to provide food for astronauts in long-lasting missions."


Second place went to Tsutomu Tomita and Shun Miyazaki, both seasoned micro-photographers. They used a stereomicroscope to create a time-lapse video of a sweating fingertip, resulting in footage that’s both mesmerizing and gross.

To prompt the scene, "Tomita created tension amongst the subjects by showing them a video of daredevils climbing to the top of a skyscraper," according to Nikon. "Sweating is a common part of daily life, but being able to see it at a microscopic level is equal parts enlightening and cringe-worthy."


Third prize was awarded to Satoshi Nishimura, a professor from Japan’s Jichi Medical University who’s also a photography hobbyist. He filmed leukocyte accumulations and platelet aggregations in injured mouse cells. The rainbow-hued video "provides a rare look at how the body reacts to a puncture wound and begins the healing process by creating a blood clot," Nikon said.

To view the complete list of winners, visit Nikon’s website.


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