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An ambitious publishing program of the Victorian era modeled itself on the scandalous and slanderous penny dreadfuls of the day, using penny-a-piece publishing to break down access to knowledge for the masses.
In the middle ages, Baghdad was a thriving center of learning, attracting scholars all over the Islamic world and beyond. The House of Wisdom was the research center at its heart.
France’s famed salons were all the rage in the 17th & 18th centuries, when the wigs were white, the corsets were tight, and the social mores were stifling. The salon tradition fueled the flames of early girl power, sparked a revolution that toppled the aristocracy, and even informed the French language as we know it (ooh la la!).
What started as a reasonable enough project to create a French translation of an existing, two volume general encyclopedia turned into an all consuming, scandal ridden, epic undertaking of some of the greatest minds of the French Enlightenment.
Long before today's participatory online science projects existed, individuals and groups have been taking experiments, data collection, and observations into their own hands in early examples of citizen science.
In Timbuktu, Mali, ancient manuscripts have survived the centuries against all odds - but their future is still uncertain.
Despite Nazi prohibitions on the education of non-German people in Poland during WWII, an incredible underground education movement defied their orders, taught millions, and preserved their history for the future.
You want to keep your finger on the pulse of the globe, for up-to-the-minute, real time understanding of the forces that are changing the world in these tumultuous times? Then grab your quill pen and get ready to join the hottest social network: The Republic of Letters.
Heroic and hard-working librarians on horseback worked tirelessly during the Great Depression to bring books to rural Kentuckians.