The Internet Archive allows you to browse, read, listen to, and watch millions of free media culled from different sources. I decided to look through the American library book archives in my quest to find a book about exorcisms. Instead, I found things more wonderful, dated, and horrifying than a ritual to expel demons from people. BEHOLD.
1. Epaminondas and His Auntie by Sara Cone Bryant and Illustrated by Inez Hogan - 1938
This children’s book was meant to be a light-hearted look at how fucking stupid little children can be. Instead, it is a richly illustrated tale of how fucking stupid little black children are, which is racist bullshit in its purest form. The lesson of the book is, apparently, that this black child will never learn from his mistake or be smart, as we see him stomping in freshly baked pies on the last page.
Did I mention the attempted murder of a puppy? Oh.
2. Signs, Omens, and Superstitions by Astra Cielo - 1918
I knew there were, and continue to be, many superstitions in the world, but this book is the ultimate guide to them. Cielo breaks down the many superstitions into numerous categories and then expounds upon them. For instance, the Wedding Superstitions tells us that “Bees should be informed that a wedding is in progress and their hives decorated. It brings good luck.”
April Fool’s Day: “To be fooled by a pretty girl denotes that you will marry her if single, or befriend her if already married.”
Beliefs Concerning Eggs: “For the plague, eggs were often prescribed. They were usually filled with drugs.” I think I’m missing how this is a superstition and not the best idea ever.
3. American Gun Makers by Arcadie Gluckman and LeRoy DeForest Satterlee - 1953, Second Edition
This book is literally a listing of all of the gun makers in America. That’s it. And they needed a second edition.
4. Pinocchio: The Story Of A Puppet by Carlo Lorenzini and Illustrated by Maria L. Kirk - 1914
I did not get any further than this delightful illustration of Pinocchio snatching up Geppetto’s rug.
Then I read the chapter names listed in the Content. They are just elaborate descriptions of what happens in the chapters. I wonder what happens in chapter “The Story of Pinocchio and the Talking-cricket, from Which We See that Naughty Boys Cannot Endure to be Corrected by Those Who Know More than They do”.
5. How To Know People By Their Hands by Josef Ranald - 1938
According to Ranald, there are 8 types of hands: Elementary, Conic, Square, Spatulate, Knotty, Pointed, Combined Types, and Mixed. People with Elementary hands are idiots. Fingers are also broken into several categories and the mounts of the hand are all named after planets and the moon.
Ranald then analyzes the hands of historical figures, including everyone’s favorite symbol of evil, Hitler. Apparently his hand portended all of the terribleness. WAKE UP, SHEEPLE.
All insanity aside, The Internet Archive is a completely free collection for people to find media they may need or just want to look over. Books were scanned into the system for preservation and may be sent directly to a Kindle or read on the website. I haven’t looked at the other forms of media, but I’m guessing the collection is just as eclectic as that of our American libraries.