Victorian Infographics

Check out this sampling of beautiful vintage information design over at the always-excellent BibliOdyssey:

The David Rumsey Map Collection has now been online for ten years. [This] selection of carto-curios is from the latest batch of material uploaded to the site.

Rumsey is an internet hero of the first order. Following the success of his business he was able to afford to indulge his latent interest for all things cartographic and he assembled a massive collection of more than 150,000 items.

That might have been the end of the story: rich dude spends money on secret passion in obscurity. But Rumsey wanted to share his collection with the world and mere donation of his maps and atlases to a document repository didn't seem like it would fully satisfy his magnanimous urges. From a five year old interview on SFGate: "I realized that whichever institution I gave it to would lock it away, put it on a shelf," he says, with mild indignation. "But just then the technology came along that would enable me to put it all up online, and it was obvious that this was the best way I could give it away to the public."