Title Cities

Cityscapes based on title pages of influential antique books

A book’s title page contains more than its namesake—including its author, contributors, publisher, and release date, and. Antiquarian books are known for having lengthy titles, especially those of a scientific nature. These books’ frequently unassuming title pages are gateways to a wealth of knowledge and the focal point of this project.

Title pages of antique influential scientific books covering a variety of subjects were coded and reimagined as colorful cityscapes based solely on their words to illustrate the unique body of knowledge readers would find within. This list is not exhaustive but a small sampling of influential books. More may be added and suggestions are welcomed.

Boxes were drawn around each word of a title page and color-coded by its first letter (words beginning with “A” are one color, “B” another, and so on). Each title page has its own palette. Those boxes were then upended and arranged to form an abstract cityscape while maintaining their original sizes relative to each other.

On the Origin of Species

Charles Darwin, 1859 - One of the most influential works of the 19th century

  • Original scan
  • Highlighted words
  • Poster

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Opticks

Isaac Newton, 1704 - Analyzes the fundamental nature of light

  • Original scan
  • Highlighted words
  • Poster

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Systema Naturæ

Carl Linnaeus, 1735 - Introduced Linnaean taxnomy for biological classification

  • Original scan
  • Highlighted words
  • Poster

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Principia

Isaac Newton, 1687 - Laws of motion and foundation of classical mechanics

  • Original scan
  • Highlighted words
  • Poster

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De Motu Cordis

William Harvey, 1628 - Established the circulation of blood in living beings

  • Original scan
  • Highlighted words
  • Poster

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Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems

Galileo Galilei, 1632 - Supports the idea that the planets orbited the sun, going against the church at the time

  • Original scan
  • Highlighted words
  • Poster

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Notes on Nursing

Florence Nightingale, 1869 - Common sense and wisdom as a solid basis for caring for sick people today

  • Original scan
  • Highlighted words
  • Poster

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Theory of the Earth

James Hutton, 1795 - First modern theory of the earth’s crust

  • Original scan
  • Highlighted words
  • Poster

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Traité Élémentaire de Chimie

Antoine Lavoisier, 1789 - Considered to be the first modern chemical textbook

  • Original scan
  • Highlighted words
  • Poster

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A Short Treatise on the Application of Steam

James Rumsey, 1788 - Showed that steam can power boats

  • Original scan
  • Highlighted words
  • Poster

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Published August 30, 2020


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