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You stumble into a room, by chance, and before your eyes appears a wondrous display. As you get closer, amazing events start to unfold. You savour the sounds, words, images, and when they seem wind down you think the curtain is about to fall. But no, the scene just shifts, and new marvels materialise. And all this happens not once, but several times over, each unlike the others.

Fragment of an engraving by John James Audubon

This is how I felt last night when I discovered this site (thanks to soc.motss’s Corry W.). It belongs to the Musée de la civilisation in Québec. It’s bilingual. And it’s astonishing.

(Notes: You need Macromedia Flash to view the site. Without Flash, you’ll still be able to look at John James Audubon’s 435 magnificent engravings. The image on the right is a very small portion taken from one of them, © Musée de la civilisation. I use it in the same sense and spirit in which I would quote from a text.)

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