BOOKS
08/08/2014 08:22 am ET | Updated Aug 12, 2014

14 Stunning Book Illustrations Brought To Life

Smithsonian Libraries

Any reader will tell you that books are magical, thanks to a unique ability to educate and inspire. But when text and images are brought to life in new ways, the magic of books is especially apparent.

The Smithsonian Libraries have done just that, by creating cheeky GIFs from pages of the books they store. Witnessing a flying squirrel from a 19th century document literally flying across the page, à la images printed in "The Daily Prophet", certainly makes for an enriched reading experience.

The library says their aim is to "digitize and organize material that's been practically dead to the world." In doing so, they've breathed new life into images of early fireworks, sketches of Galileo's astronomical observations and serene Japanese woodblock prints. Below are 14 stunning book illustrations brought to life:

Gorgeous Book Illustrations Brought To Life

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