I began Codex 99 in the spring/summer of 2008 while waiting in an outpatient infusion center for my wife to finish her all-day-long 3×/week chemotherapy. If nothing else it allowed me, like Carroll’s Alice, to reach for the bottle that said “Drink Me” and, even if only for an hour or so at a time, escape down the rabbit hole and forget about T-cell leukemias. After Nina died (between here and here) it became even more of the “Drink Me” bottle and even more of the rabbit hole. Everyone’s blog begins with something like this, right?

Over the intervening years the site has become a way for me to research and organize my interests in art or design or history; or my interests in other things – often held since my childhood – loosely filtered through the lens of art, design or history.

This research has become my favorite part about doing the site. Along the way I have learned more about the Victorian penchant for classification, Nazi anatomy, old bibles, National Geographic, French illustration, photography and card games, middle-aged academic cartographers, young 19th century stage actresses, Canadian quintuplets, mid-century pin-ups or minimal realists then is probably healthy.

The site is embellished with diagrams, drawings, illustrations, maps, and photographs. Wherever possible, these images are linked to much larger versions. The site has its own Linotype slug. The site includes footnotes.1

The current post is on the home page and all of the previous posts are cataloged in the Archive. Note that once a post is started it is never considered finished but simply exists on the site in state. As I learn more about any given subject (the purpose of the blog, after all) posts can be updated, split up or otherwise folded, spindled and mutilated.

Site updates – an ersatz RSS feed, if you will – are available via Twitter or Facebook.

The site is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. Note however many of the images presented here may be licensed under different copyright arrangements – caveat utilitor.

The site is produced at the Codex 99 World Headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio at a desk designed in New York and a chair designed in Santa Monica, California – both of which were manufactured in Zeeland, Michigan.

The site is written entirely by hand (i.e. artisanally crafted) on a computer designed in California and assembled in Shanghai, China using software written in Mountain View, California (and probably Bangalore, India), Boston, Massachusetts, Bedford, Massachusetts, Wörth am Rhein, Germany and Portland, Oregon.

The site uses typefaces designed in New York City which are served from god- knows-where by an international bot-net-like thing.

The site is hosted on servers in Columbus, Ohio.

Finally, if you manage to do anything interesting with any of the stuff here I’d love to hear about it.

1. Noel Coward (who credits a more ribald version of the story to John Barrymore) once complained that “reading footnotes is like having to go downstairs and answer the door bell while you are upstairs making love.” Your humble narrator obviously disagrees with this, preferring instead to think of the footnote as going downstairs while making love only to find that hot Asian girl you barely know wants to not only join in but show you this interesting thing she learned while living in Bangkok.

For more see: Grafton, Anthony. The Footnote: A Curious History. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1999 (WorldCat) or Zerby, Chuck. The Devil’s Details: A History of Footnotes. New York: Touchstone, 2003 (WorldCat).

7 Jul 2015 ‧ Administrativa

Contact me:
jim at codex99.com