Robert Howlett, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, builder of the Great Eastern, ca. 1857-1858. George Eastman House,

Photographer: Robert Howlett | Isambard Kingdom Brunel, builder of the Great Eastern | ca. 1857-1858 | George Eastman House,

Some stories we’ve been reading this week:

Bon appétit

Just in time for lunch: The New York Public Library has scanned more than 17,000 menus from 1851 to 2008.

Abstraction avant la lettre

Cross-hatched engravings found in a cave in Gibraltar are being called the first known examples of Neanderthal rock art by scientists who studied the site.

Too hot

A masterpiece by Raphael was warped by faulty air conditioning.

New Piero della Francesca?

Scholars think that a 15th-century fresco attributed to a student of Piero della Francesca might be the work of the master himself.

Vampire weekend

The great-grandnephew of Dracula author Bram Stoker and a Dutch art researcher and artistic nude photographer believe they’ve found Dracula’s castle (or rather, the location that inspired Stoker’s fictitious Castle Dracula).

And on a somewhat related note, JSTOR shared this link on Facebook: the course list for Rupert Giles, Master of Library Sciences candidate. The people who will enjoy this don’t need any more explanation.