You know that super serious and studious institute that we all admire and love and that sits in Washington, D.C.? Well, turns out, they have a bit of a sense of humor (who knew?!). Some genius over at the Smithsonian Library Tumblr has started animating images in old books. It’s really so wonderful and nerdy and just plain great! So much love for this it’s ridiculous.

The Smithsonian is out to prove that gifs are not just reserved for pop culture. Nope, they’re kicking it old and new school with now-animated drawings from books that were published way back in the 1850s.

The employee behind this little hack is named Richard Naples, and old Richie wants you to be able to make gifs out of any digital book that you love, so he created a step-by-step tutorial over on the Smithsonian’s blog, Unbound. This is by far the most Brit + Co move that the Smithsonian has ever made. And for that, we salute them.

There are plenty of static images on the Tumblr as well, and you can also find outtake GIFs over on the Twitter feed of the responsible party for making this magic happen, Mr. Naples himself.

The images featured are part of the public domain or come from their collections digitization programs, so reblog to your heart’s content!

Our personal favorites are featured here… and we just have to say, Uncommon Flying Squirrel FTW!

Do tell: What’s your favorite image on this Tumblr?