If you are looking for an interesting browse on the stranger side of the historical, check out Scripophily.net, or Oldstocks.com. Defined as the study and collection of stocks and bonds, scripophily is an interesting trip into the business successes and failures of yesteryear. Take, for instance, the New England Breeders' Club (illegal horse-racing anyone?). And many of the certificates are beautiful!
Ah collecting. I have to say that I had no idea that people collected old stock and bond certificates. What's next... collecting the names of dead people and putting them in a database?