The 21st-century is the golden age of data visualization. This phenomenon is evidenced in everything from film plots to the world’s billionaires being mapped and dissected into glossy, digitally produced pictorial compositions. A new exhibition at the British Library, Beautiful Science, reflects back on how complex information was displayed before the onset of computers. Serving as a time capsule of factual representation, the show features drawings that represent topics from Crimean war deaths to ocean currents with the oldest diagrams dating back to the early 17th-century. Art in themselves, the detailed illustrations of yore shed light on the incredible ways information has been distilled by hand.