It is no surprise that steampunk aesthetics are easily applied to home office equipment. A home office is really an extension of the traditional home library or study which reached the heights of design in Victorian times. So, if you want to achieve a sleek steampunk look you should start with a traditional home library design, not much different from what you can see in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Jay Walker’s famous library can also serve as an inspiration. Note how the lighting has been updated, compared to the more traditional-looking libraries and some materials are used that would not have been common in the 19th century.
Now comes the interesting part. You can easily modify any modern office equipment to look “period”, thus creating steampunk items by definition. You can find tutorials on how to mod a computer, an LCD screen or a keyboard. Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite.
As you may have observed, there are several ways of creating a steampunk object. You can start with a modern device and add design and functional elements to it. Instead, you can use an existing Victorian era item and add modern capabilities to it.
Steampunk computer mice
It is generally very easy to mod a mouse, because most modern mice are optical. You can easily slop anything on top of it. There is no Victorian object that I can think of that you can turn into a mouse
There is actually an extremely simple way to make your own steampunk USB drive. Fine an antique lighter and use its case to house any USB drive you have!
LibraryThing has a discussion about weird objects used as bookmarks. For the most part these are discovered by librarians who deal with receiving and re-shelving borrowed books. I compiled a convenient list of such bookmarks. Just keep in mind that you will have to go through it in order to find out what the absolute strangest bookmarks are.
piece of bark
lock of hair
endorsed checks with a deposit slip
Abductees Anonymous member card
package of gum
outline for an unwritten book
chewed chewing gum
Geographical globes should and can be considered a sort of book accessory! Envision a distinguished gentleman who is reading in his study. Every once in a while he looks at a large globe, just to get a better idea of distances between remote parts of the British Empire, described in the book. And so on. These days, the gentleman would probably use Google Earth. But you still cannot beat the look of an old globe. It creates a visual departure from the rectangles dominating your home library or office. Another good thing is that because we no longer rely on globes as sources of geographical knowledge antique globes and their replicas can give any book-filled space that desired old-timey look! Probably the most renowned company that makes such replicas is Authentic Models.
If your desk space is crowded, try a standalone globe. There are even bookends that feature small globes.
Modern technologies made lighted magnifying glass a very simple thing to implement. LED lights provide ample light, they are inexpensive, easily powered and relatively “cold”. The last circumstance makes them ideal even for working with antique books and maps, as you will be unlikely to cause any damage. Lighted magnifiers also relieve the reader of the need to use other sources of light at all times. Not only this saves electricity, but also helps maintain a cozy somewhat dimmed environment in the library — something that so many book owners cherish above all.
Here are several stylish designs for lighted magnifying glasses. In terms of functionality, my advice is to look at the number of LED lights. A single LED may not provide you adequate and even lighting.