American Museum of Natural Unlocks 1000's Of Old Photos
April 24, 2014 12:37 PM   Subscribe

The American Museum of Natural History will unlock thousands of old photos from their vault, they announced this week. The new online image database (officially launching on Monday the 28th) will take you behind the curtain, delivering images that span the 145-year history of the Museum. The collection features over 7,000 images—many never before seen by the public—and includes photos, rare book illustrations, drawings, notes, letters, art, and Museum memorabilia. They say "it’s like stepping into a time machine and seeing a long ago NYC or just catching glimpses of ghosts from a forgotten world now seen only by researchers and Museum staff." Previously.

A random selection of a handful of images, eye candy and history from around the world

American Museum of Natural History exterior at Manhattan Square, 1878 [When the Upper West side was still the Wild West].

American Museum of Natural History exterior, view from roof of Dakota Apartments, 72nd Street and Central Park West, 1880

Hand painted butterflies from Chinese plates of butterflies

Huichol Indians at Te-akata, birthplace of the God of Fire, near Santa Catarina, Jalisco, 1895

Woman with arm akimbo, Beaufort, South Carolina, 1904

Dode on beach, Gasparilla Pass, Florida, 1908

African American woman sitting with children in front of fireplace, South Carolina, 1905

African American woman next to Elsie wearing straw hat, Beaufort, South Carolina, 1904

Skeleton of Pterodon longiceps, late Cretaceous period, 1996

Tachyglofsus aculeatus jllig from Schreber's Die såugthiere in Abbildungen nach der Natur

Ruins in rock overhang, Garabato, Mexico, 1892

Coiled nautiloid cephalopod, diorama depicting Pennsylvanian period, North Central Texas

Various species of fish from Renard's Poissons, écrevisses et crabes

Shaman's coat, Igloolik, Nunavut, Canada, 1987

Scheme of Colours color wheel from Harris' Exposition of English insects

Libellulae, dragonflies, from Harris' Exposition of English insects

Man, Mongolia, Third Asiatic Expedition

Ho-djani Kachina doll, Hopi

Diddon hystrix from Bloch's Allgemeine Naturgeschichte der Fische

Koryak men wearing armor with bows and arrows, Siberia, 1901

Butterflies, plate 5 from Seguy's Papillons

Dutch women, Ellis Island

Cover of Woodward's A manual of the Mollusca

Ignaz Marausch constructing flea model

Plants and flowers, botanical illustration for use in Bighorn Sheep Group

Lew Brown and George Peterson installing trees in Spruce-Fir Group, Forestry Hall, 1956
posted by nickyskye (6 comments total) 58 users marked this as a favorite

There is some fascinating stuff here - I wish, that they'd CC licensed it and made high-resolution downloads available, though.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:50 PM on April 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

This is so great. Digging through these will be the perfect way to end the workday.

Where are these images from though? Did they have photographers on staff? Did they buy them piecemeal?
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 1:13 PM on April 24, 2014

A banquet of awesomeness, nickyskye!

My first reaction when museum release their collections like this is to search for as many variations of "dinosaur poop" that I can think of, and once again I'm disappointed. But it did yield photos of fossil pine cones. And, huh, discovered that Audubon painted animals other than birds...but not as prettily as you'd think they'd be, though.
posted by barchan at 1:17 PM on April 24, 2014

So You're Saying These Are Pants? The 1000s of old photos link has sections that seem to explain your question, e.g., “The images in the Julian Dimock Collection consist of approximately 3400 photographs on glass taken by Julian A. Dimock (1873-1945) in the United States in the early part of the 20th century from about 1904 to 1911. Dimock, who donated the negatives to the Museum in 1920, traveled the Southern states over many years …”
posted by NorthernLite at 3:23 PM on April 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Man, Mongolia, Third Asiatic Expedition
The initials R. C. A. would be Roy Chapman Andrews, the man that was inspiration for the Indiana Jones character.
posted by X4ster at 9:38 PM on April 24, 2014

Wow. This is great! Thanks, nickyskye.
posted by homunculus at 10:35 PM on April 24, 2014

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