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American Museum of Natural Unlocks 1000's Of Old Photos

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. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Apr 24, 2014 - 6 comments

Whale Ho

The Charles W. Morgan is the world's last remaining wooden whaleship. Her unusually long career included 37 whaling voyages between 1841 and 1921. Over the past few years, she's received a full restoration by the skilled shipwrights at the Mystic Seaport Museum Shipyard, and is in the final stages of outfitting for her 38th voyage, an ambituous plan to make her seaworthy enough to sail her one final time and visit her original homeport of New Bedford, MA, along with many of the ports she frequented in her working days, before she returns to her permanent berth. Among the crew will be one stowaway, a crew member chosen via a selective process including a video application, who'll use video and social media to tell the stories of the voyage, the crew, the accompanying scholars and artists, and what it's like to make amends with whales.
posted by Miko on Feb 15, 2014 - 21 comments

This is not a bad place, not the hell it had been..."

"Founded in 1912 as a farm colony of Brooklyn State Hospital, the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens [New York] became, by mid-century, a world unto itself. At its peak, it housed some 7,000 patients. They tended gardens and raised livestock on the hospital’s grounds. The hospital contained gymnasiums, a swimming pool, a theater, a television studio, and giant kitchens and laundries where patients were put to work. Today, Creedmoor, still run by the New York State Office of Mental Health, has only a few hundred patients" and houses The Living Museum, an 'art asylum within an asylum' where patients can create and exhibit their art. But what is life like inside the institution itself? In 2010, Katherine B. Olsen spent weeks interviewing staff and patients. Her essay, published this week, 'Something More Wrong' takes us inside Creedmoor's women's ward. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 29, 2013 - 7 comments

"So a sardine is not a sardine is not a sardine!"

The Sardine Museum with host Tony Nunziata (part two, part three, part four, part five). Bonus: Tony tells a short story. [more inside]
posted by Ice Cream Socialist on Jul 23, 2013 - 8 comments

Search the memory of The Netherlands

The Memory of the Netherlands is an image library making available the online collections of museums, archives and libraries. The library provides access to images from the collections of more than one hundred institutions and includes photographs, sculptures, paintings, bronzes, pottery, modern art, drawings, stamps, posters and newspaper clippings. In addition there are also video and sound recordings to see and listen to. The Memory of the Netherlands offers an historic overview of images from exceptional collections, organized by subject to provide easy access
Search 833928 objects from 133 collections from 100 institutions.
posted by infini on Jun 22, 2013 - 4 comments

Jadu Ghar: The house of magic in the heart of Calcutta

Established in 1814 by founding curator, the Danish botanist Nathanial Wallich at the premises of The Asiatic Society, the Indian Museum of Calcutta* is the oldest museum in Asia and the 9th oldest in the world. Referred to as a "museum of museums", considered outdated and obsolete, its Victorian Era majesty dimmed by modernization, the grande dame of Indian history still manages evoke paeans to its otherworldly wonders:
With collections to rival the Smithsonian and the British Museums, it isn't just a storehouse of countless artifacts from the world over. The building seems to be a tiny world, an island in the midst of a busy street. The tall gates with their spikes are the doorways to different recorded ages. All those entering through the high steps are travelers in a time machine. But this is not all that Kolkata's Jadughar or "House of Magic" has to offer. Its jadu lies in the magic with which it houses portions of man's past. The high ceilings seem to stretch to infinity. Amid the silence there is vibrant life. Showcasing essential elements of different cultures, the dark, often dank, interiors show up the objects more sharply. Gradually the eyes grow used to the absence of light; the smell seems natural. It is this ambience that gently draws you in and makes the textbook history we are used to, a tangible living reality.
It remains a wonderful time-warp with plenty of mangy-looking stuffed animals, fish and birds, together with fossils so beloved of Victorian collectors, as well as fascinating Indian friezes, bas-reliefs and stone carvings and art.
posted by infini on Jun 7, 2013 - 5 comments

Photography as Technology

The George Eastman House is producing a series of nicely produced videos, each about 10 minutes long, demonstrating every major technological development in photographic process with guidance from historians, curators, and artists and illustrated by objects from their collection. There are more to come, but you can start now with The Dageurrotype, The Collodion Process, The Albumen Print, The Woodburytype, The Platium Print, and The Gelatin Silver Print.
posted by Miko on May 5, 2013 - 12 comments

Reel 2 Real: Sound at the Pitt Rivers Museum

Reel 2 Real: Sound at the Pitt Rivers Museum is a digitization project that is taking the archival field recordings of the Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford University's museum of ethnography and anthropology), digitizing them, and placing them online with Soundcloud. [more inside]
posted by carter on Mar 19, 2013 - 12 comments

The flicker of the campfire, the wind in the pines...

Girl Scout Camping, 1919. More at the Smithsonian/American History blog.
posted by Miko on Jan 29, 2013 - 11 comments

Go to War. Do Art. (II)

The permanent collection of the (US) National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago contains more than 2,500 pieces of art by 250 artists, all of which can be seen at NVAM Collection Online. The site includes biographical material on the artists who created the work. Featured Artwork. A small selection. (Via. Images at links in this post may be nsfw, and/or disturbing to some viewers.)
posted by zarq on Nov 12, 2012 - 1 comment

"First freedom and then Glory - when that fails, Wealth, vice, corruption - barbarism at last"

Savagery - Arcadia - Consummation - Destruction - Desolation. The five stages of The Course of Empire, a fascinating quintet of paintings by 19th century artist and Hudson River School pioneer Thomas Cole. In it, an imaginary settlement by the sea becomes the stage for all the dreams and nightmares of civilized life, a rural woodland grown in time into a glorious metropolis... only to be ransacked by corruption, war, and a terrible storm, at last reduced to a forgotten ruin. At times deceptively simple, each landscape teems with references to cultural and philosophical markers that dominated the era's debate about the future of America. Interactive analysis of the series on a zoomable canvas is available via the excellent Explore Thomas Cole project, which also offers a guided tour and complete gallery of the dozens of other richly detailed and beautifully luminous works by this master of American landscape art.
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 29, 2012 - 23 comments

The Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

The Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History uses the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection as the starting point for a deeply informative, chronologically arranged exploration of world art history, with maps, timelines, art images, thematic essays, and more.
posted by Miko on Sep 19, 2012 - 7 comments

Googly-enheim.

The Guggenheim Museum is claiming to be the first museum to begin issuing new exhibit catalogues as e-books for purchase. But even more exciting to the 20th century art history nerd, they've also partnered with the Internet Archive to offer free digitized versions of out-of-print catalogues going back to the 1930s. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Jan 8, 2012 - 12 comments

American Sabor

American Sabor: Latinos in US Popular Music is a currently traveling Smithsonian exhibition exploring the wide range of Latino artists and influences which have shaped American pop music genres since WWII, from Alice Bag to Flaco Jimenez to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass to Joan Baez. The website is rich with maps, interviews, videos, and music samples.
posted by Miko on Sep 28, 2011 - 11 comments

The king’s nipples represented the life-giving sun.

A History of Ireland in 100 Objects is an interesting series by the Irish Times, with many of the objects taken from the National Museum of Ireland: it's clearly inspired by the BBC/British Museum History of the World in 100 Objects, and is now about a quarter of the way through its run.
posted by Segundus on Aug 26, 2011 - 15 comments

Neolithic Grog!

The Beer Archaeologist. "Biomolecular archaeologist" Dr. Patrick McGovern has unearthed millennia-old alcohol recipes and ancient medicinals, "by analyzing residues in ancient pottery. Now he's working with brewer Sam Calagione, (of Discovery Channel's Brew Masters, (autoplaying video)) whose pub Dogfish Head serves up beers based on recipes that are thousands of years old." (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 26, 2011 - 45 comments

We Have Cameras

Eyes of a Generation is a "virtual museum of television cameras, and the broadcast history they captured," curated by actor and radio DJ Bobby F. Ellerbee. The site has hundreds of photos of cameras and of television sets backstage. It also includes vintage articles and a neat look at how the moon backdrop on the Conan set works. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 10, 2011 - 5 comments

Another Role for Buses in Civil Rights History

Worcy Crawford ran the only bus company that would transport colored passengers in pre-Civil Rights Act Birmingham. Mr. Crawford recently passed away and now the buses sit in disrepair.
posted by reenum on Mar 21, 2011 - 3 comments

Man's house becomes a museum, 100 years after his death

In 1905, a rich French man named Louis Mantin died. He had no children, and had an unusual request in his will: keep his house untouched for 100 years, and then turn it into a museum (English-language link; BBC video). Welcome to the Maison Mantin of Alliers, France (French-language links). If you can't find it, it's right on the Cour des Bénédictins, right next to the surprisingly picturesque former prison (last two links are to images). You have to book ahead by phone.
posted by flibbertigibbet on Jan 18, 2011 - 16 comments

Old Orient Museum

Vincent Lexington Harper compiled the world's largest collection of digitally restored pinups from the 1920s and 30s in the Old Orient Museum. [more inside]
posted by gman on Sep 19, 2010 - 18 comments

Musing Around the Web

Museums build some pretty cool websites. To help people find them, use them, and give them props, the Museums and the Web conference has held an annual Best of the Web contest since 1997. This year's nominees are here. Just a sample: the MOMA on Bauhaus, the Center for New Media's Bracero History Archive, the Textile Museum of Canada's In Touch:Connecting Cloth, Culture, and Art, Perception Deception from The National Science and Technology Center of Australia, The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh from the Van Gogh Museum, the Smithsonian's Prehistoric Climate Change and Why it Matters Today, and more . If that doesn't wash out the remainder of your Friday, you can always dig into the past nominees.
posted by Miko on Mar 26, 2010 - 8 comments

Where have you gone, Buck O'Neil?

"Feel sorry for the people who never got to see us," he once said. "We were good." The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City faces a $200,000 shortfall for 2009. The museum is battling both the recession and its own backers, as new management tries to distance itself from founder Buck O'Neil, a move that induced long-time supporter Joe Posnanski to announce that he would "never set foot in there again." Will this chapter of baseball history be forgotten? Or can Strat-O-Matic save the Negro Leagues? (Previously on MetaFilter: Buck O'Neil denied a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.)
posted by escabeche on Mar 9, 2010 - 16 comments

Dr. Mayme A. Clayton: a Champion of Black History

Dr. Mayme Agnew Clayton was a librarian and collector in Los Angeles who left behind a collection of remarkable value. Over the course of more than 40 years, she had collected the largest privately held collection of African-American materials, with over 30,000 rare and out-of-print books, 1,700 films dating back to 1916, as well as more than 75,000 photographs and scores of movie posters, playbills, programs, documents and manuscripts. Her collection, which has been compared to the Schomburg Collection in the New York City Public Library, was opened to the public in 2007. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 8, 2010 - 6 comments

Britain Can Make It!

Making the Modern World presents a set of twisty little passages through the history of science and invention, from the eighteenth century to the contemporary era, brought to you by the UK's Science Museum.
posted by Miko on Nov 4, 2009 - 4 comments

The Virtual Museum of Iraq

The Virtual Museum of Iraq.
posted by homunculus on Oct 4, 2009 - 6 comments

The fascinating world of conservation

Biohistorical researchWax engravingThe Thinker after the bombAlfred Stieglitz's palladium photographsTibetan bronzes with interior contentsThe examination and treatment of a pair of boots from the Aleutian Islands — A small sample of the articles available from the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation (JAIC).
posted by tellurian on Sep 22, 2009 - 8 comments

Land, Eagle, Land

We Chose the Moon: The JFK Library and Museum has just launched this interactive web experience using archival audio, video, photos, and recorded transmissions to re-create, in real time, the July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
posted by Miko on Jul 13, 2009 - 43 comments

Flash Packets

Skin & Bones is a new exhibit about sailor tattoos and their symbolism and history, developed at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. NYTimes story with neat art slideshow.
posted by Miko on Jun 9, 2009 - 6 comments

Bantoro = Henry Ford

Museum archivist, exploring Henry Ford's office records, stumbles into the interesting world of commercial telegraphic code.
posted by Miko on May 27, 2009 - 15 comments

On This Ground

The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience is a directory of historic sites that interpret themes related to ethical, political, and social issues worldwide.
posted by Miko on Apr 17, 2009 - 5 comments

Storage closets of the American Museum of Natural History

Backstage at the American Museum of Natural History: an essay and a slideshow.
posted by serazin on Feb 12, 2009 - 6 comments

Open-source online exhibit platform

Omeka is a newly available, open-source web platform, bringing good-looking, functional online exhibitry within reach of smaller museums, libraries, and arts groups. From the Center for History and New Media.
posted by Miko on Sep 10, 2008 - 10 comments

(Internetworking Frequency, 2.4 gigacycles.)

The Early Television Foundation and Museum Website covers the nascent days of the nation's pastime, with interesting items like mechanical TVs and programming schedules from 1939.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sep 9, 2008 - 11 comments

Magnificent Obsessions # 5,184

The Pram Museum
posted by anastasiav on Jul 18, 2008 - 13 comments

"A valley frozen in time."

In November 1943, the village of Tyneham in Dorset, England, received an unexpected letter from the War Department, informing residents that the area would soon be "cleared of all civilians" to make way for Army weapons training. A month later, the displaced villagers left a note on their church door: Please treat the church and houses with care; we have given up our homes where many of us lived for generations to help win the war to keep men free. We shall return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly. Residents were told they would be allowed to reclaim their homes after the war, but that didn't happen, and Tyneham became a ghost village. Though most of the cottages have been damaged or fallen into disrepair, the church and school have been preserved and restored. Photo galleries 1, 2, 3, 4. Panoramic tour [Java required]. Video: Death of a Village [YouTube, 9 mins.]
posted by amyms on Jul 10, 2008 - 20 comments

Do You Like American Music?

Sounds of America is a new monthly streaming audio program, a collaboration between the National Museum of American History and Smithsonian Global Sound. Up now are 3 episodes: African-American music in New Orleans, Women in American Music, and Freedom Songs of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
posted by Miko on Apr 2, 2008 - 12 comments

Proustite: decaying before memory

Richard Forty's Dry Store Room No. 1 describes the archives of the British Natural History Museum. Not on display, among other things, is Proustite, it is a compound of silver, arsenic and sulphur that forms as blood-red crystals that fade, poetically, when exposed to light.' Via Things Magazine.
posted by parmanparman on Jan 15, 2008 - 7 comments

Online archaeology and anthropology exhibits

The Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has a nice collection of online exhibits, including ones on Roman glassmaking, the ancient history of wine, and a history of body modification. (Other exhibits have appeared on Mefi previously.)
posted by Upton O'Good on Jan 13, 2008 - 3 comments

Big city lights guide my way into the night

The American Sign Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and documenting historic and vintage signs from the American landscape.
posted by fandango_matt on Nov 29, 2007 - 13 comments

In 1840, the Cuerdale Hoard - the greatest Viking silver treasure trove ever found outside Russia - is found in Lancashire. 2007: a father and son find an amazing Viking hoard while metal detecting in in Harrogate. The most important find of its type in Britain for over 150 years, it reveals a remarkable diversity of cultural contacts in the medieval world, with objects coming from as far apart as Afghanistan in the East and Ireland in the West, as well as Russia, Scandinavia and continental Europe.
posted by chuckdarwin on Jul 20, 2007 - 20 comments

wax that ass

History, horrors, leaders, literary figures, lots of pop stars and inevitably, the Last Supper. Don't let the international conglomerate fool you, wax museums are still weird. Case in point: beware the dangers of drugs in wax! And if you can't make it to Russia, you can always check out the Russian Imperial court, in Texas! (Oops, bye bye Czar Nicholas!) My personal favorite of the genre is Great Blacks in Wax, and I'm not the only one who likes wax museums. The medium has inspired poetry, films and photography. Check out the previous threads on the subject, (but alas, it's too late to buy the Country Music Wax Museum of the Stars.)
posted by serazin on Apr 4, 2007 - 15 comments

The stories we tell ourselves about ourselves

Lost Cause [WaPo, bugmenot] History museums are a repository for public memory, but also a nation's mirrors, reflecting self-image. When our views of history shift, museums that fail to change are likely to fail in general. Today's Washington Post reports on the struggle and decline of the Museum of the Confederacy, contrasting it with the American Civil War Center, nearby geographically, worlds away in philosophy.
posted by Miko on Apr 4, 2007 - 18 comments

Renaissance bling

The King's Kunstkammer - en vogue in Renaissance Europe, kunstkammers were status symbols of kings, vast collections of art, curiosities, and scientific and natural objects. This is a partial reconstruction of the Royal Danish Kunstkammer, established by King Frederik III in the mid-1600s. Exploring the collection's 250 objects offers insight into princely preoccupations of the era.
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 22, 2006 - 13 comments

20th Century London Project

The Exploring 20th century London project draws on some 8000 items from the Museum of London, Transport Museum, Jewish Museum and the Museum of Croydon. Material includes photos, drawings, posters, artefacts, sound files etc. Browse/search by theme, timeline and location. [sitemap]
posted by peacay on Nov 4, 2006 - 3 comments

16,000 artifacts from 87 countries for the last 101 years

Did you ever wonder what a Block 1 Apollo guidance computer looked like? Was grandpa a gunner in the Imperial German Air Force ? Maybe he sold a pioneer some laxatives? Perhaps you're just interested in a high tech Japanese Cameras? Find images of these items and more! at The Smithsonian Air and Space eMuseum
posted by Megafly on Sep 27, 2006 - 5 comments

Historic theatrical and performing arts ephemera

Theatre History is the Theatre Museum of London's vast online collection of ephemera, containing more than 1500 objects that record the history of the performing arts in Britain since the 1600s. There's lots of goodies, but don't miss the goldmine of fabulous photos, posters, and prints.
posted by madamjujujive on Jan 15, 2006 - 5 comments

The Virtual Typewriter Museum

The Virtual Typewriter Museum Including: the 'Holy Grail,' the 1870 Swedish Hansen Writing Ball - weird and wonderful pre-Cambrian typewriters such as an 1887 Miniature Pocket Typewriter, the Cooper circular, and an early wooden Spanish typewriter - early advertising trade cards and postcard (1 2 3) - and typewriter erotica. The end of the typewriter history is the gorgeous 1970s Olivetti Valentine.
posted by carter on Nov 13, 2005 - 17 comments

I'm sorry, Dave, you have been outbid by another user.

It is with great regret that we place our PC Collection up for purchase. We being The Freeman PC Museum, not to be confused with any of these. Move over, leicester codex?
posted by Eothele on Oct 14, 2005 - 14 comments

The Lost Museum

On July 13, 1865, one of the most celebrated institutions in the United States, the American Museum, burned to the ground. But thanks to the wonders of technology, it has been rebuilt—sort of—on a Website called The Lost Museum... As it was managed by Phineas T. Barnum, the original American Museum was located in lower Manhattan and presented an ever-growing collection of wonders across five floors, ranging from "cosmoramas" and wax figures, to aquariums and live-animal specimens, to "moral representations" in the Lecture Room.
Via the incomparable Common-place's Finding Barnum on the Internet.
posted by y2karl on Oct 6, 2005 - 8 comments

Drug Trade

Therapy, pharmacy, and commerce in early-modern Europe Drug Trade is an exhibition of 16C-18C drug jars at the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford. "Marrysh mallowe, soden in wyne or mede, or brused and laid on by it selfe, is good for woundes, for hard kynelles, swellynges, and wennes, for the burnyng and swelling behynd the eares ... & it will ease the payne of ye tethe."
posted by carter on Feb 3, 2005 - 9 comments

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