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]
London to Amsterdam, Saint Petersburg and Tokyo to New York, well known historical paintings of city scenes around the world superimposed on to Google Street View by Halley Docherty (whose username is shystone on Reddit) | Google Street View Paintings by Raul Moyado Sandoval that he calls Metapanoramas | Also Paintings as Google Street View Maps via Lileks' wonderful Lint. [more inside]
Pete Seeger, singer, musician, songwriter, political activist for more than 7 decades died, age 94. As a song writer, he is best known as the author or co-author of Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, If I Had a Hammer, and Turn, Turn, Turn! [more inside]
A Japanese Holocaust rescuer, it is estimated that Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who served as Vice-Consul for the Empire of Japan in Lithuania in WWII, facilitated the escape of more than 6,000 Jewish refugees to Japanese territory, risking his career and his family's lives. The profoundly moving story is now on YouTube: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6. [more inside]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim offer 474 free art books online. 99 art catalogs from the Guggenheim. 375 MetPublications. An example: Masterpieces of Painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art [more inside]
Juliette of the Herbs is a beautifully filmed lyrical portrait of the life and work of Juliette de Bairacli Levy: world renowned herbalist, author, breeder of Afghan hounds, friend of the Gypsies, traveller in search of herbal wisdom and the pioneer of holistic veterinary medicine. A list of Juliette de Baïracli Levy's books. Cythera Island
How the Wild West really looked: Gorgeous pictures show the landscape as it was charted for the very first time 150 years ago. Previously. [more inside]
The street photographer I share with you this week was a man born in Great Britain an entire century before Winogrand and Friedlander. His name was John Thomson (1837-1921) and it is known that he traveled the Far East taking photographs during much of the period between 1860-1879. When he returned to London, he began taking documentary photographs of everyday people on the streets of London. Via madamjujujive
A wonderful, generous and free selection of authors, collections and books online at Lit2Go for awake times or drowsy ones. The Count of Monte Cristo from the Adventure collection | or perhaps a Just So Story from the Fantasy collection | Beowolf from the Here Be Dragons! collection | Aladdin from Andrew Lang's Fairy Books of Many Colors or The Heart of Happy Hollow from the African American collection. Also practical for children. Previously. [more inside]
59 marvelous photographs taken between 1903 and 1920 by Frédéric Boissonnas (1858-1946), a franco-Swiss photographer who loved Greece. This is him being hauled up to the Meteora monastery in a net. Boissonnas was also a mountaineer and was the first to scale Mt. Olympus successfully in 1913. During the first 30 years of the 20th century he became the most influential photographer in Greece, between the two World Wars. Traveling extensively, landscapes, everyday people and life in Greece were photographed in detail for the first time. [more inside]
Old Ships is a website packed full of evocative, interesting and historical pictures of old ships from A to Zambesi. It's a feast of all kinds of other vintage maritime images, including ports, docks, ferries, harbors, paintings, canals, rivers, maritime scenes, onboard pictures, shipboard menus, lots of great postcards and other old historical nautical memorabilia (even the ship's cat). [more inside]
The ‘white’ slave children of New Orleans: Almost immediately after the law came into practice, Northerners and abolitionists set up relief organisations, which battled to establish schools and provide other forms of support – but their resources were limited. They soon discovered it was near-impossible to find sympathy and support in a war-torn and racially-prejudiced county.
Old Rags is a collection of photographs of beautiful antique, historic and vintage clothing from Europe and North America. A feast of fashion history images from the 17th century to the 1920’s with a brief FAQ page here.
Wanderlust: GOOD Magazine, in collaboration with Graham Roberts, maps the most famous journeys in history - some fiction, some non-fiction. Wanderlust includes trips like Around the World in 80 Days and Journey to the Center of the Earth to the voyages of Marco Polo and Charles Lindbergh's transatlantic flight. However, it's not just a map with journey lines on it; Wanderlust is a history lesson. Select a trip for a summary and explore highlights of the journey.
Old Hong Kong/Macau clips 1949-1989 by Michael Rogge, now 81, who was stationed in Hong Kong and Japan. He documented his life in photos and 16mm film, clips on YT | his YouTube channel | Old Japan in 1870 Engravings. Taken from a Dutch magazine 'De aarde en haar volken' of 1875. Engravings done by French artists. | Old JAPAN in 1869 in engravings French engravings, part of a travelogue, picture a weird Japan. Pictures appeared in Dutch magazine 'De Aarde en haar Volken' of 1869 and were engraved by French artists. [more inside]
What the Exodus from Egypt would have looked like if Moses had a laptop, Google Maps and Facebook. [more inside]
Russian films worth watching l Russian cuisine l Russiapedia l Historama l War Witness films l from rt.com the first Russian 24/7 English-language news channel which brings the Russian view on global news. The Russia Today YouTube channel. [more inside]
The History of the Color Wheel l Using text from Sarah Lowengard's The Creation of Color in Eighteenth-Century Europe we're taking a look at the progression of color organization systems and how the color wheel came to be. l The Wonderful Color Wheel l All about color.
europe-cities is a beautifully organized, practical site for information about traveling to cities in Europe. All the information is in one place: info about specific cities, cuisine, history, overview information, weather, a variety of cultural interests from English Christmas Markets to Hungarian culture. And, best of all, finding the cheapest/best places to stay. [more inside]
Dr. Frances W. Pritchett, Professor of Modern Indic Languages at Columbia University, New York, has created a superb online collection of resources, all about India and South Asia, its art, history, literature, architecture and culture. Her Indian Routes section (the Index page) is a particularly rich resource. Her vast, colorful and informative site also has many great images. Check out her "scrapbook pages" on the Princes l the Ghaznavids l British Rule l Women's Spaces l Perspectives on Hinduism. [more inside]
Clips from the BBC documentary, The African Rock n' Roll Years - Part 1 l Part 2 l Part 3 l Part 4 l Part 5 l Part 6 - a six-part series mixing interviews with key artists, concert footage and news archives, the series examines and explains the "styles that make up the continent's music, and the political and social pressures that led to their development." BBC documentary details. Found in YouTube member, Duncanzibar's, good collection of mostly African music videos. [more inside]
Some really beautiful, unusual visuals and reading: The Art of the Pochoir Book. The University of Cincinatti Rare Book archive has some cool stuff, like Leviathan: Watercolors of Whales from William Jardine’s The Naturalist’s Library l 4 pages of a newspaper called The Colored Citizen from November 7th 1863 (awesome to read knowing Obama is elected) l Travel and Exploration in the 18th and Early 19th Centuries: A View of the World through the Art of the Explorers. [more inside]
ROMANO-Archives has a YouTube channel with over 270 color film clips, called Unknown WWII In Color. "World War ll has usually been seen in black and white, but our recent research has unearthed an abundance of superb color film that shows what it really looked like to those who were there. The Author presents mainly WW2 recently declassified and other previously unavailable material, exclusively filmed in color." They also have over 900 videos of Automobile History USA l lots of pages of images with history, like Jammin' with Betty Boop. [In English and Italian] [more inside]
Odeon cinemas l Domestic service in Victorian and Edwardian England l English house and brickwork l Merchant Palaces l Stonehenge: presentation and interpretation are among dozens of Photo Essays on ViewFinder: A browsable picture library of historic images from The National Monuments Record at English Heritage. [more inside]
Until 1947/48, the complex political map of India (by which I mean pre-Independence India, including Pakistan and Bangladesh) included over 650 quasi-independent Indian Princely States. Indian royalty: In hats, turbans and, more turbans, sometimes colorful, often decorated with amazing gems ("It is believed that the entire collection of Pearls in the Nizam's collective collection could fill up an Olympic size swimming pool.") like emeralds, diamonds (large diamonds), pearls, sapphires. Usually with beards and moustaches, on a throne. Princesses. Reflections of a Princess (audio and video). Queen mothers (in animation). The Royal Houses Of Punjab. The Maharaja of Patiala had 365 wives. In satins and brocade, with swords. Owners of stylish cars, like a 1937 Delahaye Type 135 Figoni & Felashi, bottled water, extraordinary interior design, lavish architecture, in their many palaces, from a place to watch cockfights to special palaces to keep their harem. [more inside]
All-Art.org provides an extensive image library, essays and information on art history, organized by date and movement, up to the 20th century, including photography, design and classical music with audio samples. A small selection of the encyclopedic range offered: Erotica in Art l Paintings that changed the world l The Origins of Typography and Graphic design l Russian Silver Age l Japanese Prints l African l Posters l A Brief History of Western Literature l An illustrated dictionary of art and artists. [more inside]
FairyTaleFilter: SurLaLune Fairy Tales features 49 annotated fairy tales, including their histories, similar tales across cultures, modern interpretations and over 1,500 illustrations, 1,600 folktales & fairy tales from around the world in more than 40 full-text eBooks. Fairy Tale timeline. l Women Children's Book Illustrators l The Evolution of the Illustrated Children's Book l Some really beautiful free graphics and clipart from Grandma's Graphics. [more inside]
Sound glimpses into the past. The Phonogrammarchiv was founded in 1899 and is the oldest audiovisual research archive in the world. There are some fascinating sound samples listenable online from the Historical Collections-1899 to 1950, including: The First Expeditions 1901 to Croatia, Brazil and the Isle of Lesbos; Zulu Recordings 1908; Papua New Guinea (1904-1909) and some lovely recordings of old Musical Boxes from Vienna and Prague. [more inside]
A fascinating story of the first known, Western transsexual, Tibetan Buddhist novice monk: Laurence Michael Dillon (born Laura Maude Dillon, May 1, 1915 - May 15, 1962) was a British physician and the first female-to-male transsexual to undergo phalloplasty. His brother, Sir Robert Dillon, was the eighth Baronet of Lismullen in Ireland. The editor of Debrett's told Time Magazine that Dillon was unquestionably next in line for the baronetcy: The unwanted press attention led Dillon to flee to India, and then to a Tibetan monastery. Girls Will Be Boys, a review of The First Man-Made Man: The Story of Two Sex Changes, One Love Affair, and a Twentieth-Century Medical Revolution, by Pagan Kennedy. Photograph of Michael Dillon as a monk. [more inside]
Forty years ago, Swinging London was yet to swing. Everything was in black and white and, in class-bound Britain, fashion photographers were trades-men – polite, smart, seen but not heard. A new breed of snappers changed all that – Terry O’Neill, Brian Duffy, David Bailey and Terence Donovan. Bailey and Donovan started their careers in the West End studio of the doyen of fashion photographers – John French. [more inside]
Chattel houses were very small houses, built by freed slaves or plantation workers, that could be dismantled quickly and moved in the event they were fired or unable to pay property tax to the plantation owner on whose land the house stood. Examples in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad l Sunday 25 March 2007 marked 200 years to the day that the British Parliament passed an Act to outlaw the slave trade in British colonies. [more inside]
A collection of comic books, Amar Chitra Katha is like the American Illustrated Classics, except that the stories are from Indian sacred texts, mythology, history, folktales and legends. It was conceived by Anant Pai. The series has sold over 86 million copies of about 440 titles. [more inside]
The International Institute of Social History was founded in 1935. It is one of the world's largest documentary and research institutions in the field of social history. From their collections: Secret Societies: Documents and illustrations of Freemasons, Jesuits, Illuminati, Carbonari, Burschenschaften and other putative secret societies and clandestine organizations.
Club Little Gun, a bunch of tiny guns built into things from rings to crosses. Eat your heart out, Indiana Jones, the whip pistol. via [more inside]
GULAG: Soviet Forced Labor Camps and the Struggle for Freedom. An online exhibit which includes photographs of work in the gulag, women in the gulag, living in the camp, what were their crimes, Perm-36 Gulag Camp, the history of the gulag system, the inspiring stories of dissidents and what happened after the fall of the Soviet Union. [more inside]
The origin of the peace sign. Various histories of designs, top 10 tools for artists and designers, hilarious pencil attachments and other cool stuff at designboom (previously).
Macrohistory. Prehistory to yesterday. This site describes humanity from prehistory to the 21st century - stories about ideas and events. Maps. Timelines index. Country profiles.
The art of perfume and snuff bottles: Chinese snuff bottles and more, a variety of types, painted inside and about that technique. About snuff and its use in China. Images on Flickr, at Christie's. Perfume bottles, the history of perfume bottles and perfume. Beautiful glass bottles painted inside by disabled Burmese artist, U Nyo Lay.
The Dance, historic illustrations of dancing from 3300 B.C. to 1911 A.D. A Project Gutenberg ebook. Brief, illustrated history of dance in India. Vintage belly dance YouTube videos.
A history of picture stories from 300 AD to 1929 and commentary. The evolution of speech balloons. Photos & drawings of early cartoonists. [via]
The Information Machine, [YouTube]. This short animated film was written, produced and directed by Charles and Ray Eames for the IBM Pavillion at the 1958 Brussels World's Fair [embedded sound]. Animation by Dolores Cannata. The topic is the computer in the context of human development.
The Virtual Museum of Ancient Inventions, most of the discoveries and inventions on which modern societies have been constructed were made in prehistoric times. Ancient inventions tell detailed stories of complex knowledge for which no written records exist.