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The declassified fashions of East German spies

Top Secret: Images from the Stasi Archives A collection of images from the book, including more disguises, images of house searches, hand-to-hand combat techniques, hidden cameras, and even fake beards, is available free of charge at Simon Menner’s website. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Sep 18, 2013 - 27 comments

 

20 Historic Black and White Photos Colorized

When we see old photos in black and white, we sometimes forget that life back then was experienced in the same vibrant colours that surround us today. This gallery of talented artists helps us remember that. Via r/ColorizedHistory.
posted by cthuljew on Aug 23, 2013 - 72 comments

Capturing America

In 1971, the newly-created US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired a bunch of freelance photographers to collectively document environmental issues around the country. They were given free rein to shoot whatever they wanted, and the project, named Documerica, lasted through 1977. After 40 years, the EPA is now encouraging photographers to take current versions of the original Documerica photos and are showcasing them on flickr at State of the Environment. There are location challenges, and a set has been created with some of the submissions, making side-by-side comparisons. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 8, 2013 - 16 comments

New Yawk, New Yawk

The New York City Municipal Archives Online Gallery offers over 870,000 historical images related to the 'city that never sleeps,' including maps as well as video and audio recordings. A selection of 53 images from the collection can be seen at In Focus. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 18, 2013 - 10 comments

Keep the LiDAR on it

In a Sydney Morning Herald exclusive, an international team of archeologists have revealed the discovery of a hitherto unknown city in Cambodia.
Dr Evans, director of the University of Sydney's archaeological research centre in Cambodia, said the ''eureka moment'' in the discovery came weeks earlier when the lidar data popped up on a computer screen. ''With this instrument - bang - all of a sudden we saw an immediate picture of an entire city that no one knew existed which is just remarkable,'' he said.
Mahendraparvata, as the city is known, is estimated to be 350 years older than the UNESCO Heritage site of Angkor Wat, built on on Phnom Kulen before Jayavarman II descended from the mountain to build another capital. As Dr Evans said ''This is where it all began, giving rise to the Angkor civilisation that everyone associates with Angkor Wat." The news comes on the heels of the recent repatriation of looted archeological treasures back to Cambodia by the New York Metropolitan museum.
posted by infini on Jun 16, 2013 - 16 comments

Finnish Wartime Photograph Archive

The Finnish Defence Forces have put their archive of 170,000 WWII photographs online.
Some "night fighters".
Some American prisoners, probably from the ill-fated Convoy PQ 17 [more inside]
posted by Authorized User on Apr 29, 2013 - 20 comments

Operation Overlord

PhotosNormandie is a collaborative collection of more than 3,000 royalty-free photos from World War II's Battle of Normandy and its aftermath. (Photos date from June 6 to late August 1944). The main link goes to the photostream. You can also peruse sets, which include 2700+ images from the US and Canadian National Archives.
posted by zarq on Mar 19, 2013 - 12 comments

All this energy calling me, back where it comes from....

The Cleveland Memory Project is an archive of photos, postcards, videos, recordings, clippings, ebooks, personal papers, maps and other historical "goodies" about the city. "It's a collaborative endeavor of many local historical societies, public libraries and government agencies who have mounted their own local history." On Flickr. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 18, 2013 - 5 comments

NYC Past

NYC Past Large-format historical photos of New York City.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Mar 5, 2013 - 13 comments

Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away

50 Years Ago: The World in 1963 Let me take you 50 years into the past now, for a look at the world as it was in 1963.
posted by Mezentian on Feb 15, 2013 - 52 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

Looking Into the Past

Vietnam - Looking Into the Past. Vietnamese photographer Khánh Hmoong takes pictures of Vietnamese landscapes and buildings, then superimposes a photograph from the past over the modern day setting. His work is similar to FILMography (previously on MeFi), Russian photographer Sergey Larenkov's World War II gallery: Link to the Past, and Ben Heine's Pencil Versus Camera. Via
posted by zarq on Dec 28, 2012 - 3 comments

The yard.

"My friend showed me around the MUNI Kirkland bus yard. MUNI is the municipal public transit system serving the city and county of San Francisco. It will turn exactly 100 later this year." [via]
posted by brundlefly on Nov 9, 2012 - 15 comments

candid photos of famous people

"Extremely silly" photos of: "extremely serious" artists - "extremely serious" writers - "extremely serious" historical figures. Also 14 photos that shatter your image of famous people. A few images might be considered slightly NSFW. [more inside]
posted by flex on Oct 29, 2012 - 65 comments

"When the lights go out for good, my people will still be here. We have our ancient ways. We will remain."

In the Shadow of Wounded Knee. Along the southwestern border of South Dakota is one of the most poverty-stricken places in the United States—the Pine Ridge Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota people. After 150 years of broken promises, they are still nurturing their tribal customs, language and beliefs. Via [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 25, 2012 - 32 comments

Herstory

Epic Gallery: 150 Years Of Lesbians And Other Lady-Loving-Ladies (Some pics slightly NSFW) "Honestly before tumblr it was difficult to find very much lesbian imagery at all online — it was always the same ten or twelve stock photos — let alone pictures of lesbians taken prior to 2000. I wanted to see an evolution of our community, how we'd grown and changed over the years — and not just in a montage of famous out actresses and models, but pictures of actual people, pictures of women who were active in the community — regular human beings, writers and social activists."
posted by ColdChef on Sep 19, 2012 - 47 comments

Images from SF conventions of the past

SF conventions, and snapshots of SF conventions, go back a long time. Here's Midwestcon 2, put on by the Cincinnati Fantasy group in June 1951; shots include a haunting image of Henry Burwell, publisher of Atlanta zine Science Fiction Digest, and an already-old E.E. "Doc" Smith. From Retronaut, an unnamed 1980 con in LA. From the Mills photo archive, con costumes from the late 60s through the 80s. Forrest Ackerman, editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland, in "futuristic costume" at the first WorldCon in 1939. This last from the endless compendium that is the MidAmerican Fan Photo Archive.
posted by escabeche on Aug 1, 2012 - 19 comments

"Fenway is the essence of baseball"

Fenway Park, in Boston, is a lyric little bandbox of a ballpark. Everything is painted green and seems in curiously sharp focus, like the inside of an old-fashioned peeping-type Easter egg. It was built in 1912 and rebuilt in 1934, and offers, as do most Boston artifacts, a compromise between Man's Euclidean determinations and Nature's beguiling irregularities. So wrote John Updike in his moving tribute to Red Sox legend Ted Williams -- an appropriately pedigreed account for this oldest and most fabled of ballfields that saw its first major league game played one century ago today. As a team in flux hopes to recapture the magic with an old-school face-off against the New York Highlanders Yankees, it's hard to imagine the soul of the Sox faced the specter of demolition not too long ago. Now legally preserved, in a sport crowded with corporate-branded superdome behemoths, Fenway abides, bursting with history, idiosyncrasy, record crowds, and occasional song. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Apr 20, 2012 - 48 comments

Fotos de Frida

Frida Kahlo produced art that was self-reflecting — 55 of her 143 known paintings were self-portraits. A cache of her 6,500 personal photographs was unsealed in 2007, and a small selection of those -- 259 total images -- are now on display in an exhibition entitled "Frida Kahlo: Her Photos," at the Artisphere in Arlington, VA until March 25th. Images: Washington Post, WJLA and NPR. PBS: Interview with exhibit curator Pablo Ortiz Monasterio. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 20, 2012 - 8 comments

Early 20th C. Australian Bike Culture

While digging through the archive of the State Library of New South Wales, I came across these stunning public domain images of early 20th century bike culture in Australia, equal parts sweet (all those tandems!), inspirational (a record-breaking ride from Sydney to Melbourne in 3 days and 7 hours!), and scandalous (NB: Annie is wearing trousers!)
posted by zamboni on Feb 25, 2012 - 15 comments

If the van's ROCKIN' don't come KNOCKIN'

If you have a taste for a certain flavor of North American, 20th century rebelliousness, you may enjoy a photo blog called The Acid Sweat Lodge. Contains some NSFW images. And lots of bad-assery.
posted by BoringPostcards on Feb 2, 2012 - 20 comments

Photographs of Palmyra

Photographs and more photographs of the ancient city of Palmyra, seat of the Palmyrene Empire and home to Queen Zenobia.
posted by Rumple on Dec 15, 2011 - 13 comments

T-Dot

The history of Toronto in photos is 90 some odd posts linked to provide a thematically organized visual overview. The vast majority of the photographs featured derive from the Toronto Archives. Should you be interested in a less visually oriented take on Toronto history, there is also the Nostalgia Tripping series, which was designed to be a bit more about storytelling than just the photos.
posted by netbros on Dec 5, 2011 - 20 comments

Typographic Inspiration

Beautiful Type is a patchwork of photos and illustrations having a relationship with typography. AisleOne is focused on graphic design, typography, grid systems, minimalism and modernism. iABC is a collection of beautiful letters. Inspiration Bit has a nice archive of articles about web typography. Nicetype is about fonts, logos, posters and software. Twenty-Six Types celebrates the beautiful letters. Typenuts is type-themed iPhone and desktop wallpapers. Typoretum is about typography, letterpress and printing history. Enjoy.
posted by netbros on Nov 6, 2011 - 5 comments

Pasadena, Where the Grass is Greena!

Pasadena's visual history is digitized. [more inside]
posted by Ideefixe on Sep 28, 2011 - 15 comments

Bay Area photo archives

Let's Go to the Morgue! features images dug up from the San Francisco Chronicle's basement photo archives. Peter Hartlaub got distracted from his parenting blog to find and caption vintage photos of Golden Gate BART and Other Failed Rapid Transit Dreams, Sexy time! Five decades of Bay Area bathing suits, Tourist season in San Francisco, Six decades of roller derby in the Bay Area, When arcades ruled the Bay Area and A journey back to your high school prom. [more inside]
posted by oneirodynia on Jul 28, 2011 - 15 comments

Historic New York Photo Collection

"The Museum of the City of New York is pleased to announce the soft launch of its online collections portal [where you can] view more than 50,000 newly digitized photographs by Berenice Abbott, Samuel H. Gottscho, Jacob A. Riis, the Byron Company, the Wurts Brothers, and many others."
posted by peacay on Jan 3, 2011 - 5 comments

Vivian Maier follow up

An unknown photographer's work comes to light. [more inside]
posted by zerobyproxy on Dec 26, 2010 - 57 comments

Y'know, your normal everyday celebrities and spacecraft landings.

Photos from the Los Angeles Times Archives from Shirley Temple to Arnold Schwarzenegger.
posted by sonika on Dec 7, 2010 - 15 comments

A G.I.'s WWII Memoir

Robert F. Gallagher served in the United States Army's 815th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Third Army) in the European Theater during WWII. He has posted his memoir online: "Scratch One Messerschmitt," told from numerous photos he took during the war and the detailed notes he made shortly afterwards. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 23, 2010 - 7 comments

You must unlearn what you have learned.

Just in time for the 30th anniversary of the movie's release, The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back chronicles the complete tale—from pre-release to blockbuster success — of what’s become the fan favorite of the Star Wars series. Vanity Fair presents an excerpt from the book: rarely seen photographs from the Empire Strikes Back set, annotated with behind-the-scenes details. They also have interviews with the book’s author, J. W. Rinzler, and the man behind Boba Fett’s mask, actor Jeremy Bulloch." On a lighter note, how about a Wampa Throw Rug, new from the folks at ThinkGeek?
posted by zarq on Oct 12, 2010 - 35 comments

Pin down the past

Historypin uses Google Maps and Street View technology and hopes to become the largest user-generated archive of the world's historical images and stories. Historypin lets you layer old images onto modern Street View scenes, giving a series of peaks into the past. Upload and pin your own old photos, as well as the stories behind them, onto the map.
posted by dobbs on Jun 29, 2010 - 20 comments

"When Kabul had rock and roll, not rockets."

Once Upon a Time in Afghanistan. "It is important to know that disorder, terrorism, and violence against schools that educate girls are not inevitable. I want to show Afghanistan's youth of today how their parents and grandparents really lived."
posted by availablelight on Jun 3, 2010 - 8 comments

Upstairs, (falling) Downstairs

Edwardian Drunkards
posted by grumblebee on Mar 28, 2010 - 63 comments

You can't begin to tell the story....

Life Before Your Eyes
posted by anastasiav on Jan 14, 2010 - 21 comments

Another year in pictures

The year 2009 in photographs (boston.com, parts 2 & 3 coming tomorrow and the next day) prev
posted by allkindsoftime on Dec 15, 2009 - 42 comments

Careless Women Never Appeal To Gentlemen

Tips For Single Ladies: Helpful hints on dating and romance from 1938, with photos. (via)
posted by The Whelk on Dec 10, 2009 - 45 comments

Wisconsin Death Trip

Charles Van Schaick was a photographer in Black River Falls, Wisconsin in the late 19th and early 20th Century. His work was made famous by Michael Lesy in the book Wisconsin Death Trip in which the photographs were juxtaposed with local newsreports of murder, suicide, disease, insanity, animal mutilation and other calamities plus the occasional non-morbid event. Flickr set of photos used in Wisconsin Death Trip. Some of the texts from Wisconsin Death Trip. Robert Birnbaum interviews Michael Lesy about Wisconsin Death Trip and other things. Over 2500 photographs by Charles Van Schaick owned by The Wisconsin Historical Society. [Warning: Some of the photographs are of deceased infants]
posted by Kattullus on Nov 15, 2009 - 20 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

Disappearing Places

"I remember having rootbeer floats on the porch swing on hot summer nights... I remember playing with my cousins and the neighbors in the side yard. I remember running to the train tracks just a few blocks away and counting the train cars (sometimes over 100!) as they streamed by. I remember 'Uncle' Bill showing me his missing finger that he lost while working the trains... This is someone else’s house now but my memories still live there." From Disappearing Places: An archive and collective map of places that no longer exist, at least not as they once did. [more inside]
posted by katillathehun on Dec 10, 2008 - 23 comments

Japan through wonderful vintage photos

Vintage 3-D stereoviews of old Japan, Meiji and Taisho era swimsuit girls, working people, geisha, and kids, old Japan salt prints, dozens of T. Enami glass slides, and strange or offbeat images: all part of a vast and superb collection of Japanese photos from 1862 to 1930 by flickr user Okinawa Soba. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 9, 2008 - 17 comments

Images of Afghanistan

A few hundred photos of Afghanistan by a Canadian photographer. Some from the 1970s, some since 2000. Just a reminder there's more to the country than a testing ground for military technology and terrorist tactics. Some beautiful images and some scenes of everyday life. Accompanied by the photographer's personal commentary.
posted by binturong on Aug 13, 2008 - 14 comments

Historical Photographs of China

The Sidney D Gamble Photograph Collection at Duke University consists of about 5,000 newly digitised pictures, taken predominantly in China between 1917 and 1932. Browse by subject, category or location tags. Photos taken in 1908 are to be added in the future. [via]
posted by peacay on Jul 9, 2008 - 5 comments

Bringing Back The Drive-In

The first drive-in movie theater was opened on June 6, 1933, by salesman Richard M. Hollingshead in Camden, N.J. On the bill was a twilight showing of the British comedy Wife Beware. And so the drive-in era was born, peaking in 1958 with almost 5,000 theaters in the U.S alone. These days you'd be hard pressed trying to find one but thankfully there are plenty of handy lists online telling you just where to find one (there's even one for Aussies like me!). And that's not all we have to be thankful for; the drive-in scene is apparently witnessing something of a "mini-revival" at present. Don't feel like going out? Then why not make your own? First you'll need instructions on how to build one. Then you'll need intermission-advertisements (you can download or even just watch heaps of them for free here). And then you'll need a handy list of the kinds of films they used to show at the drive-in. If you're in the US, you'll need to know some of the special rules the FCC has for drive-ins, and if you have any more questions, I'm sure the fine folk at the United Drive-In Theater Owners Association could help. All of this sound like too much work? Then just sit back and check out the videos and photos on this nice site (it's about drive-ins, of course!).
posted by Effigy2000 on Feb 18, 2008 - 43 comments

popculture advertising ephemera

From about 1875 to the 1940s, cigarette cards spurred tobacco sales. Sets offer a glimpse into the popculture of the times, spanning newsmakers, cinema celebrities, and sports stars; cute illustrated subjects, like "frisky" and children with rosy cheeks; handy info like air raid precautions, first aid, and amusing tricks; and neat stuff like famous escapes, exotic races, and figures of speech. Browse more fun sets of vintage images.
posted by madamjujujive on Dec 11, 2007 - 21 comments

Burn baby burn

The great Seattle Fire. "The spring of 1889 in Seattle had been beautiful....Unfortunately, the unusually good weather proved to be disastrous, as the dry conditions conspired with a handful of other elements to allow for the worst fire in city history...the fire burned until 3:00 am. When it was done, the damage was enormous. 120 acres (25 city blocks) had been destroyed, as was every wharf and Mill from Union to Jackson Streets. Although the loss of human life was evidently low (no statistics were kept on that) it was estimated that 1 million rats were killed...." Photo gallery. A roughly contemporaneous account. A Historylink essay on the fire. How the fire changed Seattle's architecture.
posted by dersins on Nov 7, 2007 - 8 comments

That's it! Back to Winnipeg!

Sweet guinea pig of Winnipeg! 250 stories about Winnipeg! (and Manitoba...)
posted by Effigy2000 on Oct 12, 2007 - 17 comments

Photographs of American Cities

Photographs of American Cities from the middle of the 20th Century.
posted by jonson on Sep 29, 2007 - 37 comments

Step Right Up

Circus History, with photos, logos, show routes, and more. See also Circus World, Circus Web, and Princeton's Circus Poster Archive.
posted by Miko on Aug 28, 2007 - 14 comments

The 52 Most Influential Photographs

52 Influential Photographs: From the oldest survivng photograph, to images of revolution, misery, beauty and humility, to...goatse and LOLCAT? You win some, you lose some, I guess.
posted by Jimbob on Aug 4, 2007 - 68 comments

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