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.
"Once more we're starting to look forward to Christmas. Whilst the shops are advertising all the material things we can look foward to, we're despatching enjoyment in the form of music - treasures from Christmases gone by." - musical advent calendars from the Norwegian Institute for Recorded Sound.
This year the CBC Massey Lectures celebrates fifty years with bestselling author, essayist, cultural observer, and famed New Yorker contributor Adam Gopnik. His subject is winter - the season, the space, the cycle. Gopnik takes us on an intimate tour of the artists, poets, composers, writers, explorers, scientists, and thinkers, who helped shape a new and modern idea of winter. Listen to Winter: Five Windows on the Season Streaming files for this years lecture will be available until Friday, November 18. [more inside]
'“The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975“ is an incredible documentary with an equally incredible story behind it. The film is constructed entirely from hundreds of hours of archival footage of the black power movement, footage that’s not just rare, but unseen; it was shot by a Swedish news crew in the 1960s and 1970s, then left untouched in a Swedish TV station’s cellar for 30 years, where it was discovered by documentary filmmaker Göran Hugo Olsson.' [more inside]
Anyone who was anyone in the literary world of 1920s New York signed the door of Frank Shay's Christopher Street bookshop. The door is now in the collection of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas, and they'd like your help identifying the remaining unknown signatures.
The Declaration of Independence is perhaps the most masterfully written state paper of Western civilization. As Moses Coit Tyler noted almost a century ago, no assessment of it can be complete without taking into account its extraordinary merits as a work of political prose style. Although many scholars have recognized those merits, there are surprisingly few sustained studies of the stylistic artistry of the Declaration. This essay seeks to illuminate that artistry by probing the discourse microscopically -- at the level of the sentence, phrase, word, and syllable. The University of Wisconsin's Dr. Stephen E. Lucas meticulously analyzes the elegant language of the 235-year-old charter in a distillation of this comprehensive study. More on the Declaration: full transcript and ultra-high-resolution scan, a transcript and scan of Jefferson's annotated rough draft, the little-known royal rebuttal, a thorough history of the parchment itself, a peek at the archival process, a reading of the document by the people of NPR and by a group of prominent actors, H. L. Mencken's "American" translation, Slate's Twitter summaries, and a look at the fates of the 56 signers.
The Newspaper Map: browse thousands of local, regional and national newspapers from around the world, based on geographical location. Filter and translate languages, see newspaper archives back to the early 19th century, and find fourth estate Twitter and YouTube feeds. A mobile version is also available. via
"Collections wrap bare objects with cultural identity." Smithsonian archivist turned assemblage artist Tracy Hicks finds the seam between two things I didn't think were related -- dispassionate taxonomy and artistic whims. You can catch Hicks' installation at the American Association of Museums conference showing his interpretation of the future of museums (if by "future" you mean a Lovecraftian dystopia.) [more inside]
Bill Blackbeard, founder of the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art, passed away March 10. The Comics Journal calls him "without question or quibble the only absolutely indispensable figure in the history of comics scholarship for the last quarter century." [more inside]
Ryan Richardson maintains several different and somewhat esoteric archives, including the entire five-issue run of the controversialish 70s teen groupie magazine Star, and a collection of covers from pulpy gay and lesbian novels from the 50s and 60s. [more inside]
Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero announced today that Thomas Lowry, a long-time Lincoln researcher from Woodbridge, VA, confessed on January 12, 2011, to altering an Abraham Lincoln Presidential pardon that is part of the permanent records of the U.S. National Archives.
To mark the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's inauguration, the JFK Library has unveiled a new digital archive containing 200,000 pages; 300 reels of audio tape, containing more than 1,245 individual recordings of telephone calls, speeches and meetings; 300 museum artifacts; 72 reels of film; and 1,500 photos.
Photos from the Los Angeles Times Archives from Shirley Temple to Arnold Schwarzenegger.
A great gift for the archivist and/or audiophile in your life! Just in time for the holidays, donate NOW only $60 to preserve for posterity the controversial, the scandalous, the quixotic, the Springsteen-ian, the timeless classics, plus many, many more wax cylinder recordings from UCSB's Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project. [more inside]
More than 1000 diaries kept by surgeons of Britain's Royal Navy between 1793 and 1800 have been cataloged by the National Archives, and are now available for public study. [more inside]
Docs Teach, a new website from the National Archives, offers teachers access to more than 3,000 digitized documents from NARA's collections, along with classroom activities using them. It's the latest in a series of efforts under the recently appointed Archivist of the United States David Ferriero to enhance the agency's presence on the web. (via) [more inside]
This Summer’s Sexiest Images From Saturn. From a billion miles away, the Cassini spacecraft continues to send spectacular images of Saturn and its moons. Cassini has been flying since 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004 after flybys of Earth, Venus and Jupiter. Its mission was originally slated to end in 2008, but it got its first 27 month extension to witness Saturn’s equinox. This year, it was given another life extension until 2017 to keep exploring until Saturn’s northern hemisphere summer solstice. [previously] [more inside]
Sounds from Tomorrow's World: Sun Ra and the Chicago Years, 1946-1961 is an exhibition drawn from the collections of the University of Chicago's Chicago Jazz Archive.
30 objects, 40 audio and videocassettes, and 1,425 photographs, among them a Polaroid snapshot of Terry Fox’s artificial leg - Douglas Coupland submits his personal objects to the University of British Columbia. [more inside]
The Story of Dynamite (1925) and The Story of Gasoline (1924): two unusual silent films from the enormously varied and fascinating PublicResource.org's youtube channel. [more inside]
An archive of (nearly) every 120 Minutes (and its successor Subterranean) playlist. The 120 Minutes archive includes playlists for 585 episodes of MTV's seminal alternative rock show and its successor, Subterranean, spanning 1986-2007. The archive includes links to video search for each track played, interviews with those behind the program, a history of its development and demise, and the full video of the series finale. Looking at some of the early episodes, should be enough to crush you under a wave of nostalgia and longing for the days when MTV was what it says on the tin.
The New Orleans Public Library's Hidden from History exhibit, now online, uses turn-of-the-century mugshots from the NOPD to consider issues of public identity, private life, and the anonymity of history.
The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas today announced that it has acquired the papers of David Foster Wallace. The collection includes "manuscript materials for Wallace's books, stories and essays; research materials; Wallace's college and graduate school writings; juvenilia, including poems, stories and letters; teaching materials and books." The Center's blog has more details.
A letter by Rene Descartes, stolen in 1840s, recovered in 2010 by online detective work. The letter was stolen by Guglielmo Libri, inspector general of the libraries of France, who stole thousands of valuable documents and fled to England in 1848. Since 1902 it's been in the collection of Haverford College, its contents unknown to scholars, and nobody there realized that it was an unknown letter. But because they had catalogued it and recently put their catalogue on line, Dutch philosopher Erik-Jan Bos found it "during a late-night session browsing the Internet". (A Haverford undergraduate thirty years ago had translated it and written a paper on it, in which he recognized that the letter was unknown -- but nobody followed up and the letter had sat in the library since then until it was listed online.) The letter includes some last-minute edits to the Meditations, and some thoughts on God as causa sui. Haverford, whose president was a philosophy major, is returning the letter to the Institut de France.
The U.S. National Archives' Flickr Photostream. Includes collections of historical photographs and documents | Civil War photos by Mathew Brady | and the Documerica Project by the EPA in the 1970s. There is also a nice set of Ansel Adams landscape photographs.
The Great Scrapple Correspondence of 1872 In which a plate of pork gets bean-plated.
When not pressing the valves on his trumpet or the record button on his tape recorder, Armstrong’s fingers found other arts with which to occupy themselves. One of them was collage, which became a visual outlet for his improvisational genius. ... These little stories, illuminating and entertaining syntheses of Armstrong’s passions, now reside in the Louis Armstrong Archives at Queens College in Flushing, New York. [more inside]
October is American Archives Month. From Alabama [pdf] to Wyoming, New England to the Rocky Mountains and points in between, archival repositories across the United States will celebrate by offering workshops, open houses, and behind the scenes tours. Pretty complete list here. [more inside]
Letters of Note reproduces and transcribes letters from the famous, the infamous, and the not-so-famous.
The Niels Bohr Library & Archives has completed a project to transcribe its collection of more than 500 oral histories of physics, including a few audio snippets of the interviews. And, if you'd like to put a face with that voice, check out the Emilio Segrè Visual Archives. [via] [more inside]
Even after some deliberation it is difficult to find reasons to support the appointment of women Trade Commissioners. The Virtual Reading Room of the National Archives of Australia is a mine of information about Australia, its relationships and past attitudes.
A View To Hugh. After Hugh Morton's death in 2006, the widow of North Carolina's most prolific photographer donated his entire collection, half a million transparencies, photographs, and negatives, to the North Carolina Collection at UNC. The "A View to Hugh" blog details the work of the team of archivists who are organizing and digitizing the collection. [more inside]
The Brakhage Scrapbooks. Jane Wodening, then Jane Brakhage, assembled three remarkable scrapbooks in the early 1960s, when she was the wife and muse of experimental film maker Stan Brakhage [previously 1, 2] ... Wodening created the scrapbooks from literal “scraps” of their family life, Brakhage’s creative process, and the artistic communities of which they were a part. Pages are covered with the widest array of verbal and visual materials including but not limited to letters, manuscripts, photographs, original art, clippings, pamphlets, filmstrips, and flyers. [more inside]
Museum archivist, exploring Henry Ford's office records, stumbles into the interesting world of commercial telegraphic code.
Lens is the new photojournalism blog of The New York Times, presenting visual and multimedia reporting — photographs, videos and slide shows. A showcase for Times photographers, it will draw on The Times' own pictorial archive, numbering in the millions of images and going back to the early 20th century. Features in their first week include: Essay: Slow Photography in an Instantaneous Age, about what it means to shoot on large-format film in the digital age; Showcase: A Prom Divided, a multimedia feature about a segregated prom in 2009 south-central Georgia.
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has put 675 reels of archival 16 mm film online via the Internet Archive. Most of the film is unedited, and stems either from Museum research, or was donated by interested amateurs. Much of it is silent, reflecting the technology of the day. One highlight are the four surviving reels of the long-running TV show 'What in the World" (look for the episode starring Vincent Price), but the archive is full of other hidden gems, such as the 1950s archaeological expedition to Tikal, a 1940 film "A 1000 Mile Road Trip Across America", and Glimpses of Life Among the Catawba and Cherokee Indians of the Carolinas (1927). The films are downloadable in various formats, including MPEG2, Ogg Video, and 512Kb MPEG4. Happy browsing! via.
Cologne City Archive is a six-story building containing 26 kilometers of shelves, 65,000+ documents dating from 922 AD, 104,000 maps, 50,000 posters, 500,000 photographs and 780 estates and collections, including Irmgard Keun, Hans Mayer and Jacques Offenbach. Considered a state of the art institution when built in 1971 and copied around the world, the building simply collapsed on Tuesday, destroying most everything. ,(via) [more inside]
The Virginia Quarterly Review — "A National Journal of Literature and Discussion" — just made public every article, essay, book review etc. published in its pages between 1975 and 2003. Search the archives here or check out this blog post for some greatest hits.
JournalSpace: R.I.P. [Sub-Titled: When is the last time you tested your backups?]
Christmas in the London Blitz, 1940; Making Christmas Crackers, 1910; Santa Claus, 1898; Christmas is coming, 1951: short films from the British Film Institute's wonderful Youtube Channel (including excellent playlists), which you can also explore through Google Earth using the kmz file found here.
Photograph of Jesus is a short film by Laurie Hill illustrating the strange requests photography archivists at the vast Hulton Archive sometimes get, such as for photographs of Jesus, the Yeti, Jack the Ripper, Neil Armstrong with 11 other people on the moon and the like. This film won Getty Images' Short and Sweet Film Challenge. The three other shortlisted films were Big Red Button's gambling tale Perrington Stud, Jasmin Jodry's science fiction fantasy Star Games and Ian Mackinnon's sports story Long Jump.
It's been a busy week for presidential libraries. The Nixon Library released 200 hours of tape (excerpts) and 90,000 pages of documents (excerpts) that detail his obsessive attempts to destroy his political enemies. The LBJ library released MP3s of dozens of phone calls, including one where he accuses Nixon of treason for stalling Vietnamese peace talks in advance of the 1968 election. Finally, the Reagan Library released 750,000 pages of documents (NYT, reg. req.) to researchers. [more inside]
Europeana is the new EU digital library. It gives multilingual access to two million digitized books and other items of cultural and historical significance held in over 1,000 institutions in the 27 EU states. There will be 10 million by 2010. Soon after its launch the website froze, its servers overwhelmed by over "10 million hits an hour".
"Almost all American satire today follows a formula that Harvey Kurtzman thought up." - Richard Corliss [Via Tom Spurgeon's TCR]