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John Smith's Ephemera

"John Smith, Youngest, of Crutherland, was given the honorary degree of LL.D in 1840. In 1842 he announced the bequest to the University [of Glasgow] of his runs of publications from learned societies, and his volumes of ephemeral items. These came to the library on Smith’s death in 1849." Some examples: Playbill, Theatre Royal, York Street. Broadsheet account of an attempted prison break. Radical Party election ballad. See also: Glasgow Broadside Ballads: cheap print and popular song culture in nineteenth-century Scotland and Glasgow Broadside Ballads: The Murray Collection
posted by Len on Feb 3, 2007 - 7 comments

Franklin Kameny Papers Online

The Kameny Papers Project preserved and presents the papers of gay rights pioneer Franklin Kameny, who had activists picketing the White House in 1965, well before Stonewall. The website includes a nice archive of his papers, including correspondence, a small photo gallery, and some charming hate mail from members of Congress. See also the Franklin Kameny pages at the Rainbow History Project. Yesterday, the Library of Congress accepted Kameny's papers. [via Andrew Sullivan]
posted by LarryC on Oct 7, 2006 - 9 comments

im getting overwhelmed

like words? stimulate your mind with the salon directory, new york times topics, the archive of every single time magazine, past issues from the new york review of books or just take a break and stare at pages and pages of google images
posted by petsounds on Sep 26, 2006 - 19 comments

DeLorean out of gas? Try the Toronto Archives....

From Muddy York to the Toronto of today.... My search to discover the exact age of the house I recently bought led me to the fabulous Toronto Archives. Even if you don't have the good fortune to live in Toronto and so have the ability to visit the Archives to take a free tour and check out their massive holdings, they have a whack of stuff on line. Of their million photographs dating back to 1856, over 21,000 are online. Check out some of their virtual exhibits. I couldn't begin to give you an overview of the site or even the best of its many gems, but check out Chinatown's VE day victory parade, Bay and Wellington as it was after a huge fire in 1904, old advertisements, letters and postcards (including some from the disenchanted), snapshots of a, er, less politically sensitive time (thanks, Capn!), and — inevitably! — hockey artifacts. A friend of mine makes a hobby of Toronto's history, and after this search of mine, I better understand her interest. It’s fascinating to see what lies beneath the layers of time on a surface so familiar and loved.
posted by orange swan on Jul 4, 2006 - 23 comments

That's 2 shillings and sixpence in old money

Ever wondered what old amounts of money would be worth today? Or what you could buy with your current salary if you went back 200, 400, or 600 years? Now you can find out with a tool that converts English currency from 1270 onwards into today's prices. Based on Treasury records, it tells you that Mr Darcy's £10,000 a year would now be worth nearly £350,000, or that your house would only have to be worth the equivalent of £500 now to qualify for the vote after 1832.
posted by greycap on Jun 28, 2006 - 22 comments

Stuff About Dead People: or, History

The Public Archives of Nova Scotia has some cool online exhibits. The original list of dead bodies recovered from the Titanic sinking caught my eye, they also have original log book pages from privateers, lighthouses, slavery and abolition, boats, boats, and more boats. [via]
posted by marxchivist on Apr 20, 2006 - 11 comments

The Open Earth Archive

The Natural World is yours to play with now courtesy of the BBC, but only if you live in the UK!

The BBC have released their wildlife archives as part of the Creative Archive Licence, including unseen clips from the new Planet Earth series.

Unfortunately, it's only available to those who live in the UK because "the member organisations who supply the content are funded with public money to serve the UK population."
posted by Nugget on Mar 4, 2006 - 35 comments

Stop Look Listen

Public Information films have a special place in British TV history as they earnestly try to educate the public about how to cross the road safely or survive a nuclear bomb. Over the past few weeks, the BBC has been compiling some of the classics and making them available online (with the sad exception of Reginald Molehusband). Some of the best videos, however, have been made by the public in the traditional style - check out the brilliant special effects of Driving Backwards is Dangerous, the bizarre Pylon Peril, and the topical Stop Look Zombies.
posted by adrianhon on Mar 3, 2006 - 12 comments

magazines galore

Galactic Central is the mother lode of magazine archives, with publishing information and cover art, including a prodigious pile of pulp magazines.
posted by crunchland on Feb 8, 2006 - 6 comments

AIDS in the 1980s

First World AIDS Day: CBC archive A short clip from December 1st, 1988, the first World AIDS Day (with a Canadian focus). Also of interest from the CBC archives are two pages of radio and video clips (21 in all) on the early years of the disease.
posted by livii on Dec 1, 2005 - 18 comments

Canadian Pulp Fiction Archive

Tales From the Vault. Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is proud to present its Canadian pulp art and fiction collection, straight from the special collections vault. The collection featured in this virtual exhibit, Tales from the Vault!: Canadian Pulp Fiction, 1940-1952, is one of the very few known pulp magazine holdings in Canada, and is available for consultation at LAC. Includes a cover gallery and complete magazines.
posted by srboisvert on Sep 26, 2005 - 4 comments

The Power of the DVD

Finally, someone does archives right. The entire New Yorker collection, all the way back, for less than 2.5¢ an issue
posted by rtimmel on Sep 14, 2005 - 55 comments

Electronics Records Archives

The National Archives recently announced a new phase in the ongoing project called the Electronic Records Archives (ERA) whose vision is to catalog and make available online electronic documentation produced by the Federal government (E-mails, Word Documents, etc), which otherwise could disappear entirely or at least be very difficult to locate. Funded with over 300 million and set to debut in 2007 and be complete by 2011 it is a project of unusual scope and complexities but promises to make government more transparent to researches and the general public.
posted by stbalbach on Sep 10, 2005 - 5 comments

Charles Burney and the History of Music

The Doctor of Music. "A General History of Music From the Earliest Ages to the Present Period, Volume IV", written by the English musician and historian Dr. Charles Burney (1726-1814) was published in 1789. Its first volume, completed in 1776, was the first History of music ever published. The fourth volume is of particular interest as it discusses the state of music in Burney's own lifetime. He observed the music, and musicians that he wrote about first hand. In fact, Burney was close friends with composers such as Haydn and Handel, he even played violin in Handel's orchestra, and lived with Dr. Thomas Arne for two years in London, as his apprentice. The fourth volume, to Dr. Charles Burney, was the most interesting as he preferred the music of the current time, finding no interest in "antiquarianism." In the main link, the entire volume -- in facsimile -- is available to readers. Burney also translated Pietro Metastasio's Memoirs. Also: The Burney Collection of Newspapers at the British Library. More inside.
posted by matteo on Jun 19, 2005 - 6 comments

Print Ads archive

adflip - "world's largest archive of classic print ads"
posted by Gyan on Apr 15, 2005 - 15 comments

Close to Home

Close to Home: An American Album. 'This exhibition is devoted to American family photographs that were separated from their owners and then rediscovered by artists, writers, collectors, and museum curators. ' Highlights and site visitors' submissions.
Site of related interest :- BBC Family History; and Third Generation: Family Photographs and Memories of Nazi Germany.
posted by plep on Feb 26, 2005 - 2 comments

Urban Experience in Chicago: Hull-House and Its Neighbourhoods 1889-1963

Urban Experience in Chicago: Hull-House and Its Neighbourhoods 1889-1963. Scholarly urban history project.
posted by plep on Feb 19, 2005 - 7 comments

Tickets, please.

TV Tickets! A great gallery of tickets to TV show tapings, some going back to the 1950s. Includes some fascinating commentary by Mark Evanier.
posted by braun_richard on Jan 31, 2005 - 7 comments


The biology of B-movie monsters ; ancient Greek curse and love magic; the correspondence of Elizabeth I and James VI; Egil Skallagrimsson, poet and killer; the mythology of Harry Potter; Pinocchio's cultural heirs; Tiananmen's legacy; experimental art in China; the question of Hatshepshut's character. Articles courtesy of the Fathom Archive, 2000-2003.
posted by plep on Jan 15, 2005 - 11 comments

Never such innocence again

The Mitchell and Kenyon collection consists of 800 rolls of nitrate film documenting scenes of everyday life in England between 1900 and 1913. This extraordinary archive, now painstakingly restored by the British Film Institute, includes footage of trams, soup kitchens, factory gates, football matches, seaside holidays and much else besides. Here are some sample images and a short clip of workers at a Lancashire colliery, all astonishingly evocative and reminiscent (to me) of Philip Larkin's poem MCMXIV: 'The crowns of hats, the sun / On moustachioed archaic faces / Grinning as if it were all / An August Bank Holiday lark .. Never such innocence, / Never before or since .. Never such innocence again.'
posted by verstegan on Jan 7, 2005 - 7 comments


The Lou Reed Guitar Archive "Pre-VU, The Velvet Underground, solos and collaborations"
posted by wobh on Jan 3, 2005 - 18 comments

9/11 As Part of History

The Library of Congress American Memory site is a good place to start in looking back at 9/11. They feature a twin towers poster that I have always liked and a "Stop Hate" graphic that's now my PC wallpaper (at least for the week). There are also multiple links to a wide variety of related content.
posted by mmahaffie on Sep 11, 2004 - 3 comments

Free music. (It's late. I can't think of a title.)

KVRX, University of Texas' radio station, has an archive of tracks recorded live in their studio. Artists include The Magnetic Fields, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Broken Social Scene, Devendra Banhart, Explosions in the Sky, Sebadoh, Mojave 3, Okkervil River, Japancakes, Call and Response, Super Furry Animals, Cat Power, I Am The World Trade Center and the sublime Paul Burch, among others.
posted by dobbs on Aug 8, 2004 - 24 comments

Clinton Adviser Berger Cleared of Document Theft

Clinton Adviser Berger Cleared of Document Theft Oh. By the way...President Clinton's national security adviser, Sandy Berger -- who'd been accused of stealing classified material from the National Archives -- has been cleared of all wrongdoing.
posted by Postroad on Jul 30, 2004 - 27 comments

Information (from 1945) wants to be free

Pages of the Past The Toronto Star has digitized each of its issues from 1892-2001. And they're searchable. And they're online. Unfortunately, access starts at about a buck an hour—but 1945 is free!
posted by DrJohnEvans on Jul 30, 2004 - 7 comments

a series of expressions

120 Years of Electronic Music. Electronic musical instruments 1870 -1990.
posted by the fire you left me on Jul 10, 2004 - 12 comments

The Adventure of the Wooden Spoon

"If this was Jane Austen or Charles Dickens, there would be a national outcry". Thousands of personal papers belonging to Sherlock Holmes creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, fetched $1.7 million at an auction Wednesday, with many items sold to private U.S. collectors. The auction was a great disappointment to scholars who had hoped the papers would be donated to a public institution. The archive also became entwined in a mystery worthy of Conan Doyle's fictional detective: the bizarre death of a leading Holmes scholar. Lancelyn Green, 50, was found dead in his bed on March 27, garroted with a shoelace tightened by a wooden spoon, and surrounded by stuffed toys. (more inside)
posted by matteo on May 19, 2004 - 11 comments

It's all about access

The recent White House nomination of Allen Weinstein to become the next Archivist of the United States has produced some interesting reactions. Is this standard election-year politics, or is there something else going on?
posted by grateful on Apr 17, 2004 - 45 comments

Library and Archival Exhibitions on the Web

Library and Archival Exhibitions on the Web. Many links to interesting sites - African liberation movement posters, Charles Babbage, Braniff Airways history, daily life in Sierra Leone 1936-37, the photography of Eamon Melaugh, Frank & Marshall College from the air, all the way through to ZYX: a selection of ABC books. Via thinking while typing.
posted by plep on Mar 10, 2004 - 2 comments

vanishing world

For the adventurous reader Dispatches From The Vanishing World a collection of environment themed travel articles by Alex Shoumatoff. Observe the "skeed row" behaviour of The Alcoholic Monkeys of St.Kitts, or travel to the worlds largest swap almost twice the size of England in the Amazon, this site presents magazine articles by Alex over the last 30 years as seen in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Rolling Stone.
posted by stbalbach on Feb 20, 2004 - 6 comments

Seattle's Museum of History & Industry

Seattle's Museum of History & Industry has compiled a photographic archive of Seattle and its surrounding communities. Over 12,000 images from local museums, libraries and historical societies capture the heritage of King county spanning over 100 years. The project was developed through the National Leadership Grant for Library and Museum Collaboration.
posted by yonderboy on Oct 28, 2003 - 4 comments

They Still Draw Pictures

They Still Draw Pictures. Drawings made by children during the Spanish Civil War.
posted by plep on Oct 17, 2003 - 10 comments

more magazines

Mad, Cracked, & Weirdo magazine cover archives.
posted by crunchland on Sep 2, 2003 - 13 comments

The World War I Document Archive

World War I Document Archive. Treaties, diplomatic documents and, of course, photos. even ee cummings.
posted by turbodog on Aug 25, 2003 - 4 comments

The Danger of American Fascism

«A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends. The supreme god of a fascist, to which his ends are directed, may be money or power; may be a race or a class; may be a military, clique or an economic group; or may be a culture, religion, or a political party.» Henry A. Wallace’s article, titled «The Danger of American Fascism», ran in the New York Times in 1944. Veeery interesting reading.
posted by acrobat on Aug 22, 2003 - 11 comments

Plus, there's sheet music!

Excellent gallery of early 20th century sheet music folios, including some very attractive samples, as well as some somewhat outdated images. via memepool
posted by jonson on Aug 19, 2003 - 6 comments

Everything you wanted to know about species.

The ARKive "is the Noah's Ark for the Internet era - the world's centralised digital library of films, photographs and associated recordings of species, accessible to all via the world wide web."
posted by tbc on Aug 14, 2003 - 4 comments

The Swann Foundation

The Swann Foundation (Library of Congress). Many links to online exhibitions of American caricature and cartoon: Al Hirschfeld, Arthur Szyk, Blondie gets married, Herblock, Elizabeth Shippen Green, performing arts caricatures, the Water Babies.
posted by plep on Jul 27, 2003 - 4 comments

Books Go To War

Books Go To War Between 1943 and 1947, the Council on Books in Wartime published 1322 small-format books (4 in. x 5.75 in. — designed to fit easily into the pockets of service uniforms) for distribution to United States service personnel. These books were unabridged volumes spanning a variety of topics: popular fiction, humor, classic literature, music, psychology, war stories, etc. Because the books were distributed only to overseas troops, and printed on cheap paper (intended to be read, passed around, and discarded), they've become hard-to-find, the subject of museum exhibits and, in the case of the rarer titles, the object of collectors' desire.
posted by jdroth on Jul 25, 2003 - 7 comments

Ellis Island Immigration Records

Got roots? The American Family Immigration History Center has made available online the passenger manifests for all the ships that docked at Ellis Island from 1892 to 1924. It's searchable by name, and you can look at a photostat of the actual page of the manifest. I found my great-uncle (Demetrios Calisperis, from Samos, Greece, debarked Ellis Island Nov 1907, at age 11 -- hiya, Uncle Jim!). Free to register and search. Paid membership lets you build a family scrapbook about your ancestor that can be searched by other researchers.
posted by BitterOldPunk on Jul 14, 2003 - 9 comments

Art for a Change

Art for a Change. An archive of such things as punk portraits, the German Expressionists, Spanish Civil War posters, Paris 1968 posters; art protesting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan; Alberto Korba and his famous photo of Che Guevara; and more politically oriented art.
Related :- anarchist posters from Europe, Australia and North America; John Heartfield versus Hitler (gallery of Heartfield's anti-Nazi photo-montages); Aum Shinrikyo: Japanese Wanted poster art ('The Japanese police made art to capture members of Aum Shinrikyo. We made art to capture the essence of a surreal modern Japan, governed by fear.'); the history and meaning of the CND logo (a.k.a. the 'peace symbol'); posters of pre-1945 Japanese labour movements.
posted by plep on Jun 29, 2003 - 6 comments

Yad Vashem

Yad Vashem: Online Exhibitions. 'Yad Vashem's task is to perpetuate the legacy of the Holocaust to future generations so that the world never forgets the horrors and cruelty of the Holocaust. Its principal missions are commemoration and documentation of the events of the Holocaust, collection, examination, and publication of testimonies to the Holocaust, the collection and memorialization of the names of Holocaust victims, and research and education.' No Child's Play; Private Tolkatchev; Photos from the Warsaw Ghetto; and much more.
posted by plep on Jun 19, 2003 - 7 comments

the imaginary world dot com

Tick Tock Toys: "Archives and Galleries, a cavalcade of images" Splendiferous things of yore!!
posted by hama7 on Apr 3, 2003 - 17 comments


OldVersion.com bears the motto "newer is not always better." This virtual graveyard/archive of older windows programs lets you stick to versions of programs before they had advertising, before they had Digital Restrictions Management, and even those that no longer exist *sniff*. I can tell sites like this will be coming in handy as we enter a Matrix-like world of advertising, spy-ware, and DRM baked into everything, while a holdout of luddites stick with 0.9 betas of their favorite programs.
posted by mathowie on Mar 2, 2003 - 24 comments


Textfiles.com: Before the Web, before Google, we scoured Fidonet, absorbing the forbidden fruits of anarchy, occult and a lot of bad fiction. For better or worse, TEXTFILES are relics of that age.
posted by magnificentsven on Jan 23, 2003 - 12 comments

The Illustrated Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

The Illustrated Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. An exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art. Stunning illustrations of world-class poetry. 'nuff said.
posted by condour75 on Dec 10, 2002 - 11 comments

Pantyhose! Pantyhose! Pantyhose!

Everybody has a hobby. Mine is collecting images of pantyhose packages, as well as pantyhose ads from magazines and catalogs. (geocities, NSFW? Guess.) We've previously discussed vintage skivvies for men here, but the gallery of packages is kind of interesting. Or maybe you just Hate Pantyhose.
posted by Stan Chin on Dec 7, 2002 - 10 comments

Tales from the Land of Dragons.

Tales from the Land of Dragons. 100 years of Chinese paintings. From the overview :- 'In China, painting is one of the "Three Perfections," linked with calligraphy and poetry as the most refined of artistic endeavors. This exhibition ... focuses on the years in which the great traditions of Chinese painting were established, during the Tang, Song, and Yuan dynasties ... '
posted by plep on Nov 3, 2002 - 10 comments

September eleventh

September eleventh certainly is an anniversary, but of more than you might remember. Historical Hindsight is a short piece on why some events are remembered and others forgotten. "The things that get remembered serve a purpose. They have to do something relevant in the present."
posted by raaka on Sep 11, 2002 - 3 comments

Paper of Record

Paper of Record provides a hi-res, searchable(!), archive of historical newspapers, generated from microfilm collections. Looks like one for Cory at Wrote['nother couple of similar links there]. Kind of new and largely Canadian at the moment, but worth watching, and subscriptions are cheap. Remember, those are Canadian dollars.
posted by Su on Aug 30, 2002 - 3 comments

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