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It's nice to share. Cheney sued over not releasing VP documents to the public.

The Society of American Archivists, American Historical Association, and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington are suing Vice President Dick Cheney for not transferring the vast majority of his records to the National Archives and Record Administration for eventual release to the public. [more inside]
posted by rokabiri on Sep 16, 2008 - 31 comments

Digital Vaults

This is a collection of the National Archives stored in the Digital Vaults. You can browse through hundreds of photographs, documents, and film clips and discover the connection between some of the National Archives' most treasured records. With the Pathways tool you can see the unique and surprising connections between events and people and test your knowledge of history. As you travel through the site and collect documents, images and films, you can then merge the objects to create your own poster or movie from your collection.
posted by netbros on Jul 17, 2008 - 16 comments

the tail wagging the dog

webofdeception.com is a bizarre, timecubesque linkdump maintained and updated by private investigator and domain squatter Joseph Culligan. In addition to sleazy dirt-digging on various celebrities and politicians, Culligan also includes a huge resource list of links to databases and public-record searches. [more inside]
posted by sergeant sandwich on Jun 29, 2008 - 14 comments

Pursuing Purloined Papers

To Catch A Thief. How a Civil War buff's chance discovery led to a sting, a raid and a victory against traffickers in stolen historical documents. Related article: Pay Dirt in Montana. And photo gallery.
posted by amyms on Apr 27, 2008 - 20 comments

Virginia Tech Artifacts

A Million Voices. Staff members of the University Archives at Virginia Tech are working to catalog and make available the more than 87,000 letters, poems, posters and artifacts that arrived at the school in the wake of the April 16 shootings. Dubbed The Prevail Archives, the website has a database with images of some of the items. [more inside]
posted by marxchivist on Apr 10, 2008 - 11 comments

From Abati to Zoppio: historic Italian texts

OPAL Libri Antichi from the University of Turin offers over 3,000 books as free, open PDF files. Most of these date between AD 1500 and 1850 and most are in Italian, with many in French. They tend to be plain books with few illustrations. A few English titles are present, including David Hume's 1800 Essays on Suicide and the Immortality of the Soul; several texts by William Wycherley such as Love in a wood: or St. James's-Park (1735); and Richard Lassels 1686 work The voyage of Italy: or, a compleat journey through Italy with the characters of the peaple, and the description of the chief towns ... (volume 2) - an early travel guide. The PDFs are unsearchable plain scans. via this thread in the W4RF forum which contains hundreds of links to free online historical documents
posted by Rumple on Mar 10, 2008 - 3 comments

paper's hero: bill blackbeard

"Bill Blackbeard is a writer-editor and the founder-director of the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art, a comprehensive collection of comic strips and cartoon art from American newspapers. This major collection, consisting of 2.5 million clippings, tearsheets and comic sections, [spans] the years 1894 to 1996... [more inside]
posted by ethel on Feb 20, 2008 - 3 comments

A Portrait of the Intertubes as a Child

What did the Internet look like in 1996? "...very few web designers had even the most rudimentary of aesthetic sensibilities, and nearly half of them were clinically retarded."
posted by desjardins on Jan 26, 2008 - 89 comments

Archive of 19th Century Americana

Cornell University and the University of Michigan collaboratively present two sites on the "Making of America" (Cornell Site; Michigan Site), together including over one million pages of 19th Century American books and periodicals online. At this Cornell page you can browse or search some well-known, full-text periodicals including: The Atlantic Monthly 1857-1901; Harper's 1850-1899; Scientific American 1846-1869; Putnam's 1853-1870; and The Manufacturer and Builder 1869-1894. From Michigan, you can browse less well-known journals, including American Jewess 1895-1899; Ladies Repository 1846-1871; and the Journal of the United States Association of Charcoal Iron Workers 1880-1891. warning: frames abound [more inside]
posted by Rumple on Jan 23, 2008 - 8 comments

Gossip of the Sewing Circle

Gossip of the Sewing Circle Profound cattiness from 1903. Learn to use such snarkily coded terms as embonpoint in everyday conversation. Need to shame a beautiful rival who hasn't produced an heir for her much older husband? Describe her in The Newsaper of Record as owning "an extremely clever parrot." PDF, link from the NYT Archives.
posted by maryh on Dec 2, 2007 - 38 comments

Read classic punk 'zines, without the inky fingers!

Read classic punk 'zines, without the inky fingers! Too young to have read the first issue of Flipside? Need confirmation that Maximum Rock 'N' Roll was just as boring (does/did anyone actually read those MRR Scene Reports?) and elitist back then as it is now? Do you find it hard to believe that Soul Asylum used to be credible enough to be interviewed by Suburban Voice? Or maybe you just want to marvel/feel-sad-for the obviously painstaking effort someone went through to scan every single page of these 'zines (including HeartattaCk) into PDFs? Well here 'ya go.
posted by melorama on May 23, 2007 - 25 comments

Old Lady Leary Left Her Lantern in the Shed

The Chicago Fire and the Web of Memory compiles a fascinating array of primary sources about the 1871 fire that destroyed 4 square miles of the city of Chicago, killing hundreds and leaving nearly one out of five residents homeless. Explore 3D images, music [embedded], children's drawings, and personal recollections. See also a pictorial survey of the damage, including fused marbles and metal hardware, related documents and images at the Library of Congress, and an exoneration of Mrs. O'Leary and her bovine companion, along with a suggestion by John Lienhart that police corruption and class struggle were more to blame than a cow [embedded audio].
posted by Miko on May 16, 2007 - 9 comments

Interesting times

Parallel History Project on Cooperative Security "By far the most ambitious and integral project in the burgeoning field of cold war history"
posted by Abiezer on May 7, 2007 - 3 comments

Now that Premiere's Gone

Cashiers du Cinemart. Film Threat's Dave Williams: "a thin, primitive hobby publication with an obvious ax to grind; making it far less interesting than you think it is, and compelling me to conclude it's impossible for you to ever get your shit together...killing one more tree for your pointless, directionless, self-aggrandizing 'zine with nothing to offer is a sad, selfish waste." Best known for the Anti-Tarantino saga, one man's quest to get a director to acknowledge his influences, Cashiers is a great '90s 'zine with archives online.
posted by klangklangston on Mar 20, 2007 - 15 comments

"Kur-heiny?" "Teip!!"

New York University's Tamiment Library, one of the world's foremost centers of learning on labour history and the Left, has been given the archives of the Communist Party USA. (alternate non-NYT link) The donation includes 20,000 books, journals and pamphlets and a million photographs from The Daily Worker’s archives. Highlights include the original, hand-written will of Joe Hill.
posted by By The Grace of God on Mar 20, 2007 - 13 comments

Oh Canada!

Malcolm X on Front Page Challenge, Joni Mitchell on Take 30, Dr. Norman Bethune on 5 Nights and the rest of the CBC archives.
posted by serazin on Mar 14, 2007 - 6 comments

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

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