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Les Invisibles

Les Invisibles: Vintage Portraits of Love and Pride is a collection of found photographs by film-maker Sébastien Lifshitz showing (mostly anonymous) gay couples together in the early years of the 20th century. 'He found most of his collection in the US and western Europe, but none in the UK: “Maybe the British think such photographs have no value, or are too private to sell.”'. In 2012, Lifshitz released Les Invisibles, a related documentary exploring the lives of 11 gay and lesbian individuals over the age of 70. [more inside]
posted by dng on Jun 17, 2014 - 8 comments

Photographs of some historical & archeological artifacts

Michael Faraday's chemical chest, 19th century.
The end of Darwin's walking stick.
Galileo’s original telescope.
Napoleon’s toothbrush, c 1795 (with engraved "N“ at bottom).
Carved Olive Pit, China (1737).
Throne of Charlemagne (790). Until 1531, it served as the coronation throne the Kings of Germany, being used at a total of thirty-one coronations.
Ishtar Gate, ca 575 BC. Built on the orders of Nebuchadnezzar II, it was a gate to the inner city of Babylon.
Tolkien's service weapon from WWI.
Breastplate, North Peru - A.D. 1000/1470. [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Apr 27, 2014 - 33 comments

American Museum of Natural Unlocks 1000's Of Old Photos

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]
posted by nickyskye on Apr 24, 2014 - 6 comments

"The perfect spot to get lost in"

Old photos of the Cincinnati Public Library before it was demolished in 1955 (Go ahead. Weep. I did).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jan 21, 2014 - 57 comments

Remember, if approached by a librarian, keep still. Do not run away.

Welcome to a tumblr of wonders. Special Collections, archives, and libraries have many wonderful items, but getting to them all can be a bit like trying to walk into Mordor, unless you have unlimited time and grants. But now, thanks to Tumblr, you too can explore collections around the world, and one of the best comes to us from the University of Iowa. Want a Hamlet quote on a miniature book that unfolds into a tiny Globe Theatre? Of course you do. Actual flying squirrels? Adventure with Alice! Get close to illuminations? Catch a glimpse of hipster frames circa 1504? More awesome librar* tumblrs inside. [more inside]
posted by jetlagaddict on Dec 26, 2013 - 13 comments

Faces of the American Revolution

Actual photographs of people who fought in the Revolutionary War.
posted by empath on Oct 12, 2013 - 25 comments

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

Remarkable 19th century photographs by Timothy O'Sullivan

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]
posted by nickyskye on Sep 1, 2013 - 13 comments

Marvelous photographs of 19th Century London street life

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
posted by nickyskye on Aug 13, 2013 - 18 comments

Form and Landscape

Form and Landscape - Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Basin, 1940-1990 - is a series of themed exhibitions that tell the story of how Los Angeles 'became modern' by using photos from the comprehensive archives of Southern California Edison. The photos portray the many roles that electricity has played in the development and modernization of Californian life and culture (domestic life, signage, streetscapes, etc.). Part of the Getty's Pacific Standard Time Presents initiative.
posted by carter on Jun 18, 2013 - 7 comments

Old photographs of Greece, taken between 1903 and 1920

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]
posted by nickyskye on May 20, 2013 - 19 comments

Mailboxes - The Fife Collection of Western U.S. Vernacular Architecture

A collection of pictures of mailboxes in the western US - part of the Fife Collection of Western U.S. Vernacular Architecture, which also includes quilts, murals, tree bark graffiti, fences, gravestones, and festivals, and other examples of folklife and material culture visually recorded by folklorists Austin and Alta Fife. [more inside]
posted by carter on Mar 14, 2013 - 3 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

Bringing to Light the Growth and Artistic Vision of 19th & 20th Century Photography

The argument over whether photography should be considered an art form seems laughable to us today. Yet, beginning in the 1880s and lasting into the 20th century, members of amateur photographic clubs and societies the world over deemed the topic of artistic photography worthy of a decades-long shouting match. PhotoSeed, representing an evolving online record of this early fine-art photography movement, is a rich collection of photographs representing numerous vintage processes. From delicate platinum to exquisite hand-pulled photogravures, images produced singularly or published in portfolios and journals, as well as vintage source material, investigate the roots of the online galleries with the PhotoSeed Highlights.
posted by netbros on Oct 25, 2012 - 26 comments

Old ships and nautical memorabilia

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]
posted by nickyskye on Aug 24, 2012 - 13 comments

A Treasure House of Photographs

An archival photo from The New York Times shows news pictures being sorted in the newspaper’s photo “morgue,” which houses millions of images. Here they are — several each week — for you to see. Welcome to The Lively Morgue. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Feb 27, 2012 - 7 comments

The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway

Driving through Time features roughly 2700 photographs and 76 interactive maps of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The website allows students, researchers, and digital tourists to uncover hidden stories, hear forgotten voices, and understand the often wrenching choices that the construction and preservation of a scenic parkway in a populated region have necessarily entailed. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jan 22, 2012 - 4 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

LAT at 130

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times celebrated the 130th anniversary of its first issue, and marked the occasion with 130 photos from Los Angeles history, as well as a gallery of historic front pages.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 5, 2011 - 7 comments

Orville Wright would like to show you his new flying machine.

My Daguerreotype Boyfriend. Notables: Hermann Rorschach, Almanzo Wilder, Teddy Roosevelt, Robert Cornelius. More history crushes.
posted by katillathehun on Jun 15, 2011 - 66 comments

Photographic Immortality

The Burns Archive is a collection of over 700,000 historical photographs that document disturbing subject matter: obsolete medical practices and experiments, death, disease, disasters, crime, revolutions, riots and war. Newsweek posted a select gallery this past October, as well as a video interview and walk-through with curator and collector Dr. Stanley B. Burns, a New York opthalmologist. (Via) (Content at links may be disturbing to some.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 26, 2011 - 15 comments

Of Another Fashion

Of Another Fashion: An alternative archive of the not-quite-hidden but too often ignored fashion histories of U.S. women of color.
posted by lalex on Mar 4, 2011 - 11 comments

The Mexican Suitcase

The International Center of Photography is exhibiting photographs online from the Mexican Suitcase, a cache of photographs taken during the Spanish Civil War, hidden, and rediscovered in 2008.
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Nov 23, 2010 - 4 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

Vintage Racing Bicycles.

Le blog de VelosVintage is a gorgeous French blog chock full of detailed photographs and history of beautiful vintage racing bicycles from older to newer.
posted by loquacious on Aug 18, 2010 - 10 comments

Upstairs, (falling) Downstairs

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

"Toffs" and "Toughs"

In 1937, the London News Chronicle published a photograph of five boys at the gates of Lord's cricket ground; two stood aloof in top hats and tails, with their backs to a group of three working-class lads. The resulting photograph became famous as a metaphor for the class divide in Britain, appearing in newspaper stories about school reform, inequality and bourgeois guilt and on the covers of books. The photograph appeared in the Getty Images archive as "Toffs and Toughs", and even was printed on a jigsaw puzzle in 2004. The identities of the three working-class boys were unknown until a journalist tracked them down in 1998; here is an article on the history of the photograph and the lives of the five boys in it.
posted by acb on Mar 23, 2010 - 36 comments

The Virtual Mitchell

Glasgow's Mitchell Library, designed by William B. Whitie, is the largest reference library in Western Europe. Over the past decade, it has been digitising its collection of photographs, which has resulted in the Virtual Mitchell, an unrivalled collection of photographs of Glasgow which covers the last 150-odd years of the city's history. The photographs can be searched by area, street or subject, all of which provide a fascinating insight into life in Glasgow over the past century and a half. Some examples: Charing Cross, 1950s; 1975; The Mitchell Library, 1910; Meadowside Shipyard, circa 1930; New Astoria Cinema, Possilpark; Royal Exchange Square, 1868; Alexander "Greek" Thompson's church on Caledonia Road; East End children in class in 1916
posted by Len on Feb 3, 2010 - 14 comments

Historical Photographs and Documents

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.
posted by netbros on Feb 3, 2010 - 7 comments

Streets of Pompeii

Ancient Pompeii Ruins now on Google Street View Today on Morning Edition I head this story. The Italian government has allowed the ruins of Pompeii to be photographed for Google Street View. It's very cool. (SLGM)
posted by sio42 on Dec 4, 2009 - 39 comments

No Lounld Music

As patrons begin to fill a room decorated with toy monkeys, beer posters and a silver disco ball, Mr. Seaberry emerges in a startling suit of red with white pinstripes and a snazzy white hat, and smoking a cheroot. “Po’ Monkey is all anybody ever called me since I was little,” he said. “I don’t know why, except I was poor for sure.” Transformed in the 1950s from a sharecropper shack that was built probably in the 1920s, Poor Monkey's Lounge is one of the last rural juke joints along The Trail of the Hellhound on the Mississippi Delta. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Mar 5, 2009 - 10 comments

History of War and Peace Collection

Peace and War in the 20th Century is an ambitious, in progress, massive assemblage of posters, photographs, propaganda, ephemera, letters, diaries, paintings, sketches, stories, letters, music and related items, from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The collection is international in scope. Some of the nodes lack content, and the navigation is a little confusing, so the jump I list some of my favourite case studies from their site. [more inside]
posted by Rumple on Jan 2, 2009 - 4 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

Chicago Daily News Photos 1902-1933

Man walks on water from the archives of the Chicago Daily News. [more inside]
posted by winna on Nov 8, 2008 - 19 comments

browsable peeks into the British past

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]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 28, 2008 - 6 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

In the flash of a click

The Power of Photography (might or might not be NSFW) with accompanying articles: Stricken Child crawling towards a Food Camp [1994] | The Falling Man [2001] | The Youngest Mother [1939] | Born Twice [1999] (via)
posted by hadjiboy on Feb 15, 2008 - 20 comments

witness the strangest customs of the red, white, brown, black and yellow races ... attend their startling rites, their mysterious practices ... all assembled for you

The Secret Museum of Mankind :: "Published in 1935, the Secret Museum is a mystery book. It has no author or credits, no copyright, no date, no page numbers, no index ... The tone of the commentary is dated, and uniformly racist in the extreme, often hilariously so. It reads like the patter of a carnival sideshow barker, from a time when the world was divided between "modern" Europeans and "savages" ... Presented here is the Secret Museum in its entirety, all 564 pages scanned and transcribed-- nothing is omitted or censored ... Treat it as entertainment instead of education (don't take it seriously and don't believe a word it says!), adjust for the blatant racial bias of the time, and enjoy."
posted by anastasiav on Feb 14, 2008 - 67 comments

vintage images of the Far East and Asia

Images of Asia l India then and now video l Historical Chinese Postcard Project: 1896 - 1920.
posted by nickyskye on Feb 8, 2008 - 9 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

Deja View: Historic landscape "rephotos" (1800s, 1970s, 1990s)

The Third View project is a fascinating presentation of "rephotographs" of over 100 historic landscape sites in the American West that presents original 19th-century survey photographs, photographed again in the 1970s, then once again in the '90s - from the original vantage points, under similar lighting conditions, at (roughly) the same time of day and year. [Flash, and you'll probably need to allow pop-ups; a little more info inside...]
posted by taz on Jun 15, 2007 - 13 comments

Historic maps and photos of Africa

Northwestern University hosts a fine collection of historic East African photographs, viewable as sample sets or in their original photo-albums (requires flash). But the real prize is their wonderful collection of 113 historic maps of Africa, which are zoomable to incredible detail, also 1, 2, 3. via
posted by Rumple on Jun 11, 2007 - 11 comments

Japanese historical photographs ca. 1910

A nice set of photographic glass-plate transparencies depicting life in Japan ca. 1910. These "Yokohama photographs" were sold to foreign tourists between about 1868 and 1912. I found the Crafts and Trades section most interesting.
posted by Rumple on Jun 7, 2007 - 18 comments

Old Pictures

Time travel exists. It's called old pictures.
posted by Mblue on May 6, 2007 - 40 comments

'To an Eastern man this city is full of surprises. '

Ghost Cowboy :: True Tales of Adventure in the American West
posted by anastasiav on Feb 3, 2007 - 10 comments

The Ted Kierscey Collection

The Narrow Gauge Circle hosts, among other fine features, the Ted Kierscey Collection -- page after page after page of historical photographs of Colorado's railroad and mining towns.
posted by Gator on Mar 23, 2006 - 7 comments

Images of the American Civil War

Images of the American Civil War
posted by matteo on May 20, 2005 - 23 comments

My favorite government agency

More than 16,000 photos related to the USGS from the years 1868 through 1992 are now available online where they may be easily searched, viewed, and downloaded free of charge. These are old stereo pairs, sites drowned by dams, geologists and surveyers in horse drawn wagons, petroglyphs, national parks, Mount St. Helens, John Wesley Powell, hoodoos, arches, ruins, mines...
posted by the Real Dan on Apr 14, 2005 - 16 comments

Penny Postcards

OK, Seattleites, see the American flag here ? On the sidewalk below is where your 3rd & Pine McDonalds now sits. Man, I can see five buildings here that are still standing, but that red brick one at the lower right got replaced early. Now here's the Northern Life Tower. Note how the bricks lighten towards the top, so as to make it look taller from below--very subtle, that. It's one of Seattle's two Art Deco buildings, the other being the Exchange Building. You can cut through that one, coming off the ferry at First Avenue and take the elevator to walk out on Second Ave rather than climb that steep hill, you know.
     And consider on what playground equipment our grandparents got to play. Lucky stiffs--you can't even find a decent 50s era swing set in a park in this town anymore. Penny Postcards From King County, from Penny Postcards of Washington, from Penny Postcards. Man, I loves me some vintage postcards. And if you do, too, check that last link--it's got all 50 states.
posted by y2karl on Dec 19, 2004 - 17 comments

Bystanders to History

I saw a feature on ESPN last night about Britt Gaston and Cliff Courtney, two Georgia teenagers who are indelibly linked to history as the kids who ran alongside Hank Aaron after the famous 715th home run. Then I googled around a bit and discovered Jim Leavelle, the former Dallas cop who will forever be known as the guy in the hat watching Ruby take care of Oswald in the precinct basement. And then there's Mary Ann Vecchio, a 14-year-old runaway who was photographed wailing over a dead body at Kent State in 1970. And, of course, there's Afghanistan Girl. Can anyone think of other bystanders to historical events whose faces we all know but identities remain anonymous? Is there anyone who has not yet been rediscovered?
posted by PrinceValium on Apr 7, 2004 - 25 comments

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