The Revolution Has Been Digitized.
August 4, 2015 3:52 PM   Subscribe

Collections of activist ephemera (posters, leaflets, etc) are increasingly available online. The University of Michigan Library recently made available its digitized Joseph A. Labadie Collection of activist and political posters dating back to 1911. Selected posters from Michael Rossman's 25,000 piece collection "All Of Us Or None" are available online at the Oakland Museum of California. Lincoln Cushing's archive is up at Docs Populi: documents for the public . (via) (previously)

"In the course of my cataloging research Iā€™m digging into events that, in most cases, have not entered the digital domain yet ā€“ and perhaps never entered the analog one either."

In "Cataloging as political practice", Cushing describes how cataloging can be a community building process. "The best part is asking questions. Sometimes during a single cataloging session I can identify a person connected to the poster, track down an email address, send them a query with a link to an image, and get a reply." He found the model for a 1981 British poster "Y B A Wife?" that was 1981 made in "response to the Prince Charles and Diana wedding."

For those who want an analog experience, the exhibit ā€œArt as Activism: Graphic Art From the Merrill C. Berman Collectionā€ is currently on view at the New York Historical Society. They offer "a rich alternate history of the last century in the United States." (NYT)
posted by spamandkimchi (5 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
Oops, I meant to include the Hyperallergic post on the Labadie collection that I swiped the title from.
posted by spamandkimchi at 3:57 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

The OMCA is so cool it hurts. I went looking to find out more, and found that the All Of Us Or None collection was exhibited in 2012. That link mentions a catalog published by Heyday which is of course out of print, but available as an e-book or used for reasonable prices. That turned up another link to an interview with Lincoln Cushing on AOUON, worth it alone for this amazing choice in answer to [which] poster/graphic artist ... resonates with you more strongly than others? (NSFW)

Great post!
posted by books for weapons at 4:54 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

I saw the Oakland Museum exhibit. For some reason, this poster was particularly memorable.
posted by vunder at 8:10 PM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

Love this. Thank you.
posted by willie11 at 4:16 PM on August 5, 2015

Oooh, cool. I just helped donate a box of activist newsletters and flyers to the Prelinger Library, which collects ephemera as well. I wonder whether any of those will end up in any of the collections you mention!
posted by brainwane at 9:58 PM on August 8, 2015

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