Ever wonder how you can efficiently find texts and visual media in the public domain? One helpful source is The Public Domain Review, a project of the Open Knowledge Foundation “dedicated to showcasing the most interesting and unusual out-of-copyright works available online.” Browse the site’s articles or collections by media type and sign up to receive a bi-monthly newsletter in your inbox with featured highlights. The Review cites who’s responsible for making the works available and where to find them.
For those interested in the history of the Open Knowledge movement, click here for a concise visual timeline.
The International Exhibition of Modern Art was held at the 69th Infantry Regiment Armory in New York between February 17 – March 15, 1913 and made a deep and wide impact on American art and its viewing public. Some interesting websites on the exhibition’s 100th anniversary include:
- 1913 Armory Show: the Story in Primary Sources: a visual timeline from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, as seen through letters, meeting minutes, news articles, sales records, etc.
- The New Spirit: American Art in the Armory Show, 1913: at the Montclair Art Museum (February 17 – June 16, 2013), the first exhibition to focus primarily on the American artists represented in that show
- The Armory Show at 100: information about an upcoming exhibition (October 11, 2013 – February 23, 2014) at the New-York Historical Society that will reassess the Show and its impact by bringing together 75 works of art and presenting an extensive catalogue of images and essays
- The Virtual Armory Show: a gallery-by-gallery textual and visual recreation of the exhibition, for a virtual museum created by by Shelley Staples for the (now disbanded) American Studies Group at the University of Virginia
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s digital collection — so far, that’s 217,630 records — is available to search online. There are some useful searching tips on the online collection homepage or try browsing within the three set “facets”: record type (e.g., oral history, photograph, document), language, or special collection. Other special features include links to over 3,800 streamable oral history testimonies (roughly 7,600 total hours), downloadable finding aids to over 8,200 archival collections, and over 4,500 films. There is also a link at the bottom of every record, should you need it, to ask a reference question. For more information on searching the collections, click here.
Eighteen months ago we announced the launch of Your Paintings, a BBC-hosted site “which aims to show the entire UK national collection of oil paintings, the stories behind the paintings, and where to see them for real.” The site, co-funded by The Public Catalogue Foundation, announced it has completed its task. This translates into 3,217 participating venues and 211,861 paintings that are available online.
Now, the BBC and PCF are asking the public to help them tag the paintings.
Launched in Spring of 2011, Ottoman History Podcast is an online radio program dedicated to accessible and academic discussion of new topics in the history, society and culture of the Ottoman Empire and Middle East. Guests and contributors include over 40 scholars and students from a variety of disciplines. To date there are 83 podcast entries (with two more forthcoming), and each episode page not only posts the podcast, but a bibliography on the subject being discussed (for a more extensive bibliography, click here). The site also offers an image collection (organized by topic and hosted on Flickr), archival documents (tagged by topic, location, and or historic figure), historical maps, and musical selections with track lists.
The Courtauld Institute of Art has launched the Gothic Ivories Project, an online database of over 2800 images of ivory sculptures made in Western Europe between ca. 1200-ca. 1530 (with some neo-Gothic pieces as well). Search specifics, browse works by keyword, location and type, or visit the informational pages for site tips and tools. Additionally, when you become a registered user you can create private or public image folders of your favorite works. Many objects have multiple views and extensive entries.
The Museo Nacional del Prado has launched a new website dedicated to beautiful digital images of their entire collection of works and documents by and about Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes. Goya en el Prado (available only in Spanish) is divided by medium, then subject, and entries for a few paintings offer supplemental technical examination images. The site also includes biographical and bibliographical information, including a digital library of 35 full-text copies of reference material.
Published July 30, 2012
Tags: archives, California, libraries
If you’re not already aware of Calisphere you should have a look at it. A project of the California Digital Library and serving both the UC system and K-12 education, Calisphere is a gateway to a profusion of primary sources about… California!
The content comes from all UC campuses as well as non-UC institutions (including many specialized archives – see a list of contributors here), and represents California’s history and culture. The material is organized thematically, and special subject groups have been set up to conform with K-12 content standards (e.g. “Dust Bowl Migration”). You can also search, or browse the collection from a list of keywords, e.g. “Agricultural laborers” or “Reagan, Ronald”. In addition to images (scanned to archival standards) the collections include letters, newspapers, maps, and more.
In honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, two sites have launched with images from Britain’s past.
Queen Victoria’s Journals, through the efforts of the Royal Archives and the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, is an interactive site with online digital images of every page in the entire sequence of Queen Victoria’s diaries from 1832-1840. The site is searchable by keyword or browsable by date and include examples of her journal illustrations and sketchbook entries.
War art in The National Archives, through Wikimedia Commons, provides over 350 high-resolution digital images of posters and other works on paper from war-time Britain now in the public domain. Most of the posters and images, including a number of portraits and caricatures, are by known artists who worked for the Ministry of Information at the time. Visit The National Archives site for additional online records and links to partner sites.
The digital project Britain from Above currently contains over 16,000 images (taken between 1919-1953) from the Aerofilms Collection, an important and early aerial photography collection in the United Kingdom. Browse images by group, location or tags, or search by coordinates, date, or text. Users are free to download images or add tags; in fact, the site is asking for the public’s help in identifying unlocated images or sharing factual information about any image or the places and things within it.