Art auction quiz

The New York Times has a quiz today, “Are You Smarter than a Billionaire?” which asks you to guess which item, in a pair from this week’s auction sales, got the highest price.   There are some surprises.  To help get you in the right frame of price reference: the Modigliani below fetched $170 million.


10,000 architectural views, plans and drawings added to Artstor

AWSS35953_35953_29394825 Artstor just announced the unveiling of a valuable new addition to their collection: 10,000 architectural photos, plans, sections, and other drawings.   And this is just phase I – the collection will be doubling in size.  This new content comes via a collaboration with the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library.  The collection focuses on 20th century modernism and includes both built works and unbuilt projects.    Read more here.

LA museums embracing digital innovations

Culture Monster highlights innovative examples of how various museums in Los Angeles are using digital technology:

  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles: Interactive CT scans offer another way to access mummies
  • Autry National Center: In the exhibition space, first-person stories of characters features in the “Civil War” exhibit play as films from user-activated “daguerreotypes” (and, not mentioned in the article but on the website, playlists offer evocative music from the era)
  • GETTY-inspiredGetty Museum: Pushed for global open collection content and a #GettyInspired digital initiative to encourage interactivity with museum visitors
  • LACMA: Their new location-aware app is less straight didactic information and more conversational, so views spend more time with the art than their devices
  • The Huntington: Seven iPads are installed in strategic spots around the galleries to offer contextual information in the historic rooms
  • The Broad mobile appThe Broad: The new museum’s app has Bluetooth technology to be location-aware both outside and inside the museum, and will send a push notification with invitations and contextually aware information
  • MOCA: Eschewing “distracting” in-museum apps, the museum’s updated website seeks to engage viewers before and after visits

Check out a special Museums section in the New York Times for highlights on how New York museums use technology to engage visitors.

New US history photo and news archives

Lange-Photogrammar An LA Times article today highlights two archives of great interest to students of US history: Photogrammar and Chronicling America.

Photogrammar is based at Yale University, and contains 170,000 photos commissioned by the US Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information between 1935 and 1945.  The photographs are actually housed at the Library of Congress but Photogrammar provides the access platform.  It also includes an interactive map which lets users gather photos by region or date, and a Visualizations section which presents experiments in photo data.  The photos, including 3,244 by Dorothea Lange, are mostly public domain, and all can be downloaded.

Chronicling America is a searchable database of US newspaper pages from 1836 to 1922.  Jointly sponsored by the Library of Congress and the NEH, it contains over 10 million newspaper pages. Pages can be downloaded as JPGs or PDFs, and details can be excerpted.

Open Access Week at Davidson Library

Open Access logoOpen Access Week is an annual international event that promotes open access as a new norm in research and scholarship. Please join us for any or all of the Library’s Open Access Week programs to learn about trends and challenges in scholarly publishing.

Programs held during the week include:

  • Reinventing Scholarly Publishing: UC Press. Monday, October 19, 4-5:15 pm (Room 1575, 1st Floor)
  • Reinventing Scientific Publishing: Collabra, JoVE, PLOS. Tuesday, October 20, 4-5:15 pm (Room 1575, 1st Floor)
  • Reinventing Impact Factors: Altmetrics. Wednesday, October 21, 4-5pm (Room 1575, 1st Floor)
  • Reinventing Publication Management at UC. Thursday, October 22, 4-6 pm (Room 1575, 1st Floor)
  • Innovation, Copyright, and the Academy: The Reinvention of Your Scholarship. Monday, November 2, 4-5:15 pm (Mary Cheadle Room, 3rd Floor)

Admission is free to all events. Refreshments will be served. The Library appreciates the support of our program co-sponsors: Academic Senate, Office of Research, and Graduate Division.

Digital heritage preservation

CyArk is an international organization (actually a consortium of numerous partners) that strives to digitally record architectural and archaeological sites, using 3D scanning technology. They create 3D data sets, or ‘point clouds’, using laser scans, then join these data points into a digital mesh wire frame.  Their projects are international and wide-ranging, including ancient rock art, temples, vernacular structures and modern monuments. Their mission includes education as well as conservation, and several of their projects include in-depth documentation and teaching aids.  Have a look at their Projects page to see completed and in-development projects.


Countering ISIS monument destruction with Million Image Database Project

emple of Baalshamin. Image © Bernard Gagnon via WikipediaIn a “digital race against IS,” The Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA) is working with UNESCO World Heritage and NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World to launch a Million Image Database Project. The hope is to capture one million 3D images of at-risk objects by the end of 2016 by deploying up to 5,000 heavily-modified inexpensive consumer 3D cameras that will permit inexperienced users to capture archival-quality scans and upload these images automatically to database servers. Once there, they can be used for study or, if required, 3D replication via open source technology and software.

via ArchDaily

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