The Manuscript, Archive, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) at Emory University has recently launched an online exhibit for their extensive collection of artists’ books called The Artists’ Books Showcase. The website features a gallery of images of artists’ books photographed by the artists themselves as well as essay content about the works, including techniques and contextual information. A section of the website features artists books made by Emory undergraduate students.
For more information and to explore the online exhibit, visit the Artists’ Books Showcase.
The Museum at FIT has a comprehensive list of Costume and Textile Collections Online, with annotations about what you’ll expect to find in the database and other information about each particular collection. Their list includes collections from all over the world and highlights some of the best images of textiles and garments online.
In addition to these websites, there are several other collections and databases that could be useful for researching fashion, textile, and costume:
At the University of Chicago Library
Image credit: Elsa Schiaparelli. Doll, Fashion (Evening Ensemble), 1949. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Syndicat de la Couture de Paris; Photographed by Lolly Koon. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Balboa Park Online Commons features more than 20,000 images of unique materials from 7 San Diego museums: the Mingei International Museum, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the San Diego Air and Space Museum, the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Museum of Man, the San Diego Natural History Museum, and the Timken Museum of Art.
This unified digital collection allows users to keyword search to retrieve results across institutions or to browse by museum, “featured sets” (thematic groupings of objects), or by user sets. Users can create their own set or collection of objects by creating an account on the website, and there is also a feature to download a PDF of the object record.
For more information, check out the Balboa Park Online Commons.
The Pitt Rivers Museum at the University of Oxford has recently released Reel to Real, a digital collection pertaining to sound and video from ethnomusicology research. “The content of the recordings ranges from spirits singing in the rainforests of the Central African Republic to children’s songs and games in playgrounds throughout Europe.”
The website features playlists of curated material along with archival photographs taken at the same time the recordings were made.
To learn more, explore the Reel to Real collection.
The Lee Miller Archives, located in East Sussex, England, is a privately run archive that maintains the legacy and career of the artist, including “60,000 negatives, mainly black and white, most of her manuscripts, captions, notes, letters and ephemeral material, her cameras, and some of her personal effects such as her US Army uniform.” Their website boasts an image collection of more than 3,000 of Lee Miller’s photographs, including final images as well as contact prints:
Following the exciting launch of our long-awaited online picture library over three thousand of Lee Miller’s photographs can now be seen together for the first time. Many of the images, converted from the original negatives or vintage prints into digital format, have not previously been in circulation and are a fascinating addition to the published work. All aspects of Lee’s remarkable career are represented, including her Surrealist images, World War II photo-journalism, 20th century fashion photography and celebrity portraiture!
Lee Miller was an icon of photography—both as a model and a photographer in her own right—beginning in the 1920s when she began modeling for Vogue staff photographers including Edward Steichen and George Hoyningen-Huene. She moved to Paris in 1929 and studied under Surrealist photographer Man Ray (the pair discovered the photographic technique of solarisation during this time), and soon after opened her own studio in New York. During World War II she served as a war photojournalist. After the war, her career remained closely tied to photography and the arts, and she died at the Farley Farm House in 1977, where the Lee Miller Archives is now located.
For more information, visit the Lee Miller Archives.
The Tate has two in-depth online resources focused on the career of Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851). Turner Worldwide is a project to provide the most comprehensive online catalog of works by Turner, including works that are owned by the Tate as well as nearly 2,500 works by Turner that are in other collections around the world.
J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings, and Watercolors is a thematic module that presents a catalog of Turner’s works on paper, organized chronologically and by subject. “Entries on the groupings include commentaries, exhibition and publication histories, and information about the media and materials used.” The sketchbooks included have been digitized in their entirety.
For more information, visit the Tate’s page on J.M.W. Turner.
Millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive are available via Google Images, only a small number of which have been published. Eventually the project will include about 10 million images. You can search specifically in the LIFE search portal, or you can add “source:life” to any Google image search to return only images from the LIFE photo archive.
The archive includes documentary photography by many well-known photographers working in the magazine industry during the hey day of photojournalism, including Margaret Bourke-White, Alfred Eisenstaedt,
The very first cover of LIFE magazine was a photograph taken by Margaret Bourke-White of Fort Peck in Montana. The issue was published on November 23, 1936. Images from the LIFE photo archive are for personal, non-commercial use only.
For more information, visit the LIFE photo archive digital collection hosted by Google Images.
Princeton University’s Index of Christian Art recently added a new collection to its Additional Resources section, an image collection called “The Lois Drewer Calendar of Saints in Byzantine Manuscripts and Frescos.”
This collection joins 12 others that include a variety of topics and media, including manuscripts, decorative arts, and paintings.
For more information, visit the Index of Christian Art and their Additional Resources.
Founded in 1949, the George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, NY is the world’s oldest museum of photography and recently announced that it will be the first photography museum to join the Google Art Project:
So far, 50 high-resolution images from their collection—encompassing the birth of photography to the late 20th century—have been added to the Google Art Project website with zooming capabilities and robust cataloging information, and much of the object data was previously unavailable online. More photographs will eventually be added, and the GEH is also partnering with Google Maps Street View to provide 360º views of their galleries and grounds.
For more information, visit the George Eastman House in Google Art Project or read the GEH Press Release.
The Internet Archive is a collection of digitized or born-digital materials with cultural significance. It is comprised of many unique collections including NASA images, Project Gutenberg, Classic Comics, live music by the Grateful Dead, and of course the ever-popular Wayback Machine. The Internet Archive is free and open to the public, and since most of their materials are in the public domain, they are available for downloading or streaming in a variety of file formats—for example, full text books can be viewed as PDFs or as EPUB files for your e-reader. The Internet Archive is free and open to the public, and collaborates with universities and museums around the world to ingest new collections and materials.
The recently launched Internet Archive Companion app makes the collections of the Internet Archive easily accessible on your iPad or iPhone. The developer’s website notes:
It’s a free app enabling you to browse the enormous collections of videos/movies, music/sound, books and images in an intimate, consumable way! Flip though the pages of scanned books, or flip through the text copies of books, including many from Project Gutenberg (to name just one of the many sources of The Internet Archive.)
For more information, visit the Internet Archive Companion app or stop by the VRC to test it out.