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.
Maya painters used a blue paint that proved to be very durable—its hue remains vivid today—on murals, ceramics, and in their codices and manuscripts. While the ingredients of the blue paint have been known for years, scientists in Spain recently discovered that the method of preparation “cooked” the mixture of pigments and clay to stabilize the paint.
Scientists have long known the two chief ingredients of the intense blue pigment: indigo, a plant dye that’s used today to color denim; and palygorskite, a type of clay. But how the Maya cooked up the unfading paint remained a mystery. Now Spanish researchers report that they found traces of another pigment in Maya Blue, which they say gives clues about how the color was made.
“We detected a second pigment in the samples, dehydroindigo, which must have formed through oxidation of the indigo when it underwent exposure to the heat that is required to prepare Maya Blue,” Antonio Doménech, a researcher from the University of Valencia, said in a statement.
The VRC is often adding new groups Mayan and Mesoamerican images to our LUNA database, so be sure to check it out our resources for murals, pottery, and more!
Via A Blog About History and LiveScience.
Image credit: Bonampak Murals. Copy. 692. Harvard University. Peabody Museum. ©Kathleen Cohen. Copy by Antonio Teleda in 1948.
In November 2012 the MIT press published Digital_Humanities, and recently, an open access PDF of the publication was made freely available online as a PDF, which you can read on your computer or e-reader. If your research is taking you in the direction of digital humanities techniques or if you’re considering future projects, this book is a great resource on the state of the field:
Digital_Humanities is a compact, game-changing report on the state of contemporary knowledge production. Answering the question, “What is digital humanities?,” it provides an in-depth examination of an emerging field. This collaboratively authored and visually compelling volume explores methodologies and techniques unfamiliar to traditional modes of humanistic inquiry–including geospatial analysis, data mining, corpus linguistics, visualization, and simulation–to show their relevance for contemporary culture.
Included are chapters on the basics, on emerging methods and genres, and on the social life of the digital humanities, along with “case studies,” “provocations,” and “advisories.” These persuasively crafted interventions offer a descriptive toolkit for anyone involved in the design, production, oversight, and review of digital projects. The authors argue that the digital humanities offers a revitalization of the liberal arts tradition in the electronically inflected, design-driven, multimedia language of the twenty-first century.
Written by five leading practitioner-theorists whose varied backgrounds embody the intellectual and creative diversity of the field, Digital_Humanities is a vision statement for the future, an invitation to engage, and a critical tool for understanding the shape of new scholarship.
For more information, visit the MIT Press or click here to download the PDF—for free! You can also stop by the VRC—we have a copy of the PDF on our iPad.
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.
The issue of image copyright and the Google Books project remains an ongoing concern for many photographers, as their copyright images may be digitized and made available through Google Books without their permission. The NPPA and several other plaintiffs are bringing a suit against Google Book Search, arguing:
Google’s acts have caused, and unless restrained, will continue to cause irreparable injuries to Lead Plaintiffs and the Class members through: continued copyright infringement and/or the effectuation of new and further infringements of the Visual Works contained in Books and Periodicals; diminution of the value and ability to license and sell their Visual Works; lost profits and/or opportunities; and damage to their goodwill and reputation.
Plaintiffs include the American Society of Media Photographers, Graphic Artists Guild, Picture Archive Council of America, North American Nature Photography Association, Professional Photographers of America, American Photographic Artists, and several individual photographers.
Via PetaPixel and NPPA
The James McNeill Whistler collection (1863–1906, ca. 1940) at the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art is now available online, having been digitized in its entirety in 2012.
The 307 images online include various documents pertaining to the career of Whistler, who was born in the US but worked in London. There are:
39 items from Whistler to various recipients, including 25 letters, 9 telegraphs, 3 invitations, one thank you card and a postcard. The collection also contains 4 letters from others, 7 catalogs of Whistler exhibitions, a note from the back of Whistler’s painting The Beach at Selsey Bill, and a 1906 copy of Wilde v. Whistler: being an acromonious correspondence on art between Oscar Wilde and James A. McNeill Whistler, a pamphlet containing letters originally published in London newspapers between 1885 and 1890.
Several of the items in the collection are signed with Whistler’s butterfly mark. To view digital images from the archive, or to find out more, visit the James McNeill Whistler Collection.
Image source: James McNeill Whistler collection, 1863-1906, circa 1940. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Susan M. Bielstein, the executive editor for art, architecture, classical studies, and film at the University of Chicago Press, wrote Permissions, A Survival Guide: Blunt Talk about Art as Intellectual Property (2006), which explores issues related to obtaining permissions and licenses to publish visual images. This useful and interesting book describes the process of obtaining permission to publish images in academic texts, using a variety of examples and includes sample letters for requesting permission.
It is available in the University Library in hard copy and also as an e-book (click here for the proxy link to the e-book).
For more information on obtaining permission to publish images, please refer to our page on Copyright Lenient Images for Academic Publishing, which has a section for general resources and guides.
For more information about the book, visit the University of Chicago Press.
The photography blog PetaPixel recently posted about photography books in the public domain that have been included in Project Gutenberg digital library. Of the 37 books to be fully digitized, perhaps the most exciting is the inclusion of William Henry Fox Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature, published in 1844. The book details his calotype process and includes 24 images of finished calotype prints with text describing the image’s creation and significance.
For more information, visit Project Gutenberg.