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Digitized Panoramic Postcards at the LoC

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The Library of Congress recently finished a digitization project to make available more than 400 panoramic postcards from 1905–09. More than half of the postcards are “real photo” postcards. The cards, measuring approximately 3.5 x 10 in. had a heyday in the early 1900s.

Images can be downloaded as JPEGs or TIFFs.

Search tip: to find postcard images from a specific city or state, enter the place name after typing “LOT 14058″ in the search box. The image above is of the Washington Park Hospital in Chicago.

For more information and to explore the collection, click here.

Via Picture This of the Library of Congress Blogs

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ICFA’s 16mm Film Collection Online

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The Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in Washington, D.C. recently digitized fourteen 16mm films from its collection. The 14 films include footage of the Dumbarton Oaks grounds from the mid-1920s to the 1940s, as well as films made by the Byzantine Institute during the 1930s and 1940s that document conservation efforts on site at the Red Sea Monastery of Saint Anthony (Egypt), Hagia Sophia (Istanbul), and Kariye Camii (Istanbul). Several of the films are in color, giving viewers a chance to see “the process of cleaning, restoration, and preservation in great detail, as well as the quality and visual impression of the mosaics in their most shining state.”

The digitized films have been made available through the video streaming service Vimeo, and can be embedded into websites.

For more information, explore the Moving Image Collection at Dumbarton Oaks and the collection accompanying archival materials in The Byzantine Institute and Dumbarton Oaks Fieldwork Records and Papers.

Via ICFA Blog

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A Van Gogh Research Round-Up

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With the conclusion of an eight-year long research project, Vincent van Gogh has been in the news quite a bit recently. In 2005, the van Gogh museum teamed up with Shell and the Netherland’s Cultural Heritage Agency to research the materials, tools, techniques, and working processes of the artist. The website for the research project, Van Gogh’s Studio Practice, describes contains blog posts about how the researchers approached their work and describes the aims of their research. The results of the project were not earth-shattering, but the small surprises they discovered do deepen our understanding of van Gogh’s works and his psyche. The most talked about new discovery is the fact that The Bedroom was originally painted with violet walls, but since the red pigment of the paint faded, we know the work as having blue walls.

The new exhibition at the van Gogh Museum benefits from results of this lengthy research project, and is called Van Gogh at Work (May 1, 2013–January 12, 2014). The show will contain 200 works by van Gogh as well as some contemporary artists, as well as archival materials such as letters, sketchbooks, and the artist’s palette and paint tubes. The show will also include a digital re-creation of The Bedroom to show how it would have looked with the original violet walls.

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The Van Gogh Museum also has a web portal for van Gogh’s letters (written and received) that contains facsimiles, transcriptions, and detailed object information of some 900 letters and 25 miscellaneous loose sheets or drafts. You can browse the collection by period, correspondent, place, or limit your results to letters that contain sketches. Simple and advanced search features are also available. The website also contains a wealth of contextual essays, biographical information, and research tools including the publication history of van Gogh’s letters, a chronology, and detailed bibliographies of the individual letters. A few years ago, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam released an app called Yours, Vincent: The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh, which contains digitized versions of van Gogh’s letters, sketches, and paintings as well as audio and video contextual clips.

Via ArtNews and the New York Times. For more information about van Gogh’s archival presence, visit Vincent van Gogh, The Letters or the Yours, Vincent app. You can always stop by the VRC to check it out, too!

Image: Vincent van Gogh. Self-portrait with a Straw Hat (verso: The Potato Peeler), probably 1887. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 67.187.70a. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Reel to Real: Ethnomusicology and Sound at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford

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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.

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To learn more, explore the Reel to Real collection.

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Lee Miller Archives

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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.

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James McNeill Whistler Papers Now Available Digitally

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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.

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The Zandra Rhodes Digital Study Collection

Zandra Rhodes Digital Study Collection

The University for the Creative Arts recently launched a digital collection of material from Zandra Rhodes‘ personal archive of fashion materials. Rhodes was a student of UCA  The press release notes that contextual and didactic content has been put on the website in addition to the

… 500 dresses and garments that have been painstakingly prepared, catalogued and photographed over the past 18 months for the Collection which has been created for the education community through a collaborative project between UCA and the Zandra Rhodes Studio, with funding from Jisc.

The robust digital collection features photographs and detail views of 500 finished garment (with fully cataloged descriptions), more than 100 pages of fashion drawings presented as fully digitized sketchbooks (using Turning the Pages software), and many videos of Rhodes speaking about her working process and career.

For more information and to explore the website, visit the Zandra Rhodes Digital Study Collection.

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ICFA’s Nicholas V. Artamonoff Collection

Cityscape, Istanbul

The Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (IFCA) or Dumbarton Oaks in Washington DC has recently expanded the images included in their website dedicated to the photographs of Nicholas V. Artamonoff, who photographed Ottoman monuments and daily life in Istanbul during the 1930s and 1940s. Other Turkish cities represented in the collection include Bergama, Bursa, Izmir, Selçuk and Yalova. While the ICFA holds a collection of Artamonoff’s images in their repository, they discovered that other photographs are held in the the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives of the Smithsonian Institution in the Myron Bement Smith Collection. The addition of 477 images from the Smithsonian brings the total number of photographs available in the ICFA’s website to more than 1,000.

The ICFA’s website allows users to browse images individually or by parent institution, historic site, or keywords. There is also a map with plotted points that link to images in the collection to allow users to browse geographically and a “Zoom.it” viewer function.

For more information, visit the Nicholas V. Artamonoff Collection.

Image: Nicholas V. Artamonoff. Cityscapes, Istanbul, View of the Atatürk Bridge and Süleymaniye Cami, no date. Myron Bement Smith Collection, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Artamonoff P382.

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Brooklyn Visual Heritage

Project CHART has recently launched a website for the Brooklyn Visual Heritage project, which will eventually contain more than 13,000 historic photographs and images from the collections of the Brooklyn Historical Society, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Brooklyn Public Library. The Brooklyn Visual Heritage digital library is hosted by the Brooklyn Public Library and the Pratt Institute’s School of Information and Library Science collaborated on the project as well.

Brooklyn Visual Heritage

One of the primary goals for the BVH website is “focusing on the digitization of historic images of Brooklyn and making them easily accessible to a broad and diverse audience.”  In addition to searching across institutions or limiting your search to a specific institution, the website also provides access to discrete archival collections and thematic groups. While enlarged images are available for viewing on the website, they all bear a digital watermark (there is an option to purchase images without watermarks). The three-year-long project, nearing the final stages, was developed through an IMLS grant.

For more information, and to explore the collections, visit Brooklyn Visual Heritage.

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The Story of the Beautiful: Virtual Tours of Whistler’s “Peacock Room”

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A collaborative website—The Story of the Beautiful: Freer, Whistler, and Their Points of Contact—between the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Wayne State University presents a virtual tour of James McNeil Whistler (1834–1903)’s Peacock Room. Users are given the option to visit the room as it existed in London in 1876 or as it appeared after Charles Lang Freer moved the room to Detroit and reassembled it there in 1908. In addition to panning through the 3D interior space of the room, users can click on individual objects for more information as well as supplementary content including maps, timelines, and archival material from the Charles Lang Freer Papers. The team behind the website describes their project:

The site thus functions both as a digital archive and as an immersive virtual environment in which users can explore the room, learn about the objects it has contained, and see how the places and faces associated with the room contributed to its history. Anchored by the two virtual tours, the site offers users a deeply contextualized way to navigate the collections: some 400 digital objects, among them the room itself, the objects it has contained, as well as archival materials such as photographs, bills of sale, and correspondence.

In addition to exploring the Peacock Room virtually, users can browse the obects in the collection and digitized content from the archives separately. For more information, visit the website.

Via ArtDaily.

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