The VRC is excited to announce its new publicly available LUNA collection, Images of Black Chicago: The Robert Sengstacke Photography Archive. Born in Chicago on May 29, 1943, Robert “Bobby” Sengstacke is one of the city’s most prolific documentary photographers who is best known for capturing the African American experience. Having grown up in the newspaper business (he is the grand-nephew of Robert Sengstacke Abbott, founder of the Chicago Defender), Sengstacke was able to learn from established African American photographers at a young age and had unique access to important events and people. With the help of Art History Professor Rebecca Zorach, the VRC has scanned over 3,000 negatives featuring the artistic community and street life of Chicago’s South Side in the late 1960’s. To obtain high resolution images and permission contact Robert A. Sengstacke (email@example.com or 773-744-7487).
The Getty’s online magazine The Getty Iris has launched the series Medieval Manuscripts Alive, which features expert speakers reading the languages of the Middle Ages from centuries-old books. It aims to bring the manuscripts’ accompanying illuminations to life through sound. Each reading is accompanied by a translation into English and a brief description of the relationship between the text and image. In collaboration with the British Library’s Language & Literature audio collection, the Getty’s manuscripts collection will soon be heard in 15 languages, including Coptic, Ge’ez, Arabic and more.
The Museum of Modern Art recently launched Object:Photo, an amazing website focused on the Thomas Walther Collection. Composed of 341 photographs, the Walther Collection entered the museum in 2001. In 2010, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation gave the museum a substantial grant to research and preserve the photographs. The website is a direct result of this four-year research project. In the words of Glenn D. Lowry, the Museum of Modern Art’s director, the website “is unprecedented in its functionality, providing virtual access to the objects in exceptional depth, along with wide-ranging scholarship on the photographs’ historical context and significance.”
In addition to scans of the photographs themselves, there are scholarly essays, a section on the scientific analysis of the photographs, and most interestingly, a section called “Visualizations,” that presents interactive maps and timelines allowing viewers to easily connect photographers, see where they worked and exhibited, who they interacted with, and even compare photographs by attribute, subject, or style.
The New York Times has recently released a collection of ads from the 1960s and they’re crowdsourcing the data for the images. Eventually, other decades will be released. The project is called Madison and if you’re interested in participating, check out the link here to start tagging! You’ll be asked to find or identify ads on the page, tag ads, or transcribe ads.
Another great digital collection of vintage ads is Duke University’s Ad*Access, which contains more than 7,000 ads from the US and Canada between 1911 and 1955. Their digital collection is fully cataloged, so you won’t have to do any of the legwork yourself! You can browse across many different categories including product, company, publication, date, subject, headline, and audience.
The Robert Frank Collection at the National Gallery of Art is the largest repository of materials related to renowned photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank. Spanning Frank’s career from 1937 to 2005, the collection includes vintage and later prints, contact sheets, work prints, negatives, three bound books of original photographs, technical material, and various papers, books, and recordings.
For a complete account of photographs, contact sheets, and work prints in the collection, see Robert Frank photographs, contact sheets, and work prints in the collection. The spreadsheet lists subjects photographed by Frank, in chronological order, along with the corresponding number of photographs, contact sheets, and work prints in the collection and the accession number of each object.
José Clemente Orozco’s The Epic of American Civilization mural cycle at Dartmouth College’s Baker-Berry Library is virtually represented in the Dartmouth Digital Orozco.
The Dartmouth Digital Orozco project allows users to pan and zoom through the 24 panels of the mural cycle as they exist in the library. If you click anywhere on the mural, a lightbox of related images will open. Dartmouth has a wealth of supplementary images including more than hundred preparatory drawings and historical photographs of the mural. You also overlay supplementary images on top of the mural to see how preparatory drawings relate by adjusting the transparency of the overlay.
The VRC has been building a collection of Mexican mural paintings, so if you’d like to explore our images, login to Luna and search for Mexican muralist.
The Vatican Apolostic Library has been working on a project to digitize more than 80,000 documents in its collection. Currently there are nearly 4,500 manuscripts online and there is hope that they’ll have 15,000 manuscripts available by 2018.
The collection features a variety of important and early manuscripts and books, including Pre-Columbian manuscripts, early Greek and Latin texts, Islamic manuscripts, and even some Japanese paintings.
You can browse some of the materials at DigitaVaticana here as well as on the website of the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. Images can be downloaded from the digital library, but they come with a watermark and copyright statement.
Image: Sandro Botticelli, Illustrations of Dante’s Divine Comedy performed by Lorenzi il Magnifico in the 15th century. Folio 101 recto with a section of the Inferno. Reg.lat.1896A.
The Te Papa Museum of New Zeland has released more than 30,000 high resolution images for download and re-use! To find images that can be reused, the search box is equipped with a radio button to allow users to select “with downloadable images.”
The Te Papa museum collection contains “artworks, objects, and specimens,” from “dinosaur teeth to contemporary art,” and as such presents two advanced search options for object and specimen to allow users to query different metadata fields.
For more information about the Creative Commons license governing the re-use of Te Papa’s images, check out their recent blog post about the initiative. Click here to explore the collection!
On May 16, the Metropolitan Museum announced a new initiative called the Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC) and released more than 400,000 images of public domain works on their website. Users can download the high-resolution files directly from the website for any non-commercial use, including scholarly publications. Users do not need to pay a fee and will not need to seek permission from the museum. Per the Met’s press release, “the number of available images will increase as new digital files are added on a regular basis.”
The Met joins several other institutions in making high-resolution digital image files of collection objects free available on the web, including Rijksmuseum, LACMA, and the Getty. The Met was one of the first participants in ARTstor’s Images for Academic Publishing initiative, but in order to use those images, the user needed to be affiliated with an institution that had an ARTstor subscription or request a temporary password. The new OASC program makes the images available directly to the public from the museum’s collections website.
For more information, visit the Met’s FAQ about the OASC initiative or explore their collections website. Images included in the initiative will be indicated
Via the Metropolitan Museum Press Room.
Looking for images of works of art in the National Museums of Japan? This e-Museum collection of “National Treasures & Important Cultural Properties” contains hundreds of high quality reproductions, robust metadata, and descriptive content. Users can zoom and and pan through images, browse by categories including painting, calligraphy, sculpture, architecture, textiles, ceramics, and more. The site features a keyword and an advanced search.
In addition, iPhone and Android apps exist for the e-Museum collection.
For more information, explore the e-Museum of Japan!