Comprising a website, a traveling exhibition, and book, Qantara is a very rich and interesting resource for studying the cultural heritage of the Mediterranean from Late Antiquity to the 18th century. The website contains over 1500 entries from Western Europe, Byzantium, and Islamic regions that include objects, sites, and monuments. The material can be searched using various intersections such as materials, subjects, or historical period. Each entry has descriptive metadata (size, media, discovery and repository information), a short descriptive essay, and a bibliography.
There are repositories and cultural heritage institutions from nine countries involved in Qantara, and the information has been reviewed by over 200 experts including curators, historians, and researchers.
Recently, the British Library did a CT Scan of the St. Cuthbert Gospel, one of the oldest European manuscripts, dating to the 8th Century. An explanation of the process of scanning the manuscript can be found on the British Library’s website. Once the manuscript was scanned, along with a facsimile used for comparison, the data was processed in a program called “Drishti,” which allows for exploring and visualizing vast amount of data (above).
From the scans, researchers discovered that the central motif on the binding was made using a clay-like material, rather than gesso or cord as had previously been thought.
The entire manuscript has been digitized and is available on the British Library’s website here.
StoryMapJS is a free tool created by Northwestern University’s Knightlab, which aimes to make technology that promotes quality storytelling on the Internet. Storymap allows you to highlight locations of a series of events, like this example of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Works of Art. It also uses features like Gigapixel to tag points on an existing images like this example of The Garden of Earthly Delights or SnapMap to instantly create a map through your Instagram feed. Try this open source user friendly tool for plotting your next project!
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.
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.
Flickr recently announced that they’ve developed an app for the iPad and iOS 8!
Now iPad users can view high-resolution images on the large retina dislpay screens, as well as share, fave, and comment on photos from other contributors. There are new tools for organizing your photos and a more robust search feature.
Additionally, the app includes a built-in camera interface, so photos taken with the iPad can be edited and uploaded directly into Flickr. There’s a small set of editing tools and filters, too.
For more information, visit the iTunes App Store, or stop by the VRC and check it out on our iPad!!
The Tate recently released 30 years of Audio Arts, the “innovative audio cassette-magazine … established by Bill Furlong in 1972.”
Users can browse by category, chronology, or contributor, including inimitable figures such as Joseph Beuys, Marina Abramovc, Bruce McLean, Gehrard Richter, and more.
Check out the Audio Arts archive online!
MIT’s Archnet, a collaboration between the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT Libraries, “is a portal to rich and unique scholarly resources featuring thousands of sites, publications, images, and more focused on architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture, and conservation issues related to the Muslim world.” The website has recently been remained and restructured since its launch ten years ago.
The website features a timeline, a wide variety of digital collections and research materials, an advanced search, and selected syllabi pertaining to the study of Islamic Art, Architecture, and Culture.
To explore for yourself, check out Archnet!
The New Yorker recently ran a story about the Dunhuang Library and the efforts to digitize the large cache of materials originally discovered in a cave outside Dunhuang, in the Gobi Desert in western China in 1900. That original discovery revealed a chamber with more than five hundred cubic feet of bundled manuscripts in 17 languages and 24 scripts. The sheer size of the find is not its only extraordinary feature. Other significant discoveries were revealed, including the oldest known example of a printed book—out dating Gutenberg’s press for sure.
In 1994, the British Library created a team with partners in China, France, Germany, Japan, and Korea to digitize the cache of Dunhuang library materials. Called the International Dunhuang Project, its efforts are two-fold: they want to make the documents accessible to researchers around the world in addition to preserving them. The International Dunhuang Project’s database is freely accessible and provides high quality images of manuscripts ad other materials along with robust cataloging information.
Another fantastic research pertaining to Dunhuang is the Mellon International Dunhuang Archive avaialble in ARTstor. With funding from the Mellon Foundation, a team from Northwestern university photographed (in extremely high resolution) more than 40 of the cave grottos at Dunhuang. The photographs they took were stitched together to create 2-and 3-D representations of the caves that can be viewed using QTVR (QuickTime Virtual Reality) technology.
Via the New Yorker.
Google Street View recently added two Roman catacombs to its repertoire—the Catacomb of Priscilla and the Dino Companion. The Catacomb of Priscilla was used for Christian burials in the second through fourth centuries, and contains wall paintings of saints and other symbols.