In the early 1970s, the Environmental Protection Agency hired more than 70 freelance photographers to take pictures of life in the United States as it intersected with the environment for the Project DOCUMERICA (1971–77). The National Archives has digitized more than 15,000 images from the project, and they are available online via NARA’s online catalog or though a Flickr collection that is much easier to browse.
You can browse by image topic, location, or photographer—and that’s where things start to get really interesting. Photographers hired for the project include Danny Lyon (AB ’63) and photojournalist John H. White (born 1945) who worked for the Chicago Defender and was recently laid off from the Chicago Sun Times along with the rest of their staff photographers.
Because the project was funded by the federal government, there are no copyright restrictions on the images, and users can download 300 dpi original size files from the Flickr collection. For more information and to explore the collection, visit Flickr and the National Archives.
Via Peta Pixel
Image: Danny Lyon. Albuquerque Speedway Park, One of Three Stock Car Race Tracks in Albuquerque, May 1972. 412-DA-2825. Still Picture Records Section, Special Media Archives Services Division (NWCS-S), National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD, 20740-6001.
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.
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 Los Angeles County Museum of Art recently launched a new collections website that features a faceted search engine that facilitates both browsing and direct searching of the museum’s objects. Most importantly, however, is LACMA’s initiative to release nearly 20,000 high-quality images of art objects from their collection believed to be in the public domain. Users can freely download the images and use them as they see fit.
If you want to see all of the public domain objects for which downloading a high-quality image is possible, run a search on your research term and select “Show only unrestricted images” at the top of the page. Alternatively, if you’d like to all 20,000 objects LACMA has made freely downloadable, run a blank search and select “Show only results with unrestricted images” from the top of the page.
For even more information, we keep our list of Copyright Lenient Images for Academic Publishing up-to-date.
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.
WorldImages, hosted by California State University, has recently added more than 3,000 images to its database that is free for educational use. The new images include locations and topics such as Easter Island, the German art and architecture of the Nazi party, and Portuguese art and architecture. The images are free to use for educational purposes, and the relevant metadata information has been embedded into the images themselves that that users may download it with the images (opening the images in Adobe Bridge or a similar image management software will allow you to view the data along side the images).
To see their list of newly added images, click here. For more information, explore the rest of the WorldImages collection.
The Google Cultural Institute and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem collaborated to bring five complete Dead Sea Scrolls online. The new digital library (released Tuesday, December 18), allows users to study and discover the the most ancient biblical manuscripts on earth:
The website gives searchable, fast-loading, high-resolution images of the scrolls, as well as short explanatory videos and background information on the texts and their history. The scroll text is also discoverable via web search. If you search for a phrase from the scrolls, a link to that text within the scroll may surface in your search results. For example, try searching on Google for [And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb Dead Sea Scroll].
English translations of the manuscripts are also available. The Google Cultural Institute is also responsible for the Art Project as well as other digital humanities projects, including Versailles 3D and La France en relief. For the Dead Sea Scrolls project, they used imaging technology originally developed for NASA. The scrolls weren’t discovered until 1947, and they had been in the Qumran caves for two thousand years. ArtDaily reports:
The parchment and papyrus scrolls contain Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic script, and include several of the earliest-known texts from the Bible, including the oldest surviving copy of the Ten Commandments. The oldest of the documents dates to the third century BC and the most recent to about 70 AD, when Roman troops destroyed the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The artefacts are housed at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where the larger pieces are shown at the dimly lit Shrine of the Book on a rotational basis in order to minimise damage from exposure. When not on show, they are kept in a dark, climate-controlled storeroom in conditions similar to those in the Qumran caves, where the humidity, temperature and darkness preserved the scrolls for two millennia.
For more information, visit the Digital Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Bibliothéque Nationale de France recently released an iPad app for their digital library Gallica. The app, also called Gallica, contains nearly 2 million freely available items from the BnF, including books, journals, manuscripts, photographs, prints, posters, cards, and music scores among many others.
The app allows you to search or browse through all digitized material available through the BnF, and each document can be viewed in its entirety. You can create a favorites list, view the full bibliographic record, download entire documents or individual pages, email links, or share the object on social media outlets including Facebook and Twitter.
You can download the app here, or stop by the VRC to check it out on our iPad!
Today, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdamn is launching RijksStudio, a digital collection of 125,000 works in the collection. We posted about the first installment about a year ago, and now they’ve fully unveiled their impressive new image platform.
All works in the RijksStudio are available for users to download for personal use as a high-quality jpeg image file. (Using images for professional and commercial uses is possible, but requires filling out a form to obtain permission from the museum). Depending on the type of use, print, and format, images can be downloaded either free or charge or for a fee.
In addition to browsing and searching the collection, you can create image groups or explore the image groups of other users. In depth content such as context about art movements, artists’ biographies, and other historical events is available when browsing through facets or when viewing an individual work. Images can be shared on various public media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Pintrest. You can also easily order reproductions of the images.
The image records for objects in the collection contain an absolute wealth of information, including basic object data, exhibition histories, provenance, related artworks, copyright status, and a section called “Documentation,” which serves as a bibliography of the object with links to published references of the work including scholarly articles, monographs, and exhibition catalogs. When online content is available, the object data includes links—for example, links to JSTOR articles.
You can create an account using your email address or log in through your Facebook account. For more information or to start exploring, click here.
Interested in information visualization and/or 19th Century American culture? Explore “A Handsome Atlas,” a recent project by the Brooklyn Brainery, which displays reproductions of the Statistical Atlases of the United States of America from 1870, 1880, and 1890. Although these maps, charts, and graphs were created more than a hundred years ago, they are surprisingly modern in their display of information.
While the images are all available online through the Library of Congress and a long list on the US Census website, A Handsome Atlas provides a much more elegant interface image viewer that allows for easily viewing the contents of each atlas and zooming in on individual plates. Users have the options to filter by countless subjects pertaining to life in the US—including liquor, lumber, and Lutherans among many others—or to filter by specific categories of visualization devices, including pie charts, radar charts, and treemaps.
Users also have the option to view each plate on the Library of Congress website and to freely download image files in high, medium, or low resolution.
Additionally, the 1880 and 1890 Statistical Atlases were undertaken by Henry Gannett, largely considered to be the father of American mapmaking. The David Rumsey Map Collection contains more than 170 government-sponsored maps, charts, and geological surveys by Gannett. Click here to view.
Via Information Aesthetics