Friday, November 21, 2008

Life Magazine photo archive and Google

Google has recently announced that it is hosting a the photo archives of Life Magazine, comprising millions (many apparently unpublished) of photos. View the archive at Google.

According to the Google blog,

"The Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination; The Mansell Collection from London; Dahlstrom glass plates of New York and environs from the 1880s; and the entire works left to the collection from LIFE photographers Alfred Eisenstaedt, Gjon Mili, and Nina Leen. These are just some of the things you'll see in Google Image Search today.

We're excited to announce the availability of never-before-seen images from the LIFE photo archive. This effort to bring offline images online was inspired by our mission to organize all the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. This collection of newly-digitized images includes photos and etchings produced and owned by LIFE dating all the way back to the 1750s.

Only a very small percentage of these images have ever been published. The rest have been sitting in dusty archives in the form of negatives, slides, glass plates, etchings, and prints. We're digitizing them so that everyone can easily experience these fascinating moments in time. Today about 20 percent of the collection is online; during the next few months, we will be adding the entire LIFE archive — about 10 million photos."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Jefferson as a slaveholder, new works

Historian and New York Law School Professor Annette Gordon-Reed has recently published an acclaimed new book, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton, 2008), which has been nominated for the National Book Award and favorably reviewed in the New York Times.

As a complementary work, B. Bernetiae Reed has compiled and self-published a fascinating look at the 619 slaves who lived at Monticello, replete with facsimiles of many original documents.

Reed's website provides information on the two volume work; our copy is in the stacks in Green Library.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Historical Advertising collections, Duke University Libraries

As political advertising is soon to give way to commercial products again, I wanted to highlight several great digital collections dealing with the history of American advertising and available online from the Duke University Libraries.

"The Ad*Access Project, funded by the Duke Endowment "Library 2000" Fund, presents images and database information for over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955. Ad*Access concentrates on five main subject areas: Radio, Television, Transportation, Beauty and Hygiene, and World War II, providing a coherent view of a number of major campaigns and companies through images preserved in one particular advertising collection available at Duke University. The advertisements are from the J. Walter Thompson Company Competitive Advertisements Collection of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History in Duke University's Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library."

Visit Ad*Access.

A companion site, The Emergence of Advertising in America:1850-1920 is similarly rich in images and text.

"The Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850 - 1920 (EAA) presents over 9,000 images, with database information, relating to the early history of advertising in the United States. The materials, drawn from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University, provide a significant and informative perspective on the early evolution of this most ubiquitous feature of modern American business and culture."