Archive for February, 2009

Mulatto ex-slave in her house near Greensboro, Alabama

Posted by Stephanie Fysh in Best of The Commons

Jack Delano
Mulatto ex-slave in her house near Greensboro, Alabama, May 1941, May 1941
New York Public Library:

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Carnival of the Commons: read, see, visit.

Posted by zyrcster in Carnival of The Commons

Heard around the Commons:

Recent uploads from the Commons:

The State Archives of Florida goes on an uploading spree, adding to their Florida Commerce set. The collection includes images of Florida people, places, and events dating from the 1940s through 1996. Some of these are very amusing, including the photos of Weeki Wachee Springs.
Florida Commerce
The E. F. Caldwell & Co. Collection at the Smithsonian Institution contains images of lighting fixtures and other fine metal objects produced from the late 19th to the mid-20th centuries.
E. F. Caldwell & Co. Collection
Mosteiros from the Biblioteca de Arte-Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian showcases tiles from monasteries in Portugal. Photos by John Miguel Dos Santos Simões.

Also, they have uploaded new photos to three other sets: Concelho da Batalha, Igreja de São Roque, and Palácios portugueses! An indulgence of architecture!

Go behind the scenes at the Brooklyn Museum and watch Sun K. Kwak Enfolding 280 Hours. Sun K. Kwak is creating a site-specific work composed of approximately three miles of black masking tape; the exhibit opens in late March.
Sun K. Kwak Enfolding 280 Hours
The State Library of Queensland, Australia adds a few new photos to its collection on Flickr. Entertaining stuff!
State Library of Queensland, Australia
OSU Baseball! celebrates the first 100 years of baseball at Oregon State University. Take me out to the ballgame! Also, Fashion on Flickr: “Revamp, Remix, Rewear”: Oregon’s too-sexy strutting down the catwalk. Check out their collection of sets, History in the Making, covering fashion, recycling, religion, and Obama. Whew.
OSU Baseball!

Go Visit!

05 Mar: The Conservation and Preservation of Nineteenth-Century Photographic Materials at the Library of Congress. Adrienne Lundgren, Senior Photograph Conservator in the Conservation Division at the LOC, will give an overview of the five main photographic processes used in the 19th century.

07 Mar: 1stFans meet-up at the Brooklyn Museum. Matt Held is the special guest.

11 Mar: Application deadline for Junior Fellows Summer Internships at the Library of Congress. The interns will be exposed to a broad spectrum of library work: preservation, reference, access standards, information management, and the U.S. copyright system.

Suffragette Purses

Posted by zyrcster in Remix
Oregon girls in New York (LOC)<br />
Library of Congress
Thrifted black purse, after

Pennylrichardsca provides a creative twist on Commons images: suffragette purses! Now you can carry around any Commons image that you love — she provides a tutorial here.


Amy Johnson & friends, 1930 / photographed by Sam Hood
Amy Johnson & friends, 1930 / photographed by Sam Hood
- State Library of New South Wales

Black History across the Commons – Part 2

Posted by zyrcster in Across The Commons

Our celebration continues with part two of our Black History Month subcurated collection. We bring you a selection of images from renowned photographers of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Rosebud Denham in embossed dress and feather hat

The State Archives of Florida holds a collection of images from noted portrait photographer Alvan S. Harper. Alvan S. Harper was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, in 1847. Between 1870 and 1884, he was a professional photographer in Philadelphia. Harper moved to Tallahassee in 1884. He was soon advertising that he would take “artistic photographs” in his first studio, a room in the house he was renting. He moved twice before buying a house and building his own studio, where he worked between 1889 and his death in 1911.

State Archives of Florida
Man with sideburns wearing dark coat

Some of Harper’s best negatives were lost when his studio was torn down in the 1920s. The negatives had been given to a Tallahassee historian who, because they were dirty, left them on a porch where they were mistaken for trash and taken to the dump. About 2,000 more Harper negatives were found in 1946 in the attic of the house he had owned. A Tallahassee photographer printed 250 negatives and circulated the prints in the community for identification.

State Archives of Florida
Navy Hill School

At the Library of Virginia is the Adolph B. Rice Studio Collection, which constitutes a unique photographic record of life in Richmond, Virginia from 1949 to 1961. The collection consists of more than 16,000 4×5-inch film negatives from the commercial studio of Adolph B. Rice.

Library of Virginia
City recreation, tennis

Adolph B. Rice Sr. (1909–1960) opened his first photo studio in Richmond in 1949. The studio remained on North Auburn Avenue until it ceased operation in 1961. His clients included businesses, industry, and state and local government. The Library invites the public to identify the images and provide captions for the more than 200 Rice Studio photographs on Flickr.

Library of Virginia
Going to town on Saturday afternoon, Greene Co., Ga.
–by Jack Delano, May 1941.

During the Great Depression, in 1935, the Farm Service Administration was developed as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal to to combat American rural poverty. The Library of Congress is the repository for all of these now-famous images by the leading photographers of the era.

Library of Congress
Negro boy near Cincinnati, Ohio
6— by John Vachon, 1942 or ‘43.

The FSA is famous for its small but highly influential photography program, led under the auspices of Roy Stryker, that realistically portrayed the challenges of rural poverty. Check out the comments on this photo as a leading example of the power of the Flickr Commons to encourage healthy debate and community.

Library of Congress
Bayou Bourbeau plantation, an FSA cooperative, Natchitoches, La. A Negro family (?) seated on the porch of a house
— by Marion Post Wolcott, 1940.

As an FSA documentary photographer, I was committed to changing the attitudes of people by familiarizing America with the plight of the underprivileged, especially in rural America … FSA photographs shocked and aroused public opinion to increase support for the New Deal policies and projects, and played an important part in the social revolution of the 30s.
Marion Post Wolcott.

Library of Congress
Negro school children, Omar, W. Va.
— by Ben Shahn

The New York Public Library also has some FSA holdings. Its collection on Flickr does not overlap the LOC’s (so far!). Learn more about the NYPL’s holdings by visiting their Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture website.

New York Public Library
Omar, mining town, West Virginia, 1935
—by Ben Shahn.

Throughout the Great Depression, Stryker provided photographic evidence for exhibition and to the media of the living and working conditions throughout America. The Roosevelt administration believed these images were useful for persuading not only voters but members of Congress to support federal relief and recovery programs. As the Depression wore on it was important to illustrate the positive effects of these programs. Shahn traveled to several planned communities in the south, where he photographed people engaged in productive activities and thriving because of government assistance. —Susan H. Edwards

New York Public Library

Interview: Meet The Digital Media Team at the National Maritime Museum

Posted by Anna Graf in Interviews

This week we find out a bit more about the very cool folks who look after all things Web-related at the National Maritime Museum, including the museum’s Flickr Commons account.

The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

As the NMM in Greenwich is my local museum, I was delighted when they joined the Commons in September 2008. I visit the museum regularly as it takes up a large area in the middle of Greenwich and is housed in some very photogenic buildings. I was pretty excited when Fiona invited me down to the Museum one Wednesday afternoon to meet the team and have a chat about Flickr and the Commons. Having met them all, I can say I like the NMM even more now than I did before.

The NMM also organized and hosted our very first Flickr Commons meetup, held not long after these interviews. You can check that out too!

1. What is your involvement with the National Maritime Museum and the Commons Project on Flickr?

Fiona Romeo, National Maritime Museum

Fiona Romeo

FIONA: I’m Head of Digital Media at the National Maritime Museum (and Royal Observatory, Greenwich), which means that it’s my job to think about how we can transform our visitors’ experience of the museum through innovative uses of technology. In particular, my department is responsible for things like digitization; the museum website; and creative development of digital content and services — from a monthly podcast, to interactive exhibits and mobile learning. About half of my department is participating in the Commons project in some way.


“Commons Recommendations” Greasemonkey Script

Posted by striatic in Tools

gm-recommendClickykbd’s newest Greasemonkey Script, “Flickr Commons Recommendations“, adds a grid of “recommendations” to the right side of any photo you encounter in the Flickr Commons collection. The photos in the grid are Commons photos that have been recently favourited by people who like the photo you are currently viewing.

Usually these “recommendations” posses a similar quality, despite being from a variety of Commons institutions. So not only does this script help you stumble across many excellent photos you wouldn’t otherwise find, but it also tends to help identify threads that run across The Commons.

For example, Recommendations on a “cute” photo tend to identify other “cute” photos in the collections of other institutions. It is great to see these threads emerge while browsing around, getting lost in The Commons. The associations might be less discrete than those created by tags, but they are no less interesting.

Install Flickr Commons Recommendations

See No Evil

Posted by zyrcster in Remix

There’s a lot of creativity on Flickr. Members often share textures and backgrounds to create new art; they share tips on photo editing, too, to remix old works into new ones. Anji one is a master at melding new and vintage photography. Check out her latest work, See No Evil.

Close No. 101 High Street, Glasgow
National Galleries of Scotland
See No Evil
anji one

Electric Chair at Sing Sing

Posted by striatic in Best of The Commons
William M. Vander Weyde
Electric Chair at Sing Sing, ca. 1900
George Eastman House: 1974:0056:0386

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1st Ever Flickr Commons Meetup: National Maritime Museum

Posted by zyrcster in News

On Wednesday, February 11, a few Flickrites joined with the staff at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, for a Flickr Commons meetup. Rebecca Higgitt first gave a talk, then the group was given a sneak preview of prints in the Royal Observatory’s photographic collection that will be added to the Commons in the near future. The group also took a tour of the ROG buildings, ending with the crew venturing to the Union Pub for refreshment and Commons discussion.

Anna Graf (our group’s founder) says,

A great day was had by all.

Thanks to James, Natasha, Lucinda, Sam and Fiona from the NMM for making this happen!

Read first-hand accounts at the NMM’s blog and at Bridget McKenzie’s blog.

Photos from andylinden, Big Bean, dopiaza, and whatsthatpicture.

Carnival of the Commons: A roundup of new images

Posted by zyrcster in Carnival of The Commons

If it’s Friday, it must be Carnival of the Commons day! Take a gander at recent uploads:

Talk about a convergence of Flickr phenomena. The Powerhouse Musuem participates in the Flickr project. Astrometry will provide astrometric calibration meta-data, plus lists of known objects falling inside the field of view, for any astral photos uploaded to their Flickr group. The Powerhouse is a contributor (check out the photos in this set to see what the project tells us about them! Read what those Flickr code monkeys have to say, too. And, yea, the Royal Observatory Greenwich (part of the National Maritime Museum) is in that Flickr group, too.

Powerhouse Museum
Matt Held Studio
This set of photos from the Brooklyn Museum showcases artist Matt Held, of I’ll have my Facebook portrait painted by Matt Held fame. In fact, I have a request in to Held to have my portrait done. Matt is coming to speak to 1stfans at the March meetup.

Brooklyn Museum
Pop Quiz! Can you spot a fake?
Check out the Brooklyn Museum’s exhibit, Unearthing the Truth: Egypt’s Pagan and Coptic Sculpture, running February 13–May 10, 2009. But first, take a pop quiz: Can you spot the fake?

Brooklyn Museum
Phillips Glass Plate Negatives Collection
The Powerhouse Museum added 10 photos to its glass plate collection. Read more about one of them, Three Men Playing Cards in an Alcove, at the museum’s blog.

Powerhouse Museum
Oude beroepen / Old fashioned professions
A fantastic series of images that portray historic professions in Europe, including lamplighters, town criers, men delivering ice, and the, errrr, faeces-collector. Oh my. Courtesy of the Nationaal Archief.

Nationaal Archief
From many lands — multicultural Queensland
Afghan camel drivers, Chinese fruit sellers, Japanese pearl divers, and children dressed in Greek traditional costumes  — the State Library of Queensland, Australia covers the world.

State Library of Queensland, Australia
Cup Cake Art — A New Birth of Freedom
The Smithsonian Institution had a clever installation earlier this week: Presidential Cup Cakes, by Zilly Rosen. We covered that here, but check out the SI’s blog post on it as well.

Smithsonian Institution
Edifícios industriais
The Biblioteca de Arte–Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian added a few photos of the Abel Pereira da Fonseca, Ldª, in Lisboa, Portugal, to its Edifícios industriais set — wine! A virtual historic winery tour, if you will. BYOB.

Biblioteca de Arte-Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
News in the 1910s
Every month, the Library of Congress uploads 50 photos to Flickr from the George Grantham Bain Collection of 1910s photographs. The latest upload features some fascinating characters, such as Dr. Lyman Abbott. Abbott was a social reform advocate. He was also a Christian Evolutionist.
[ed note - corrected to say that 50 new photos each week, not month, are added to this collection]

Library of Congress

And don’t forget our newest institutions to the Commons, with photos recently uploaded and waiting for your perusal.

Gerald W. Williams Collection: Civilian Conservation Corps
From the Oregon State University Archives, a set of photographs from the New Deal era’s Civilian Conservation Corps in the Pacific Northwest. Throughout its nine-year existence, the program put millions to work on federal and state land for the ‘prevention of forest fires, floods, and soil erosion, plant, pest, and disease control.’ Nationwide, enrollees planted three billion trees and came to be known as the Tree Army.

Oregon State University Archives
Seminole Missionary Harriet Bedell
These images reflect the lives of Florida’s Seminole Indians and the missionary activities of Deaconess Harriet Bedell among them. From the State Archives of Florida.

State Archives of Florida