Archive for May, 2009

Brant Point Lighthouse

Posted by zyrcster in Then and Now

On Nantucket Island, the living is right. See seaside scenes of the Brant Point lighthouse, built in 1901 and still standing today.

Nantucket Historical Association


Photo Contest: D.C. Then & Now

Posted by Stephanie Fysh in News, Then and Now

If you’re in or near Washington D.C. now or will be in June, this is for you!

The DC Public Library is holding a photo contest based on its Flickr Commons collection. Find places in the collection where you can be, shoot those “Now” photos, and submit them by July 3. You’ll find the details on how to submit — and on the fabulous prizes! — on the DCPL’s blog.

Convention Hall

North boundary stone near Silver Spring, MD

Meal break for teamsters and horses

Posted by zyrcster in Best of The Commons
Meal break for teamsters and horses

unattributed studio
Meal break for teamsters and horses, Tyrrell Photographic Collection, c. 1880-1923.
Powerhouse Museum: 85/1286-274

view + comment on Flickr

Carnival of the Commons

Posted by zyrcster in Carnival of The Commons

Heard around the Commons:

Go Visit!

30 & 31 May — Treeless Mountain is showing at the George Eastman House DrydenTheatre. “Director So Yong Kim’s second feature is a gentle and restrained semi-autobiographical account of two little girls, told from a child’s perspective.”

31 May – Last chance to apply for Rock Camp 2009 at the D.C. Public Library.

What you did for the Brooklyn Museum today

Posted by Stephanie Fysh in Articles, News

About two weeks ago, the Brooklyn Museum posted a screencap of 12 set covers and asked Flickr members to vote on which they’d like to see added to the Commons to celebrate the museum’s 1st anniversary on the site:

Whats next for the Commons?

What's next for the Commons?

And we did. We voted on the image page, we voted on Twitter, we voted in the Twitter, we voted in the Flickr Commons group …

In fact, we voted so much that the Brooklyn released some sets early — first North African ruins, then Middle Eastern ruins

This morning the Brooklyn revealed its anniversary set: Pompeii: Places and Objects.

Still haven’t wished the Brooklyn a Happy Commonsversary? You still can! Comment, tag, or do something new today … with the old treasures of Pompeii.

House of Marcus Holionius

Marble fountain

Celebrating the Commonsversary of the Brooklyn Museum

Posted by zyrcster in Best of The Commons, News
Egypt: Gizeh

Egypt: Gizeh, ca 1900
Brooklyn Museum: S10|08 Gizeh, image 9613

Happy Commonsversary to the Brooklyn Museum. We celebrate with some highlights of the Brooklyn’s collection on Flickr. This iconic lantern slide of an Egyptian Sphinx is rated as their most “interesting” photograph on Flickr:

Taken some time in 1900
#63 in interestingness (on 2008-05-13)
319 people call this photo a favorite
Viewed 15,439 times

Their lantern slides from the Goodyear Collection are their most storied on Flickr. Here are two more of their top photos of Egypt.

Egypt: Abydos

Egypt: Thebes

Some of the comments these photographs receive are remarkable, demonstrating the power of the Commons to harness the crowds in contributing to the corpus of knowledge about an item. On Egypt: Abydos, Flickr member travelin_g notes,

This temple was started by Seti I, but finished by his son Ramses. Seti insisted on the best artistry possible, while Ramses wanted it finished quickly & cheaply. Compare the carvings above (from the reign of Ramses) to these created under during the reign of his father.

Paris Exposition: Esplanade des Invalides, Paris, France, 1900

Paris Exposition: Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, 1900

The Goodyear Collection also includes slides of the 1900 Paris World’s Exposition, which are another hit with Flickr viewers.

In 1900, Goodyear traveled to the Paris Exposition with photographer Joseph Hawkes. They brought back numerous images from the exposition including street life, vistas, pavilions, statues, and other structures and decorative details.

World’s Columbian Exposition: Ferris Wheel, Chicago, United States, 1893.

World’s Columbian Exposition: Ferris Wheel, Chicago, United States, 1893.

Also in the Goodyear collection at the Brooklyn Museum are photographs of the incredible 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, which we at Indicommons covered extensively here. On Flickr, Madame Maracas joins the conversation about the fair by informing us that

When they were digging the foundation for the [ice] rink they found the foundation for the original Ferris Wheel under what had been a soccer pitch for decades!

Behind the Scenes: Ron Mueck

Annie Leibovitz Members Preview

While not technically included in the Commons, the museum also uploads behind-the-scenes views and previews of  exhibitions and events. It’s a fabulous insight into the people and activities of the museum itself, and you can find it all on Flickr. Enjoy the Brooklyn Museum’s photostream, and let us know your choices for Best Of in the comments here.

Happy Commonsversary, Brooklyn!

Posted by zyrcster in Articles, News
Street scene, Istanbul, Turkey, 1903

Street scene, Istanbul, Turkey, 1903

On May 28, 2008, the Brooklyn Museum entered the Flickr Commons — so today we celebrate the Brooklyn’s Commonsversary with a round-up of articles showcasing the year’s highlights.

At the Brooklyn Museum’s blog …

Heard at Indicommons …

  • Interview: Shelley Bernstein, Chief of Technology, Brooklyn Museum — Our first interview was with Shelley at the Brooklyn Museum. It’s a gem of an interview, too, and pretty much launched Indicommons into public awareness (thank, Shel!).
  • Interview: Mary McKercher, of the Brooklyn Museum, on Egypt — Our interview with Dr. McKercher was a treat. As an expedition photographer and archaeologist, her insight into the work in general and the Brooklyn Museum in general is invaluable. She brings to life the Brooklyn’s Goodyear Archives with her knowledge and sheds light on the work the scientific work of the museum.
  • Tools: Batch Date Changer — At the request of the Brooklyn Museum, our developer David Wilkinson created our first tool to help Commons institutions manage their uploads.
  • Brooklyn Browser — The museum released its own public API so that any developer could access their extensive Collections database. And David Wilkinson wrote a nifty program with it: the Brooklyn Browser.
  • The Real Brooklyn (Museum) — A stirring personal tribute to the museum, by a fan and neighbor, Amy Dreher.
  • Slap It on the Scanner — a well-received article by Deborah Wythe, Head of Digital Collections and Services at the Brooklyn Museum, on the trials and tribulations archivists have when it comes to scanning.
  • And the Best of the Web are … — The outstanding work by the museum over the past year resulted in many commendations at this year’s Museum and the Web Conference.
  • A Thank-You from — and an Appeal for — the Brooklyn Museum — Exactly as the title says: after winning awards at the above conference, the museum was rocked by grim financial news. However, harnessing the social web, the support came pouring in. This is just one example of how institutions and their supporters can use social networking to increase practical support. Museums and archives and libraries, in the Commons and not, are all in financial need today, with potential serious consequences for their collections. If you can, offer support today, to an institution that means something to you.
  • Who’s on First? — A fun write-up on the softball exploits of the museum community … and one which highlights the Brooklyn’s witty web presence.

The first year of the Commons undoubtedly brought surprises, mirth, and new eyeballs to the museum’s collections. Here’s to another fine year!

Dam It!

Posted by zyrcster in Across The Commons

Harnessing water across the Commons


A natural force with the power to carve canyons out of rock, to inundate plains, to change the face of the earth.

Oregon State University Archives

They like to harness unbridled power for progress. Water is the stuff of industry (generating electricity) and agriculture (irrigating crops).

Library of Congress
… and they like to build cities near rivers that overflow …
Musée McCord
So … Dam it!
Library of Congress
Hold that water back!
Biblioteca de Arte-Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
Tame that river!
Brooklyn Museum
Reshape the landscape!
Oregon State University Archives
But, when the levee breaks, Mama, you got to move …
Library of Congress

Recent Uploads: Iconic Images

Posted by zyrcster in Recent Uploads
The set of the week is the iconic photographs from the Library of Congress’s Great Depression–era photographers: Dorothea Lange, Jack Delano, Walker Evans, Russell Lee, Gordon Parks, Marion Wolcott, Ben Shahn and more.
FSA/OWI Favorites
The Brooklyn Museum prepares for its Commonsversary this Thursday with more smashing images from the Goodyear Collection.
Middle East: Ruins
We’re suckers for animals at Indicommons. The Animals in War memorial is a joint project between the Australian War Memorial and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).
Animals in war memorial, May 2009
Look at the pretty birds! From the Oregon State University Archives.
William Finley and Herman Bohlman: American Birds
How about some Fighting African Elephants from the Field Museum?
Moving The Field Museum (1920)
The Bibliothèque de Toulouse uploads more images of Tarn, France, as well as bridges and aqueducts.
Bibliothèque de Toulouse
The Biblioteca de Arte–Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian uploads a brilliant set of tiles from Portuguese convents that were identified by João Miguel dos Santos Simões when carrying out an inventory of the Portuguese tiles from 1960 to 1968.
View more William Raine Hall images of Wellington, New Zealand, from the National Library of New Zealand.
William Raine Hall
The Swedish National Heritage Board always delights with its Carl Curman archives. Depicted here is Big bathouse and Curman villa, Lysekil, Sweden.
Carl Curman – Sweden

Memorial Day

Posted by zyrcster in Best of The Commons

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday honoring the sacrifices of America’s fallen from the Revolutionary War to the present. The National Moment of Remembrance occurs at 3 PM local time.

An American town and its way of life, Southington, Conn. The Memorial Day parade moving down the main street. The small number of spectators is accounted for by the fact that the town's war factories did not close. The town hall is in the left foreground.

Fenno Jacobs
An American town and its way of life, Southington, Conn. The Memorial Day parade moving down the main street. The small number of spectators is accounted for by the fact that the town’s war factories did not close. The town hall is in the left foreground., May 1942
Library of Congress: LC-USW36-800

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

— Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872-1918)

View of the old ampitheater near Arlington House in Arlington National Cemetery

E.B. Thompson
View of the old amphitheater near Arlington House in Arlington National Cemetery, ca. 1920
D.C. Public Library

Of this photograph, ‘View of the old amphitheater near Arlington House in Arlington National Cemetery,’ the D.C. Public Library says,

Built in 1868 to host the annual Decoration (now Memorial) Day festivities at the cemetery. It was used until 1920 when the new amphitheater opened.