Archive for June, 2009

Recent Uploads: Disasters, Travel, Tiles and More

Posted by zyrcster in Recent Uploads
Time for another Picture of the Week from the State Library of Queensland, Australia!

This one is a horse-drawn cart with two motor vehicles parked outside the Ambulance Transport Brigade building at Mount Morgan, ca. 1921.

Horse drawn cart with two motor vehicles parked outside the Ambulance Transport Brigade building at Mount Morgan, ca.1921
Picture of the Week
Like tiles? The Biblioteca de Arte-Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian delights with <i>sooo</i> many new tile images from convents — including some from Brazil! Convento de São Francisco, Salvador, Brasil
The fun is unleashed with more stereoscopic dry plate negatives, from the National Library of New Zealand. Edgar and Owen Williams and Edith Kenworth inspect a Nikau palm flower bud, at Motohou near Wanganui, 1901
stereoscopic dry plate negatives
Stunning landscape photographs from the Library of Congress are up. See Niagara Falls, Quebec, and the St. Lawrence River. Horseshoe Fall from Goat Island, Niagara
Photochrom Travel Views
Doh! Disaster strikes and the Florida State Archives has the documentation …

see hurricane damage of yore. Glad I live where only earthquakes can get to me.

Rescue train swept off the tracks by the 1935 Labor Day hurricane
Hurricanes in Florida
Travel to London to view the shipping ports with the National Maritime Museum. Anchors aweigh! Ship under construction
Port Cities London
I like the images that the Swedish National Heritage Board posts from Carl Curman. From sweeping landscape to portraits, this series always offers a great glimpse into northern European life. Carl Curman and company, Lysekil, Sweden
Carl Curman – Sweden

Bandak Lake from Dalen, Telemarken

Posted by Nina in Best of The Commons

Detroit Publishing Co.
[Bandak Lake from Dalen, Telemarken (i.e, Telemark), Norway] (LOC), between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900
Library of Congress: LOT 13432, no. 138

view + comment on Flickr

Carnival of the Commons!

Posted by zyrcster in Carnival of The Commons

Friday Fun!

Brooklyn Museum
mummy#1 Lady Hor 37.50E being moved, June 2009

The Brooklyn Museum engaged in live tweeting on 23 June when they took four mummies from their collection to be CT scanned at the North Shore University Hospital in Long Island. They used hashtag #mummyCT: their Tweets and with everyone!
See more photos and videos here.

Heard around the Commons:

  • The Brooklyn Museum’s 1stfans Twitter Art Feed Artist for July 2009: Ranjit Bhatnagar’s “Exquisite Sonnet.” 1stfans members, get yer tweet on for this one!
  • The 2nd International m-Libraries Conference in Vancouver is all a-twitter with updates: #mlib09.
  • Make it Digital – DigitalNZ’s one-stop shop for questions about creating digital content in New Zealand! This site features questions, ideas, and guides; do drop by and check it out.
  • Top museums on Twitter – Jim Richardson reports on how museums are using the popular micro-blogging website Twitter. The Brooklyn Museum is listed as #2.
  • Be sure to make a visit to The Source: news about digital libraries and library innovations from around the web, brought to you every Friday by the National Library of New Zealand. Copyfights!
  • What’s in the workshop #2 – Investigate the Powerhouse Museum’s fetish for strange things on wheels.
  • The New York Public Library is gearing up for its new website launch. Yay! The NYPL also has some new things in the works and is looking for lab rats.
  • Name that film! The George Eastman House shares sleuthing tips.
  • NARA and MoMA – See what’s happening with the students of The L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation, from the George Eastman House.
  • Aquamarine crystals are the Gemstone of the Month at the Field Museum’s Grainger Hall of Gems.
  • The National Librarian, Andrew Green, of the National Library of Wales, will be among those honored by the Gorsedd of Bards at this year’s National Eisteddfod.
  • Diwrnod agoriadol y Smithsonian – ahhhhh, no idea what this says, but I liked seeing the Smithsonian being discussed in Welsh. ;-)
  • Watch the 2009 Smithsonian Folklife Festival webcasts this weekend! Welsh music, mariachis, storytelling and poetry.
  • Suited for Space: Last Words from the Curator – An engaging blog post reporting on the tribulations of a traveling space exhibit by the Smithsonian Institution.
  • SI also reports on how Google Street View was used to solve a crime.
  • A Short History of Photography from Cigar Box to Cell Phone, by Merry A. Foresta of the Smithsonian Photography Initiative
  • The Swedish National Heritage Board live blogs from its activities during Almedal week. The Board will organize a seminar on e-government and new social media July 2.
  • Portraits — and Pot-Shots — in Song: A witty exhibit from the Library of Congress chronicling US Presidential campaign songs.
  • Newstead – The State Library of Queensland, Australia, tells you all about this Brisbane suburb.
  • Also, Picture Queensland images now available through One Search.
  • The Oregon State University Archives reports that William Jasper Kerr, a biography, has been scanned and is now available on ScholarsArchive.
  • Win one of the biggest Harry Potter posters in the world in the National Media Museum’s competition.

Go Visit!

12th June to 31st August: The Art Competition for Schools 2009 exhibition at the National Galleries of Scotland. See the 53 winning works of budding young talents.

24 June through 22 August: With Malice Toward None: Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibit, a traveling exhibit from the Library of Congress at the California Museum in Sacramento, CA.

Throughout July: The July Film Series is announced at the Library of Congress’s Packard Campus Theater, including Key Largo, An American in Paris, and Chinatown.

2 July: Exclusive preview of Soul Power, a film by Jeffrey Levy-Hinte documenting a music festival that unites black American stars with African musicians in Kinshasa, at the National Media Museum.

Happy Commonsversary to the Bibliothèque de Toulouse!

Posted by zyrcster in Articles
Famille Crouzats, au Port de Venasque, Luchon, 6 septembre 1898

Eugène Trutat
Famille Crouzats, au Port de Venasque, Luchon, 6 septembre 1898, 1890
Bibliothèque de Toulouse: TRU C 343

A very happy Commonsversary to the Bibliothèque de Toulouse! They joined the Flickr Commons on June 28, 2008 with images of the Pyrénées from 100 years ago. They upload to the Commons on a very regular basis, so there is a variety of scenes to explore in their Flickr stream.

La côte basque chronicles life 100 years ago on the Basque Coast.

Most of these images are by Eugène Trutat, the Director of the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle de Toulouse and a pioneer of photography.

La Côte Basque, Biarritz, Pyrénées-Atlantiques
La Côte Basque, Biarritz, Pyrénées-Atlantiques
The set Architecture, monuments et archéologie contains valuable images of dolmens in France — prehistoric human-made rock structures. Dolmen, Mas d'Azil, Ariège
Dolmen, Mas d’Azil, Ariège
Some favorites in the Toulouse’s stream are of the French countryside and culture, and the set A bicyclette … illustrates well the jovial air of their collection. Mlle X en vélo, Luchon
Mlle X en vélo, Luchon
Trutat also took some of the earliest photochromes. The archives of these autochromes also contains many geotagged images. Vue sur le château de la rue du Lycée, Foix, by bibliothequedetoulouse
Vue sur le château de la rue du Lycée, Foix
My personal favorites in their Flickr photostream are those of the bridges and aqueducts, some of which date back to the Roman era. Vieux pont, démoli en 1906, Cahors, 1891
Bibliothèque de Toulouse’s buddy icon
Ponts et aqueducs
No trip to France is complete without a visit to the miraculous Lourdes. Included in this set are a few marvelous stereograms. A la grotte, Lourdes, 23 août 1898, by bibliothequedetoulouse
A la grotte, Lourdes, 23 août 1898

Do take a stroll through the Toulouse’s stream and post up your favorites. Joyeux anniversaire!

Birthdays across the Commons

Posted by James Morley in Across The Commons

Proving that we all enjoy a good party, The Commons has its own representative selection of great images of birthday celebrations.

Celebrate with Robert Louis Stevenson in Western Samoa … Robert Louis Stevenson's birthday party, at Vailima, ca 1893
National Library of New Zealand
What better way to mark 70 years than having your portrait painted? And should you risk forgetting, why not have a photo taken of the occasion too? Wilhelmina Drucker, pionier vrouwenrechten / Wilhelmina Drucker, women's rights pioneer
Nationaal Archief
You’ll want a party fit for a princess! Sofia - Crown Prince Boris' 21st B-day ceremonies, 2/2/12 (LOC)
Library of Congress
Or just get together with some film-star friends. But don’t forget the decorations! Sabu's 21st birthday at Roosevelt Nightclub, Sydney, 25/1/1945 / by Sam Hood
State Library of New South Wales
Finally, always remember others … Interior of one-room school: Eastpoint, Florida
State Library and Archives of Florida
… and make sure you get their presents off to them in good time. Parcel Post Vehicles and Employees
Smithsonian Institution

Recent Uploads

Posted by zyrcster in Recent Uploads
We open this week with views of Portland, Oregon, during the Lewis & Clark Expedition in 1905, courtesy of the Oregon State University Archives. These images are a great complement to the other Flickr Commons expo photos — it’s cool to check out both the similarities to and advances from the prior ones. Portland
Extra, Extra! The Library of Congress plays ball with 50 more Bain News Service photos. Ty Cobb! Bain News Service
More Bain News Service Photos
Got an eye for architecture? The Biblioteca de Arte-Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian always has great archives of arches and churches to satiate you. Concelho de Caminha
Concelho de Caminha
The Swedish National Heritage Board still seeks help in identifying Norwegian locations. Carl Curman - Europe
Carl Curman – Europe
The pastoral scenes from the Bibliothèque de Toulouse are captivating! Bélesta
The State Library of Queensland’s photo of the week is this sweet dog and boy shot. It’s an interesting mix of an iconic Australian dog breed being held by an American soldier. Picture of the Week
Picture of the Week

Flickr Commons and Tar Heel Reader

Posted by Penny in Articles, Remix

Imagine being a new reader at your current age — maybe you’re learning a new language, maybe you’re coming to literacy later in life for other reasons. You want to practice, but what kind of beginning-level readers are in your local library? One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish is funny, sure, but you’d prefer to learn about useful and interesting topics relevant to an adult life, wouldn’t you? Or maybe you’re a teenager, a high school student who is working hard to learn about the same topics as your peers who can read fluently. It’s easy to get discouraged when you can’t find any books that meet your needs.

These are the gaps addressed by Tar Heel Reader, a collaboration between the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies and the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina (thus the name). Tar Heel Reader, launched a little over a year ago, offers

“a collection of free, easy-to-read, and accessible books on a wide range of topics. Each book can be speech enabled and accessed using multiple interfaces (i.e., switches, alternative keyboards, touch screens, and dedicated AAC devices). The books may be downloaded as slide shows in PowerPoint, Impress, or Flash format.”

Gary Bishop has a more technical explanation of the way it all works here.

Tar Heel Reader books are created by users all over the world, in various languages, using a book-writing “wizard” that accesses Flickr images (only those with amenable licenses, and always credited to the owner) to illustrate the books. As I write this, there are over 4,600 books available — and I’ve made 67 of those.

This week, Flickr Commons images were added to the already rich supply of images available to Tar Heel Reader authors. To try out the new options, I made two books using only Commons images. WWII: Women Working spotlights the gorgeous color photos of wartime factory workers in the Library of Congress uploads; and Ellis Island tells a first-person story of early-20th-century immigration, using the New York Public Library’s uploads on the subject, mostly the portraits by Augustus Sherman, Chief Registry Clerk. Thematic sets like these are easy to convert into picture books — the images (from a given era, or even by one photographer) share a look that gives a book a stronger visual identity, and they’re already focused on a specific topic.

Library of Congress

New York Public Library

I’ve used current images to make books about voting, First Amendment rights, air travel, thriftshopping, hats, popcorn, gingerbread houses, Groucho glasses, you name it; but for making books about history, historical images are invaluable. Which is why I’m excited and grateful to have Flickr Commons images to play with at Tar Heel Reader. And I think the readers and teachers will be happy to see them too.

Yonge Street at Front, Toronto, about 1890 … and 2009

Posted by Stephanie Fysh in Then and Now

Musée McCord Museum

Sweet One (Neal Jennings)

Tompkins Sq. Park

Posted by Nina in Best of The Commons

James Jowers
Tompkins Sq. Park, 1967
George Eastman House: 2007:0274:0056

view + comment on Flickr

Carnival of the Commons

Posted by zyrcster in Carnival of The Commons
Barker at the grounds at the Vermont state fair, Rutland (LOC)

Jack Delano
Barker at the grounds at the Vermont state fair, Rutland, Sept. 1941
Library of Congress: LC-USF35-47

Commons blogs:

Your intrepid carnival barker (me) is traveling across the Western United States with three pets, so you’ll forgive this special post that tells you where to find your favorite Flickr Commons blogs and tweets! You know where to find them on Flickr, right?

We’ll be back next week with the usual wrap-up of cool things heard around the Commons.


  • Australian War Memorial: blog
  • National Library of New Zealand: blog / on Twitter
  • Powerhouse Museum: many blogs! / on Facebook
  • State Library of New South Wales: podcasts
  • State Library of Queensland: blog


  • Bibliothèque de Toulouse: blog / on Facebook
  • National Maritime Museum: blog
  • National Media Museum: on Twitter
  • Swedish National Heritage Board: blog

North America

Got a social media presence that’s not listed here? Let us know in the comments so that we can hook up with you!

Friday Fun!

Ahoy! Pirate sighting at the Millenium Park bus shelter!  Eve... on Twitpic

Ahoy! Pirate sighting at the Millennium Park bus shelter!
Learn more about the golden age of piracy in the Field Museum’s Real Pirates exhibition.