Archive for October, 2009

50 Years Ago Today (Happy Hallowe’en!)

Posted by Stephanie Fysh in Best of The Commons
Hotchkiss Field, Halloween

Adolph B. Rice Studio
Hotchkiss Field, Halloween, October 31, 1959
Library of Virginia: Rice Collection 2564A

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New to the Commons: London School of Economics Library

Posted by Stephanie Fysh in News

We’re delighted to note the arrival in the Commons of the LSE Library, a.k.a. the British Library of Political & Economic Science, home to the research collection of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The LSE Library kicks things off this week with a lens onto its own over-a-century-long history and with some non-photographic archival treats: British and Soviet political posters.

Welcome to the Commons!

HM Queen Mother at the formal opening of the new library in the Lionel Robbins Building, 10th July 1979

HM Queen Mother at the formal opening of the new library in the Lionel Robbins Building, 10th July 1979

Before Kodachrome

Posted by zyrcster in Across The Commons

The Commons Galleries: Early colour photographic processes in The Commons on Flickr – featuring Lú_’s curation

Applied colour, Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850 … with additional colour provided by the effect of time on metal. Unidentified Woman
George Eastman House
Hand-tinted, ca. 1875 The Carandini ladies, one of Australia's first opera performing families, ca. 1875 / photographer Charles Hewitt (attributed)
State Library of New South Wales

Photochrom prints, also called Aäc, are ink-based images produced though “the direct photographic transfer of an original negative onto litho and chromographic printing plates.” – Library of Congress

[A girl of Voss, Hardanger Fjord, Norway] (LOC)
Library Of Congress
Hand-tinted, 1900 Paris Exposition: Salle des Fetes, Paris, France, 1900
Brooklyn Museum
Autochrome, ca. 1910

Autochrome is an additive color ’screen-plate’ process: the medium contains a glass plate, overlaying random mosaic of microscopic grains of potato starch, with lampblack filling the space between grains, and an impermeable black-and-white, panchromatic silver halide emulsion. – Wikipedia

George Eastman House
Glass Paget plate phototransparency, Frank Hurley, 1915

The system used two glass plates, one of which was the colour screen plate while the other was a standard black-and-white negative plate. The colour screen plate comprised a series of red, green and blue filters, laid down in a regular pattern of lines to form a réseau, or matrix. – Wikipedia

The 'Endurance' under full sail, held up in the Weddell Sea, 1915 / by Frank Hurley
State Library of New South Wales
Tricolor Carbro process, Nickolas Muray, 1931 LADIES HOME JOURNAL
George Eastman House

Geo. Lurich

Posted by Nina in Best of The Commons
Geo. Lurich (LOC)

creator: unknown
Geo. Lurich (LOC), creation date: unknown
The Library of Congress: LC-B2- 2643-14

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Four British Foremothers of Photography

Posted by Penny in Articles

The Flickr Commons project lets us see the 19th-century beginnings of photography represented in a very 21st-century space. And among those early treasures, we have reminders that women were there at the very beginning, some of the first to embrace photography as an art and as a tool. Consider these four founding mothers:

Anna Atkins (1799-1871) is represented in the Commons by her Photographs of British Algae, found as a set in the New York Public Library’s Flickr stream. Atkins studied science as her father’s assistant and made illustrations of shells for his 1823 translation of Lamarck’s book on the subject. She collected botanical samples, and through both her father and her husband came to know William Fox Talbot, inventor of the negative/positive process. By about 1841 she had access to a camera, but she’s best known for her 1843-45 cyanotypes (sunprints) of algae specimens. She collaborated with another woman, Anne Dixon (1799-1864), on other albums of botanical cyanotypes. Fucus nodosus
Fucus nodosus (1843-53), New York Public Library
Mary Dillwyn (1816-1906) was also acquainted with William Fox Talbot through family networks: her older brother John Dillwyn Llewelyn (himself a photographer) married Talbot’s cousin Emma. Mary was using a small camera in the early 1850s, and made a specialty of rather informal portraits for the time. After she married a clergyman in 1857, she gave up photography. Her work is to be found in the LIGC-NLW (National Library of Wales) Flickr stream, including this self-portrait from 1853. Mary Dillwyn M.D. 1853
Mary Dillwyn M.D. 1853 [self-portrait], LIGC-NLW (National Library of Wales)

Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879), who was raised in India, only started taking pictures at age 48, in 1863, when someone gave her a camera as a gift. Through her sister, she knew Tennyson and other writers and artists, and drew from their work in her subjects and poses. Cameron was also forward-thinking enough to get each of her images registered with the copyright office. She continued to make photographs when she moved back to Ceylon in 1875, but it was hard to get the necessary supplies there. The George Eastman House and the National Media Museum Flickr streams both include examples of Cameron’s work.

Ophelia Study No. 2
Ophelia Study No. 2, 1867, George Eastman House
Baby Pictet
Baby “Pictet”, 1863, National Media Museum
Elizabeth Rigby Eastlake (1809-1893) wasn’t herself a photographer. She was an art critic who wrote one of the first and most influential essays about photography as an art form, in 1857, declaring that “[p]hotography is intended to supercede much that art has hitherto done, but only that which it was both a misappropriation and a deterioration of Art to do.” She was married to Sir Charles Eastlake, the first president of the Royal Photographic Society. A Hill and Adamson portrait of Lady Eastlake (an early subject of photography as well as an early supporter) c. 1845 can be found in the Flickr stream of the National Galleries of Scotland. Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, 1809 - 1893. Writer
Hill and Adamson, Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, 1809-1893. Writer, c. 1845, National Galleries of Scotland

Happy Commonsversary to the Nationaal Archief!

Posted by Nina in News

Today we are celebrating the first anniversary of the Nationaal Archief on The Commons at Flickr. The Nationaal Archief, located in The Hague, has the largest public archive in the Netherlands. Almost 1000 years of Dutch history are stored there.

This photograph is from the “Strandleven / Seaside life” set, which is the most popular set of this institution.

The translated title of this particular shot is “Swallow Dive”

From the “Tour de France” set is this photograph of the “famous Tour winner Lucien Petit-Breton”
Tourwinnaar Lucien Petit-Breton
This photograph is from the popular set called, “Tweede Wereldoorlog, 1941” (Second World War, 1941)

The photo shows “Wounded and invalids. German wounded return their empty coffee cups to Red Cross nurses just prior to departure. Location unknown. 1941.“

Lege kopjes voor Rode Kruis-medewerksters
The following photograph is from the set called, “Olympische Spelen 1928” (Olympic Games 1928).

The caption reads, “Sport. Olympic Games 1928 Amsterdam, Netherlands. Fencing. Gentlemen, saber. Two Dutch fencers and their coach.”

Olympische Spelen 1928 Amsterdam
This photograph is from the “Kerst” or “Christmas” set. Its title in English is “Father and child with Christmas Tree”
Vader en kind met kerstboom

Augmented Reality Commons on your iPhone/Android!

Posted by zyrcster in Development, Tools
Click buttons!

Those crafty developers down under at the Powerhouse Museum worked with an Augemented Reality developer to release free applications for the iPhone and Android to display their geotagged images. Seb Chan explains the iPhone application in Augmented reality update – using Powerhouse geocoded photographs on your iPhone 3GS with BuildAR and Layar.

[edited to add:] See also Seb’s article Augmented reality and the Powerhouse images in the Commons (or interesting things clever people do with your data #7215).

For now, it only works if you’re in Australia, but perhaps it will be coming soon if other Commons institutions adopt the technology (hint hint).

Paris Exposition: night view, Paris, France, 1900

Posted by Nina in Best of The Commons
Paris Exposition: night view, Paris, France, 1900

creator: unknown
Paris Exposition: night view, Paris, France, 1900,
creation date: 1900
Brooklyn Museum: (S03_06_01_015 image 2012)

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Recent Uploads to The Commons on Flickr

Posted by zyrcster in Recent Uploads

Your weekly round-up of the latest items from The Commons’ digital archives:

The New York Public Library also dazzles us with color images of the Hudson River Valley; this set coincides with their new exhibition Mapping New York’s Shoreline, 1609-2009.

Pssssst! They are geotagged!

Bay and Narrows of Hudson, Peekskill, N. Y.
Mapping New York’s Shoreline: The Storied River
The National Library of Wales adds more sepia images of 19th-century Swansee. Mumbles
Early Swansea Photography
26 new images from the Smithsonian; rain, shine, or hail – that postman always brings the mail! Photograph of airmail planes at Elko, Nevada
People and the Post
Travel in style with more in-flight photos from the State Library and Archives of Florida. Aircraft fuselage of a New York, Rio & Buenos Aires Line airplane
Florida Flights of Fancy
Travel to France to enjoy the scenery with the Bibliothèque de Toulouse.

Pssssst – they geotag, too!

Porte ogivale, Bruniquel
They also have added to an interesting set on minerals. Faux polis, Eaux-Bonnes, 25 août 1898
Règne minéral
Cathedrals, steamers and runes are posted from the Swedish National Heritage Board. Steamer in the ice, Lysekil, Sweden
Carl Curman – Sweden
The State Library of Queensland, Australia, posts a shot from an unknown photographer of Margaret Lawrie; be sure to click through the photo to read her story. Margaret Elizabeth Lawrie, ca. 1945
Picture of the week
Yay! 53 new newspaper illustrations from the Library of Congress! A man is known by his pets, some people say
Illustrated Newspaper Supplements

New to The Commons: Jewish Women’s Archive

Posted by zyrcster in News

A hearty welcome to the Jewish Women’s Archive! They join the Commons on Flickr with 3 fabulous sets depicting the history of American Jewish women in service, in World War II and in the greater Hartford, Connecticut community.

The most unique thing about the Jewish Women’s Archive is that they are a virtual archive!

The Jewish Women’s Archive is not a physical repository. Instead, we use our website ( to provide access to a wide variety of resources, including many primary sources, which tell the stories of Jewish women in North America.

Now they can also harness the power of the Flickr Commons to provide such access. Hoorah!

Helga Rome's Passport

Helga Rome’s Passport
Jewish Women’s Archive

After Kristallnacht, my grandmother went to Brazil and then we sponsored her to come here. It was difficult at the beginning for me. School was difficult, language was hard. But we graduated at 16. My father had problems with the language. My grandmother was more educated then any of us. She went to boarding school – fluent in English and French.