Wellcome Images Releases Over 100,000 Historical Images Online With CC-BY License

Wellcome Images, developed by the Wellcome Library in London, England, has announced the release of over 100,000 images now freely available under Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. Users can download high resolution images to be used for personal or commercial purposes, with an acknowledgement to the Wellcome Library.

While Wellcome Images focuses mainly on images related health, medicine, and biomedical science, the content found in its vast collection spills into numerous other disciplines such as the arts and humanities. More information about the collection and Wellcome Library’s open access policy can be found below.

A woman diving off a bathing wagon in to the sea.

Venus getting ready for Summer Olympics 2016

From the Wellcome Library blog:

The images can be downloaded in high-resolution directly from the Wellcome Images website for users to freely copy, distribute, edit, manipulate, and build upon as you wish, for personal or commercial use. The images range from ancient medical manuscripts to etchings by artists such as Vincent Van Gogh andFrancisco Goya.

The earliest item is an Egyptian prescription on papyrus, and treasures include exquisite medieval illuminated manuscripts and anatomical drawings, from delicate 16th century fugitive sheets, whose hinged paper flaps reveal hidden viscera to Paolo Mascagni’s vibrantly coloured etching of an ‘exploded’ torso.

Other treasures include a beautiful Persian horoscope for the 15th-century prince Iskandar, sharply sketched satires by RowlandsonGillray and Cruikshank, as well as photography from  Eadweard Muybridge’s studies of motion. John Thomson’s remarkable nineteenth century portraits from his travels in China can be downloaded, as well a newly added series of photographs of hysteric and epileptic patients at the famous Salpêtrière Hospital

Simon Chaplin, Head of the Wellcome Library, says “Together the collection amounts to a dizzying visual record of centuries of human culture, and our attempts to understand our bodies, minds and health through art and observation. As a strong supporter of open access, we want to make sure these images can be used and enjoyed by anyone without restriction.”

If you are using Internet Explorer, just clear your browser cache to ensure that you’re directed to the updated site with the high resolution content.

Should you need any more information about the launch of these historical images, please don’t hesitate to contact the Wellcome Images team.

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a Thanksgiving special: images from the Farm Security Administration

While The Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information photograph collection

Detroit (vicinity), Michigan. Girls harvesting medicinal(?) plants

has been part of the Library of Congress’s collection since the 1940’s, only recently the black and white negatives were digitized and made available online.

The Farm Security Administration began as a result of the New Deal as part of the Department of Agriculture. In an effort to document the work of the Department’s programs, photographers traveled throughout the United States and Puerto Rico to observe and capture a changing America. The project initially documented cash loans made to individual farmers by the Resettlement Administration and the construction of planned suburban communities. The second stage focused on the lives of sharecroppers in the South and migratory agricultural workers in the midwestern and western states. As the scope of the project expanded, the photographers turned to recording both rural and urban conditions throughout the United States as well as mobilization efforts for World War II.

Well-researched and trained in documentarian techniques, they were encouraged to photograph everything and anything relevant to their assignment. The byproduct of this effort included jobs for artists and a rich archival record. The photos document everything from farm communities to the development of early suburbs. The collection includes images from photographers such as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and Russell Lee, among others.

This collection consists of a bounty of over 100,000 images. Feast your eyes on this slice of American heritage!

Family harvesting milo maize

Expanded Google Art Project: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying about Finding High Resolution Images

When Google introduced its Art Project last year, it made a big splash amongst art aficionados, educators, artists, curators, and researchers. There were 1,000 images available from 17 different institutions worldwide, enabling views to zoom in to view incredibly close details. However, almost all of these images were those from Western masters, which invited a flurry of critique to the project. Many of these same art aficionados, educators, artists, curators, and researchers offered ideas on how to enhance the project, and Google listened.

Today, the Art Project includes over 30,000 images from 155 institutions worldwide (street view for 46) , with more on the way. All sizes and types of institutions are embraced, including the White House in Washington D.C. to the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi, India.

In addition to adding 29,000 new images to the Art Project, Google has been busy enhancing the tools used to discover and share art. Amit Sood from the Art Project writes:

“Here are a few other new things in the expanded Art Project that you might enjoy:

  • Using completely new tools, called Explore and Discover, you can find artworks by period, artist or type of artwork, displaying works from different museums around the world.
  • Google+ and Hangouts are integrated on the site, enabling you to create even more engaging personal galleries.
  • Street View images are now displayed in finer quality. A specially designed Street View “trolley” took 360-degree images of the interior of selected galleries which were then stitched together, enabling smooth navigation of more than 385 rooms within the museums. You can also explore the gallery interiors directly from within Street View in Google Maps.
  • We now have 46 artworks available with our “gigapixel” photo capturing technology, photographed in extraordinary detail using super high resolution so you can study details of the brushwork and patina that would be impossible to see with the naked eye.
  • An enhanced My Gallery feature lets you select any of the 30,000 artworks—along with your favorite details—to build your own personalized gallery. You can add comments to each painting and share the whole collection with friends and family. (It’s an ideal tool for students.)”

The Art Project works under the auspices of the Google Cultural Institute, which is “building tools that make it simple to tell the stories of our diverse cultural heritage and make them accessible worldwide.” For those of you not so interested in art, the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, Yad Vashem Commemoration of the Holocost, Digitized Dead Sea Scrolls, La France en relief, and Le Pavillion de l’Arsenal projects may interest you.

While the Art Project is without a doubt exciting, some of you may be wondering how this competes with your other favorite high resolution database: ARTstor. The main difference is that while Google’s Art Project may be fancier to look at and the images an even higher resolution, viewers are still not able to download images for in class presentations. If you want to show your students what Van Gogh’s brushstrokes looked like, you’ll have to take a screenshot and add it to a PowerPoint (or whatever presentation software you use). ARTstor, however, is much more educator friendly. With tools to share your image collections that don’t involve social media and presentation tools such as the Offline Image Viewer, you’re still bound to ‘wow’ your students. Additionally, ARTstor boasts over one million images in its database verses the 30,000 in the Art Project. That’s about 34x the amount of images (or something, I didn’t go into math for a reason)!

So, to sum up: Google Art Project is now more amazing. ARTstor is still amazing. Happy viewing!

Tourist photos from pre-Revolutionary Moscow

For all you Russian history aficionados out there, this collection is a fascinating look at Moscow in 1909. Taken by journalist Murray Howe on an exhibition tour of American champion trotting horses, 77 of the 400 photos taken were digitized and made available via Flickr by Howe’s great-grandson, Andrew Howe V.

The Moscow Times writes of the photographs, “His photographs of pedestrians, street venders and aristocrats are rare glimpses of everyday life before the upheavals of World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution — and sparked huge interest in Russia among history buffs and local museums.”

While downloading images from the Flickr site is currently disabled, those interested in using the images can contact Andrew Howe at ahowe@cranewoods.com.

the Memory of the Netherlands

Welcome back, students, faculty, and staff! We hope your fall semester is off to a delightful start.

For those of you with an interest in Netherlandish history, I’m about to make your week even more delightful. The Memory of the Netherlands is a self-described “gigantic digital treasury,” full of information about the Dutch past. Offering hundreds of thousands of digital images, recordings, film footage, and texts, the Memory site organizes this wealth of information into several exhibitions, collections, and themes.

While you’ll still find images of windmills, wooden shoes and tulips are few and far between. Rather, the Memory site provides well thought out exhibitions that explore life in Holland today and themes that range from religion to cartoons.

While the Memory site is largely in English and searchable using English keywords, information about the images and other objects are in Dutch.

Yale’s museums, archives, and libraries announce open access policy

Just as the semester draws to a close and summer is on the horizon, scholars and art

Roomy by the Sea, by Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper, "Rooms by the Sea," 1851. Yale University Art Gallery

aficionados have another reason to celebrate: Yale University has announced an open access policy for its collections. Gone are the days of licensing images from Yale or having restrictions put on their use; interested parties can now use these collections at will. Yale is the first ivy league university to make its collections openly accessible, and already has over 250,000 images available from its museums and galleries. For more information and some great quotes from Yale staff regarding this decision, please read the artdaily article.

Historian’s Eye

The Historian’s Eye, created by Yale University professor Matthew Frye Jacobson, is a collection of over 1,000 digital images and audio archive addressing contemporary issues. Started in 2009 to document the historic moment of President Obama’s inauguration through photographs and interviews, the collection has since evolved to include  images related to the “2008 economic collapse and its fallout, two wars, the raucous politics of healthcare reform, the emergence of a new right-wing formation in opposition to Obama, the politics of immigration, Wall Street reform, street protests of every stripe, the BP oil spill, and the seeming escalation of anti-Muslim sentiment nationwide.” According to the project’s creator, the Historian’s Eye seeks to “trace the fate of “our better history,” as the nation faces unprecedented challenges with a president at the helm who is fully inspirational to some, palpably unnerving to others.  In addition to catching this moment like a firefly in a mason jar, the project seeks to encourage a new relationship to history itself—a mental habit of apprehending the past in the present and history-in-the-making.” In addition to viewing Jacobson’s images on the Historian’s Eye website, users are encouraged to participate in this project by contributing to the Historian’s Eye Flickr group. This is a fantastic collaborative resource for those interested in exploring contemporary issues and documenting history as it happens.

Hypercities

For those of you who attended the 2010 GIS fair last November, you heard UCLA’ Dr. Todd Presner speak about his project, Hypercities, and are probably already familiar with what it has to offer. If not, read on.

As described on the GIS fair keynote abstract, “Hypercities is a collaborative digital mapping platform that explores the layered histories of city spaces. Awarded one of the first “digital media and learning” prizes by the MacArthur Foundation/HASTAC in 2008, HyperCities is an interactive, web-based research and teaching environment for authoring and analyzing the cultural, architectural, and urban history of cities.” Using Google Maps and Google Earth, users can go back in time to explore cities of centuries past, analyze how cities change over time, and interact with the maps through social media. The fundamental idea behind HyperCities is that all stories take place somewhere and sometime; they become meaningful when they interact and intersect with other stories.

More information, as well as some “how-to”s can be found at the Hypercities website. To start using this tool, click on “launch Hypercities” at the top. From there, select a city that  you would like to explore, and then choose a map from the menu bar at the right. Users can add as many layers of maps as they want, select the opacity for each map, export metadata, and view ‘collections,’ which are projects that other people are working on with those same maps.

It can be a bit clunky at first, but once you get the hang of it it’s a lot of fun to play around with.

Vintage Fashion Online

Move over ModCloth, for those interested in vintage fashion, the London College of Fashion’s Woolmark Company Collection has added over 2,000 newly digitized images of vintage fashion to its existing 2,500. These images can be seen via VADS. The description below is from Amy Robinson of VADS:

From catwalk to high street: vintage fashions go online

Nina Ricci, Guy Laroche, and Yves St. Laurent are just some of the top designers making up a veritable who’s who of fashion at the London College of Fashion’s Woolmark Company Collection. These ‘cool’ wool fashions may no longer be on the catwalk but they can be seen online via VADS

This week over 2000 newly digitised images have been launched online which complement these vintage fashions by key couturiers. These newly digitised images include examples from the ready-to-wear market by manufacturers such as British Home Stores, Berkertex, Windsmoor, Susan Small, and Marks & Spencer, as well as including more examples by top designers such as Mary Quant and Christian Dior.

The black and white photographs date from the 1940’s through to the early 1980’s and capture both the fashion of the time and the style of photography.  The press releases, which in some cases are still attached to the photographs, give additional information about the garments, designers, manufacturers, photographers and any points of interest reflecting the promotional style and language of the time.  All of the images were generously donated to the London College of Fashion from The International Wool Secretariat, now The Woolmark Company.

VADS now provides access to over 4,800 images from the Woolmark Company collection, which complements a number of other London College of Fashion collections already available online including its College Archive, Paper Patterns Collection, Cordwainer’s Shoe Collection, and Gala Cosmetics Archive.

For more information about the London College of Fashion’s Woolmark Company collection see http://www.vads.ac.uk/collections/LCFWOOL.html

VADS offers over 120,000 fully cross-searchable images which are free to use and copyright cleared for learning, teaching, and research.

For more information about VADS collections, see http://www.vads.ac.uk/collections or contact VADS at info@vads.ac.uk / 01252 892723

To keep up to date with VADS news, follow their blog.

Images from Gallica Bibliotheque Numerique, Bibliothèque Nationale de France

Gallica Bibliothèque Numerique is the digital initiative of La Bibliothèque nationale de France and contains over 1,00,000 digital objects including books, periodicals, maps, manuscripts, images, sound recordings, and scores. Several search options are available as well as themed exhibitions of digital collections, e.g., Voyages en Italie and Voyages en Afrique. Gallica currently contains over 225,000 images.


Works Progress Administration Posters

By the People, For the PeoplePart of the American Memory Project at the Library of Congress, the By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943 collection consists of 908 boldly colored and graphically diverse original posters produced from 1936 to 1943 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. Of the 2,000 WPA posters known to exist, the Library of Congress’s collection of more than 900 is the largest. These striking silkscreen, lithograph, and woodcut posters were designed to publicize health and safety programs; cultural programs including art exhibitions, theatrical, and musical performances; travel and tourism; educational programs; and community activities in seventeen states and the District of Columbia. The posters were made possible by one of the first U.S. Government programs to support the arts and were added to the Library’s holdings in the 1940s. (Text and images from By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943)

Tuberculosis PreventionPrints for the People One third of a nation

A Digital Collection Celebrating the Founding of the Historically Black College and University

A Digital Collection Celebrating the Founding of the Historically Black College and University is a collection of primary resources from HBCU libraries and archives. It includes several thousand scanned pages and represents HBCU libraries first collaborative effort to make a historic collection digitally available. Collections are contributed from member libraries of the Historically Black College and University Library Alliance.  The collection includes photographs, university correspondence, manuscripts, images of campus buildings, alumni letters, memorabilia, and programs from campus events.  These images present HBCUs as cultural, social, and political institutions from the early 1800’s until today.  See information on copyright and use.  (Text and image from collection website.)

“The Commons” on Flickr

Flickr is home to “The Commons,” a public photo collection that began in 2008 as a collaboration between Flickr and the Library of Congress. It has since expanded to include over 45 institutions, including NASA, the Imperial War Museum, and the New York Public Librar. The Commons is host to thousands of images covering a breadth of subjects, all copyright free.

Users are invited to add tags and descriptions to the photos, making the collection richer and more accessible.


Europeana

Europeana provides access to over six million digital items, including images, texts, sounds, and videos. It is funded by the European Commission and its member states, and includes content from museum, galleries, libraries, archives, and audio-visual collections.

The extensive list of organizations that Europeana pulls its content from includes notable institutions such as the Rijksmuseum, the British Library, and the Louvre.

Currently the online collection is in its beta version, but version 1.0 will be launch later in 2010 and will include links to over ten million digital items.


Wellcome Images: 2000 Years of Human Culture

Wellcome ImagesWellcome Images is a rich and unique collection of digital images drawn from the biomedial and social history collections of the Library of the Wellcome Trust in London, England.  In addition to over 40,000 images from clinical and biomedical sciences, the collection also contains historical images, Tibetan Buddhist paintings, Ancient Sanskrit manuscripts, and illustrated Persian books. Images on this site are freely available for download for personal, academic teaching or study use, under one of two Creative Commons licenses.

A fly on sugar crystals

Colon cancer cells