Posts tagged with ‘archives’

1:00 P.M.

“Let’s see what’s in the paper today.” He reaches across the table for Tadeo Martínez’s newspaper. “Is there a story we could go out and cover?” he asks. He studies the front page and shakes his head in disapproval. “Incredible,” he says. “This is a local paper and not one story about Cartagena on the front page. Tell your boss, Tadeo, that a local paper should have local front-page news.

“Nothing here,” he mumbles as he turns the pages. “Let’s see, something here. Stove for sale, unused, unassembled stove. Must sell. Call Gloria Bedoya, 660-1127, extension 113. This could be a story. Should we call? I bet there’s something here. Why is this woman selling a stove, why is the stove unassembled? What do we know from this about this woman? Could be interesting.” He pauses, waiting for us to get excited. But no one seems to be interested in finding out why a woman is selling an unassembled stove, especially when we can keep listening to him.

Gabo sees stories everywhere. During the next three days he says “eso es un reportaje” (that’s a story) constantly. I realize that Gabo is full of nostalgia. He misses being a reporter. “Journalism is not a job, it’s a gland, “ he says.

Silvana Paternostro in her 1996 piece for The Paris Review on taking a journalism workshop with Gabriel García Márquez. 

I Am An American
Late last summer The Atlantic put together a nice round-up of free online image collections.
These range from the well known, such as Flickr Commons, to the less well known, such as the Washington State Coastal Atlas.
In between, for your browsing and remixing pleasure, check out Rijks Studio from the Netherlands’ state museum, and the Open Content Program from the J. Paul Getty Trust which launched just this year.
Read through for other collections at The Atlantic.
Image: A Japanese-American hangs a sign on his grocery store December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Via the Calisphere open image collection.

I Am An American

Late last summer The Atlantic put together a nice round-up of free online image collections.

These range from the well known, such as Flickr Commons, to the less well known, such as the Washington State Coastal Atlas.

In between, for your browsing and remixing pleasure, check out Rijks Studio from the Netherlands’ state museum, and the Open Content Program from the J. Paul Getty Trust which launched just this year.

Read through for other collections at The Atlantic.

Image: A Japanese-American hangs a sign on his grocery store December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Via the Calisphere open image collection.

What's it like to witness an execution? →

Sound Portraits, which was established in 1994 by the brilliant radio producer David Isay, was the predecessor to StoryCorps. The mission was to produce radio documentaries (broadcast on NPR’s All Things Conisdered and Weekend Edition) profiling men and women “surviving in the margins”:

Told with care and dignity, the work depicts the lives of Americans living in communities often neglected or misunderstood. Sound Portraits frequently collaborates with people living in these hard-to-access corners of America, giving them tape recorders and microphones and helping them tell their own stories.

Witness to an Execution, which won a Peabody in 2000, includes interviews with men and women involved in the execution of death-row inmates at the Walls Unit in Huntsville, Texas. These are people who have observed or administered executions countless times. (One-third of all executions in the US have taken place in Texas since the death penalty was reinstated in 1977). The piece was narrated by Warden Jim Willett, who oversaw all Texas executions.

Read more about the documentary here, and click on the MP3 on the right of the page (yes, it’s an old website) to have a listen. Incredibly powerful.

Welcome to the Morgue

A few floors under Times Square is the “Morgue,” a New York Times archive repository of clippings and photographs dating back to the 1870s.

The archive holds 6-8 million physical photos, according to Jeff Roth, the morgue’s manager, about 98% of which have never been digitized.

"It’s an incredible collection of forgotten history," says the documentary filmmaker Katerina Cizek in the video above. Cizek spent a week in the morgue to gather materials for HIGHRISE, an interactive series created by The New York Times’s Op-Docs department and the National Film Board of Canada that explores the history of vertical living.

Haven’t seen it? We recommend you start exploring it now. Want more information about the multi-year series? Visit the NFB.

Predicting the Future via New York Times Archives →

Well, not just the Times, scientists are also digging through Wikipedia among many other sites.

Via GigaOm:

Researchers at Microsoft and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology are creating software that analyzes 22 years of New York Times archives, Wikipedia and about 90 other web resources to predict future disease outbreaks, riots and deaths — and hopefully prevent them.

The new research is the latest in a number of similar initiatives that seek to mine web data to predict all kinds of events. Recorded Future, for instance, analyzes news, blogs and social media to “help identify predictive signals” for a variety of industries, including financial services and defense. Researchers are also using Twitter and Google to track flu outbreaks.

Technology Review outlines how it can work.

The system provides striking results when tested on historical data. For example, reports of droughts in Angola in 2006 triggered a warning about possible cholera outbreaks in the country, because previous events had taught the system that cholera outbreaks were more likely in years following droughts. A second warning about cholera in Angola was triggered by news reports of large storms in Africa in early 2007; less than a week later, reports appeared that cholera had become established. In similar tests involving forecasts of disease, violence, and a significant numbers of deaths, the system’s warnings were correct between 70 to 90 percent of the time.

See Kira Radinsky and Eric Horvitz, Mining the Web to Predict Future Events (PDF).

laughingsquid:

The Endangered Languages Project, An Online Initiative to Save Languages Facing Exctinction

FJP — Via the Google Blog:

The Endangered Languages Project, backed by a new coalition, the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity, gives those interested in preserving languages a place to store and access research, share advice and build collaborations. People can share their knowledge and research directly through the site and help keep the content up-to-date. A diverse group of collaborators have already begun to contribute content ranging from 18th-century manuscripts to modern teaching tools like video and audio language samples and knowledge-sharing articles. Members of the Advisory Committee have also provided guidance, helping shape the site and ensure that it addresses the interests and needs of language communities.

Google has played a role in the development and launch of this project, but the long-term goal is for true experts in the field of language preservation to take the lead. As such, in a few months we’ll officially be handing over the reins to the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC) and The Institute for Language Information and Technology (The LINGUIST List) at Eastern Michigan University. FPCC will take on the role of Advisory Committee Chair, leading outreach and strategy for the project. The LINGUIST List will become the Technical Lead. Both organizations will work in coordination with the Advisory Committee.

Oh, God! We may NEVER KNOW!
Via the New Yorker.

Oh, God! We may NEVER KNOW!

Via the New Yorker.

Going archival — treasure hunting in the Times’ “Lively Morgue”
Imagine this: 4 (maybe 5) million pictures hiding in 4,000 cabinet drawers, more or less maintained by one man, all in a basement with no windows. Such is the world (better word: wonderland) that exists underneath The New York Times lobby on 42nd Street. 
NPR’s Claire O’Neill recently visited the Times’ morgue — as employees call it — and Jeff Roth, its last custodian. She recounts her visit to the underground, fluorescent world at the picture blog.
O’Neil writes:

Though most of us associate a morgue with death, Roth describes this one as a “living, breathing” thing and celebrates the serendipity it fosters.

Case in point: I asked him to pull a random selection, and there we were, thumbing through disheveled prints of William Faulkner, taken by none other than the celebrated Henri Cartier-Bresson. 

Roth, being the last of the full staff he once worked with, inevitably knows things about the Times’ vast photo collection that no one else does, but is remarkably cool about his position. As he told O’Niell,

It’s not rocket science.

But one day, inevitably, there’ll be no more experts left to follow down into the depths. Then what? Well, there’s the Tumblr — The Lively Morgue, which posts a picture everyday, sometimes skipping a few. Happy spelunking!

Going archival — treasure hunting in the Times’ “Lively Morgue”

Imagine this: 4 (maybe 5) million pictures hiding in 4,000 cabinet drawers, more or less maintained by one man, all in a basement with no windows. Such is the world (better word: wonderland) that exists underneath The New York Times lobby on 42nd Street. 

NPR’s Claire O’Neill recently visited the Times’ morgue — as employees call it — and Jeff Roth, its last custodian. She recounts her visit to the underground, fluorescent world at the picture blog.

O’Neil writes:

Though most of us associate a morgue with death, Roth describes this one as a “living, breathing” thing and celebrates the serendipity it fosters.

A photograph of William Faulkner by Henri Cartier-Bresson at The New York Times morgue

Case in point: I asked him to pull a random selection, and there we were, thumbing through disheveled prints of William Faulkner, taken by none other than the celebrated Henri Cartier-Bresson. 

Roth, being the last of the full staff he once worked with, inevitably knows things about the Times’ vast photo collection that no one else does, but is remarkably cool about his position. As he told O’Niell,

It’s not rocket science.

But one day, inevitably, there’ll be no more experts left to follow down into the depths. Then what? Well, there’s the Tumblr — The Lively Morgue, which posts a picture everyday, sometimes skipping a few. Happy spelunking!

The Museum of Endangered Sounds
On the other side of the Internet Brendan Chilcutt is gathering sounds from a not so distant past. Think the spinning of a blank cassette tape, the processing of a floppy disc, the 8-bit voice of a Speak and Spell, all presented as animated gifs.
Via Chilcutt:

I launched the site in January of 2012 as a way to preserve the sounds made famous by my favorite old technologies and electronics equipment. For instance, the textured rattle and hum of a VHS tape being sucked into the womb of a 1983 JVC HR-7100 VCR. As you probably know, it’s a wonderfully complex sound, subtle yet unfiltered. But… imagine a world where we never again hear the symphonic startup of a Windows 95 machine. Imagine generations of children unacquainted with the chattering of angels lodged deep within the recesses of an old cathode ray tube TV. And when the entire world has adopted devices with sleek, silent touch interfaces, where will we turn for the sound of fingers striking QWERTY keypads? Tell me that. And tell me: Who will play my GameBoy when I’m gone?

Imagine!
We love ourselves the collector’s passion, and that someone, somewhere, has taken it upon himself to organize the buck, ping and hum of the electronics we grew up on.
The Museum of Endangered Sounds.

The Museum of Endangered Sounds

On the other side of the Internet Brendan Chilcutt is gathering sounds from a not so distant past. Think the spinning of a blank cassette tape, the processing of a floppy disc, the 8-bit voice of a Speak and Spell, all presented as animated gifs.

Via Chilcutt:

I launched the site in January of 2012 as a way to preserve the sounds made famous by my favorite old technologies and electronics equipment. For instance, the textured rattle and hum of a VHS tape being sucked into the womb of a 1983 JVC HR-7100 VCR. As you probably know, it’s a wonderfully complex sound, subtle yet unfiltered. But… imagine a world where we never again hear the symphonic startup of a Windows 95 machine. Imagine generations of children unacquainted with the chattering of angels lodged deep within the recesses of an old cathode ray tube TV. And when the entire world has adopted devices with sleek, silent touch interfaces, where will we turn for the sound of fingers striking QWERTY keypads? Tell me that. And tell me: Who will play my GameBoy when I’m gone?

Imagine!

We love ourselves the collector’s passion, and that someone, somewhere, has taken it upon himself to organize the buck, ping and hum of the electronics we grew up on.

The Museum of Endangered Sounds.

Emory Acquires Massive African American Photo Collection

Via Emory:

A rare collection of more than 10,000 photographs depicting African American life from the late 19th and early 20th centuries has been acquired by Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library (MARBL) from photo collector Robert Langmuir of Philadelphia.

The images range from the 1840s – the beginning of photography – to the 1970s, with most of the photos falling in the post-Civil War to pre-World War II era. They include nearly every format, from daguerreotypes to snapshots, and cover a wide range of subject matter. A number of the photos were taken by African American photographers, a topic in itself.

"This collection sparkles with intelligent insights into the lives and cultures of the African American experience over many decades," says Emory University Provost Earl Lewis, also a professor of history and African American studies. "Its breadth is incredible, its depth is considerable, and its sheer beauty is breathtaking."

"Scholars from many disciplines will find this collection to be a treasure trove for peering behind the veil and seeing the inner worlds of life in America," says Lewis. "I am proud that we can add this collection to our library."

Images: “Young boys with cotton bales”, 1895 (top left). Overseer and sharecroppers, Knoxville, 1910 (top right). Leadbelly with prison officials, Texas, 1915 (bottom).

Select images to enlarge.

Things You Can Do That You Never Used To
Via Archive.org:

For over a decade, CNN (Cable News Network) has been providing transcripts of shows, events and newscasts from its broadcasts. The archive has been maintained and the text transcripts have been dependably available at transcripts.cnn.com. This is a just-in-case grab of the years of transcripts for later study and historical research.

So if you can’t get enough of whatever it is they’re trying to do in the Situation Room, a one gig tarball of text is waiting for your download.
H/T: Flowing Data

Things You Can Do That You Never Used To

Via Archive.org:

For over a decade, CNN (Cable News Network) has been providing transcripts of shows, events and newscasts from its broadcasts. The archive has been maintained and the text transcripts have been dependably available at transcripts.cnn.com. This is a just-in-case grab of the years of transcripts for later study and historical research.

So if you can’t get enough of whatever it is they’re trying to do in the Situation Room, a one gig tarball of text is waiting for your download.

H/T: Flowing Data

(Google) Art Project!

Google’s Art Project is a growing, interactive collection of some 30,000 images taken from participating museums  around the world.

Launched in April 2011, the site now includes a social layer built with Google+. For example, visitors can create their own galleries and then use Hangouts to talk about and share the works with others.

Images are hi-res with a few works captured with “gigapixel” technology allowing viewers to zoom in on the art’s finer details.

Participating institutions range from New York’s Museum of Modern Art to Lima’s Museo de Arte de Lima to Delhi’s National Museum with 40 other countries in between.

Images: Pages from a Qur’an in Hijazi. Unknown, Arabia, late 7th Century. Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar.

Zero Dólar. Cildo Meireles, Brazil, 1978 - 1984. Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo.

Cyclists. Jiri Naceradsky, Czech Republic, 1971. Museum Kampa.

H/T: Memeburn.

Nelson Mandela Digital Archives Now Online
Via Memeburn:

Google and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory (NMCM) have created a new Nelson Mandela Digital Archive on the web that is freely accessible to the world.
Google donated about US$1.25-million to the Johannesburg-based Centre in 2011 to help preserve and digitise thousands of archival documents, photographs and videos about Mandela.
Along with historians, educationalists, researchers and activists, users from around the world now have access to extensive information about the life and legacy of this extraordinary African statesman.
The new online multimedia archive includes Mandela’s correspondence with family, comrades and friends, diaries written during his 27 years of imprisonment, and notes he made while leading the negotiations that ended apartheid in South Africa.
The archive will also include the earliest-known photograph of Mandela, rare images of his cell on Robben Island in the 1970s, and never-seen drafts of Mandela’s manuscripts for the sequel to his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom.”

Nelson Mandela Digital Archive.
Image: Warrants of Commital (document #1 front), 11/7/1962.
This item consists of 1 Warrant of Committal issued to Nelson Mandela by the Magistrate’s Court of South Africa. The warrant contains Nelson Mandela’s fingerprints. Via the Nelson Mandela Digital Archive.

Nelson Mandela Digital Archives Now Online

Via Memeburn:

Google and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory (NMCM) have created a new Nelson Mandela Digital Archive on the web that is freely accessible to the world.

Google donated about US$1.25-million to the Johannesburg-based Centre in 2011 to help preserve and digitise thousands of archival documents, photographs and videos about Mandela.

Along with historians, educationalists, researchers and activists, users from around the world now have access to extensive information about the life and legacy of this extraordinary African statesman.

The new online multimedia archive includes Mandela’s correspondence with family, comrades and friends, diaries written during his 27 years of imprisonment, and notes he made while leading the negotiations that ended apartheid in South Africa.

The archive will also include the earliest-known photograph of Mandela, rare images of his cell on Robben Island in the 1970s, and never-seen drafts of Mandela’s manuscripts for the sequel to his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom.”

Nelson Mandela Digital Archive.

Image: Warrants of Commital (document #1 front), 11/7/1962.

This item consists of 1 Warrant of Committal issued to Nelson Mandela by the Magistrate’s Court of South Africa. The warrant contains Nelson Mandela’s fingerprints. Via the Nelson Mandela Digital Archive.

Index on Censorship Opens Archives →

For forty years England’s Index on Censorship has published journalists, authors, artists and activists from around the world about threats to freedom of expression.

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Index is opening up its archives to provide free access to articles and essays written over the years by the likes of Aung San Suu Kyi , Nadine Gordimer, Kurt Vonnegut, Ai Weiwei, Salman Rushdie, Vaclav Havel and a host of eminent others.

Editors’ picks and access to the complete archive is here.

Free access to the Index archive is available for the next 40 days.