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November 11, 2016

Seeing is believing: early war photography

Roger Fenton, Hardships in the Camp, 1855. Image courtesy of George Eastman House www.eastmanhouse.org

Roger Fenton, Hardships in the Camp, 1855. Image courtesy of George Eastman House www.eastmanhouse.org

When it comes to modern warfare, we’ve seen so much through photographs: mass graves, explosions, the faces of soldiers the instant they’re shot. And we’ve also seen the aftermath of war–devastated landscapes, soldiers carrying their dead, and returning home to their families. We’ve become accustomed to a depth of visual coverage that has brought deep familiarity with the realities of war from start to finish, a stark contrast to the experience of civilian audiences prior to the advent of photography.

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November 10, 2016

Dada: 100 years of absurdity and radical politics

Our friends at JSTOR Daily remind us that this year marks the centennial of the cacophonous beginnings of the Dada movement in Zurich’s Cabaret Voltaire.

An anarchic response to the ravages of World War I, the movement is notoriously difficult to pin down. Matthew Wills writes, “Dada combined absurdity and nonsense, radical politics and anti-politics, outrage and outrageousness in the mediums of spoken (more often shouted) word, theatre, collage, photomontage, cut-ups, assemblages, and readymades…”

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November 10, 2016

On the origin of Veterans Day

Armistice Day became Veterans Day in the United States in 1954. While the holiday is also known as Remembrance Day in other countries and celebrates the end of World War I, the name change in the United States reflects its emphasis on honoring military veterans.
The two objectives were mentioned in a speech on the first Armistice Day, November 11, 1919, by President Woodrow Wilson:

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October 21, 2016

The lighter side of presidential campaigns

Donkey-Elephant Display Base, ca. 1956

Donkey-Elephant Display Base, ca. 1956. Cornell University Library, Rare & Manuscript Collections, Susan H. Douglas Political Americana Collection

Take a deep breath, the presidential debates are finally over. But brace yourselves, we still have a couple of weeks of campaigning left until the actual elections. Why the negative tone? Well, the Washington Post reported that “59 percent of Americans are sick and tired of the election”–and that was way back in July! And we’re not just sick and tired, we’re also stressed: in a more recent poll by the American Psychological Association, 52 percent of American adults said the upcoming election is a significant source of stress.

Can we interest you in a tour of more innocent days from Cornell University’s Political Americana Collection in Artstor’s public collections? Days in which campaigns featured such lighthearted items as songs like “Grant is the Man,” promoting Ulysses S. Grant, or “Let’s O-K, I-K-E,” about Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower.

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October 21, 2016

ITHAKA Founder and Trustee William G. Bowen Dies

William G. Bowen, October 6, 1933 – October 20, 2016

The world has lost a uniquely gifted leader and friend. Bill Bowen passed away peacefully at 83 on October 20, 2016. He dedicated his entire professional life to the world of education, and was founding chairman of JSTOR and ITHAKA and founding trustee of Artstor. We extend our heartfelt sympathies and deepest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.

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October 20, 2016

But it looks so real! The parallel rise of photography and Spiritualism

Hablot Knight Browne, The London Stereoscopic Company; The Ghost in the stereoscope; 1856 - 1859. Image and original data provided by Rijksmuseum: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl

Hablot Knight Browne, The London Stereoscopic Company. The Ghost in the stereoscope, 1856 – 1859. Image and original data provided by Rijksmuseum: www.rijksmuseum.nl

In 1862, amateur photographer William H. Mumler of Boston took a self-portrait in his studio, unaware of a ghostly apparition lurking directly behind him. It wasn’t until he viewed the resulting image of a pellucid arm draped casually across his shoulder that he realized the camera must have exposed the lingering spirit of his deceased cousin. With this eerie, novel image, Mumler, a jewelry engraver by trade, became the first of many photographers to claim having photographed a spirit. Photographs like Mumler’s provided timely evidence that spirits of the deceased freely interacted with the world of the living–a discovery he would milk for profit within the framework of the Spiritualist movement.

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September 28, 2016

On this day: Michaelmas

The Christian festival of Michaelmas, also known as the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, is celebrated in many parts of the world on September 29.

Michaelmas celebrates the story of Saint Michael defeating Satan, which is often depicted in the motif of Saint George and the Dragon, Saint George being the Archangel Michael’s earthly counterpart. The earliest depictions of this story go all the way back to the 10th century. The images of Saint George fighting the dragon in the Artstor Digital Library span centuries.

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September 26, 2016

Cross-cultural cross-sections: Student curators shed light on architectural collections

Charlotte Perriand, La Maison du jeune homme, Brussels, Belgium, 1935

Charlotte Perriand, La Maison du jeune homme, Brussels, Belgium, 1935, © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris, Data source: Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University and Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University

An interview with the graduate student curators of Avery/GSAPP Architectural Plans and Sections
To celebrate the completion of our two-year collaborative project with Avery Library and GSAPP on releasing a collection of 20,000 architectural plans, sections, and related materials in Artstor, Lisa Gavell, Artstor’s Senior Manager of Metadata & Content, spoke with five of the graduate student co-curators who contributed to the project: Sabrina Barker, Serena Li, Ernest Pang, involved from the beginning of the project, as well as Sharon Leung and Ayesha S. Ghosh. Working with Avery staff, they pored over a vast array of Avery’s holdings in order to compile a selection that reflects the most important modernist architectural works of the 20th and 21st centuries. The result is a resource of essential documentation of modern architecture, shared online for the first time.

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September 26, 2016

Case study: Diving underwater with JSTOR Forum

Editor’s note: this post has been updated to reflect Artstor’s platform changes.

We invited Stanton Belford, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at Martin Methodist College, to tell us about his three Marine Biology collections in JSTOR Forum (formerly Shared Shelf): Red Sea, Trinidad, and Key Largo.

Bearded fireworm

Bearded fireworm (Hermodice carunculata). From the Martin Methodist College Marine Biology Collection: Trinidad

Before describing the marine biology digital collections, I would like to mention I first became interested in marine science thanks to my high school teacher, who allowed us to experience informal science education with the reefs as our classroom. Here I saw a kaleidoscope of colors bursting through the ocean’s blue: corals, fishes, invertebrates, all hidden underwater, just waiting for my eager eyes to discover them.

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August 29, 2016

Back to school with Artstor

Start off the school year with more than 2 million images! Here are some links to help you get started:

American | Student Activities; students standing with bicycle | Colby College Special Collections

Students standing with bicycle. Colby College Special Collections

Register for a free Artstor account – you’ll be able to download images, log in away from campus, share image groups, and more!

* Learn how easy it is to download citations! Export to your favorite reference citation management program, or save them as a text file.

* Find out how to share images and image groups! You can use them as flashcards on your mobile phone!

* Take a look at our new LibGuides at artstor.libguides.com – they have everything librarians, instructors, and students need to know to get started or become experts!

In a hurry? Download our Quick Start Guide! Having troubles? Browse through our troubleshooting articles.

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