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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.

Learn more about Bill Bowen’s extraordinary life here.

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October 21, 2016

Around the web: from Dalí’s cookbook to Mongolian wrestling

Victor Hugo, Vianden Seen through a Spider Web

Victor Hugo, Vianden Seen through a Spider Web, 1871. Image and original data provided by Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, N.Y.;

Some stories we’ve been reading this month:

  • O Brazil first showed up on maps in the 14th century. For the next five centuries its size and shape often morphed, its location wandered from Ireland to North America, and its name varied. Which is not so weird considering it never existed.
  • Finally, you can cook conger eel of the rising sun and frog pasties–Salvador Dalí’s surreal cookbook is being reprinted!

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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:

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

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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October 20, 2016

Artstor and JSTOR together again at the Charleston Conference


Good news – Artstor and JSTOR are back together again in Charleston exploring new ways to bring you images and journals, books, and primary sources for education and research. This October 31 to November 5, celebrate with us  at tables 95 and 36—sign up for our raffle and pick up some stylish swag! And don’t forget to join us for our panel:

First-Time Digital Collection Building: How to Manage Time, Resources, and Expectations
November 4, 3:35 PM

This panel brings together a group of librarians who have created their first institutional digital collections within the last year. You will learn about strategies, workflows, resource allocation, and lessons learned–everything you need to know about getting your own project up and running. Attendees will also be invited to give feedback to help the group realize best practices.

Panel members: Dave Chatham, Library Director, Presbyterian College; Maryska Connolly-Brown, Technical Services Librarian, Hampden-Sydney College; David Wiseman, Manager of Library Information Systems, Roanoke College

Moderator: Erin McCall, Senior Implementation Manager, Artstor

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October 17, 2016

Webinar: a conversation with the AP® Art History Chief Reader about student performance

Reliquary of Sainte-Foy, ca. 1000

Reliquary of Sainte-Foy, from Conques, ca. 1000, with gothic additions. Image and original data provided by Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.,

Join Heather Madar, Chief AP® Art History Reader and specialist in the Art History of the Northern Renaissance, and Artstor in a conversation  about best practices in the teaching of AP® Art History.

This year brought us a completely new exam, the first produced in accordance with the revised AP® Art History Curriculum Framework, and Heather will be looking at how students have performed, with a focus on understanding the nature of the exam, its relationship to the curriculum framework, and the scoring methodology used. The session will conclude with audience questions and the opportunity for informal discussion.

This free webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, October 26 at 6 PM EDT. Sign up now!

Advanced Placement® and AP® are trademarks registered and/or owned by the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this website.

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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

The second phase of Avery/GSAPP’s collection of 20,000 architectural plans, sections, and related materials was recently released in the Artstor Digital Library. To celebrate the completion of our two-year collaborative project with Avery Library and GSAPP, 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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