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Blog Category: Public collections

April 22, 2014

Patent medicines and advertising cards from the Oskar Diethelm Library

This post has been updated to include new information about Artstor’s public collections, formerly made available on Shared Shelf Commons.
Carter Medicine Company | Carter's Little Nerve Pills | 19th century | Cornell: Oskar Diethelm Library for the History of Psychiatry

Carter Medicine Company | Carter’s Little Nerve Pills | 19th century | Cornell: Oskar Diethelm Library for the History of Psychiatry

At the beginning of the nineteenth century the prevailing medical belief that “the more dangerous the disease, the more painful the remedy” meant that bloodletting, purging, and blistering were often prescribed. Not surprisingly, this led to the development of a market in patent medicines promising painless cure-alls. Manufacturers used advertising cards to promote a world of pleasant medical fixes with friendly graphics and reassuring claims and testimonials. The ingredients in these patent medicines might have been as harmful as the illness, but they were more tempting than the agonizing solutions offered by doctors.

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December 18, 2013

Colby College’s Winter Wonderland

This post has been updated to include new information about Artstor’s public collections, formerly made available in Shared Shelf Commons.
1952 Winter Carnival | Colbiana Photographs |  Colby College Special Collections, Waterville, Maine

1952 Winter Carnival | Colbiana Photographs | Colby College Special Collections, Waterville, Maine

Virginia Duggan, Winter Carnival Queen | Colbiana Photographs | Colby College Special Collections, Waterville, Maine

Virginia Duggan, Winter Carnival Queen | Colbiana Photographs | Colby College Special Collections, Waterville, Maine

Maine is famous for its winters, and understandably so – snow accumulation can reach up to 10 feet in parts of the state. This offers an irresistible opportunity for play, as you can see in these vintage photographs from the ’40s and ’50s.

The images come from the Colbiana Collection at Maine’s Colby College. The archive is composed of Colby’s historical records from 1813 to the present, and many of its photographs are openly available in Artstor’s public collections. Among the treasures to be found are the college’s first campus in downtown Waterville, the construction of the current campus on Mayflower Hill, as well as images of faculty and students making merry in the snow.

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January 23, 2013

President Barack Obama Visual Iconography

ObamaSiteScreenshotIn 2008, as part of its extensive collection of political Americana, the Cornell University Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections began building a collection of publicity and memorabilia documenting Obama’s campaign and election. Fittingly released at the beginning of Barack Obama’s second term in office, the Library has begun making these historic materials from the president’s first inauguration available free to everyone on in Artstor’s public collections.

The materials provide a unique visual iconography of the election of America’s first black president, offering a teaching and research resource for understanding modern campaign strategies, political mobilization, and the representation of American politics through various media markets.

Artstor’s public collections are openly available and fully searchable to anyone–with or without an Artstor subscription. They are shared by institutions that subscribe to JSTOR Forum, Artstor’s web-based service for cataloging and managing digital collections.

This post has been updated to include new information about Artstor’s public collections, formerly made available on Shared Shelf Commons.

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