Blog Archives

Artamonoff Collection Shows Istanbul and Western Turkey In Photographs, 1935-1945

This collection is a bit too small to be one I’d normally cover, but when Harvard announced it last week I found the pictures to be compelling, and wanted to make sure you knew about it. The new collection is called the Nicholas V. Artamonoff Collection, and it features 543 photos taken by Artamonoff between 1935 and 1945, at sites (archaelogical sites, and ruins) in Istanbul and western Turkey. The collection is available at http://icfa.doaks.org/collections/artamonoff/items.

The photographs can be browsed in toto, via a map, via a tag cloud, or with a keyword search. I looked at the tag cloud and chose brickwork, for which I got 61 results.

The pictures are presented in a grid with location, thumbnail, and brief description. The individual item pages show larger pictures (but I wish they could be larger, I feel like I missed a lot of detail), date taken, more extensive description, and in many places a Google Map so you can get an idea of what the area looks like now. The announcement of this collection notes that a lot of these sites and monuments have fallen into disrepair or have vanished completely.

In addition to the photographs, there is also a biography of the photographer and a list of sites where the pictures were taken.

I have no idea why these images resonate with me so much. They seem almost haunted, but at the same time they occupy a landscape that is determined to be ordinary (note the imposing exterior of the St. Mary Pammakaristos, before its restoration, with what looks like a string of laundry in the foreground. I’m not much of a critic in these matters but I think it might also be that Artamonoff was a pretty damn good photographer — he was able to take both detailed and long-range pictures without losing any context.

The collection is small enough to browse; if the images themselves were larger this collection would be absolutely incredible. As it is it is well worth a visit if you’re at all interested in history or archaelogy.

Harvard Releases Firearms Research Database

The Harvard School of Public Health has released a new site called The Firearms Research Digest. The site has six years’ (2003-2008) worth of summarized research from social science, medical, criminology, and public health journals. It’s available at http://www.firearmsresearch.org/. The site will eventually be expanded to include research from 1988 to the present.

You can do a simple keyword search for you can search by topics (a few dozen), year of research, or publication (there’s a huge list of publications available.) I did a search for storage and got 47 results, which were divided into sublistings including topics, keyword, and title.

The results include a list of related topics but the article list itself includes a title and expands into a variety of bibliographic information for the article and a short summary of the article itself. Articles get their own summary pages which contain links for printing or e-mailing.

A full list of available research topics is at http://www.firearmsresearch.org/content.cfm/topics and there’s a short list of links at http://www.firearmsresearch.org/content.cfm/links. If you’d like to review some spotlighted research, you can do so at http://www.firearmsresearch.org/content.cfm/spotlight.

Harvard Law School Library Releases Internment Camp Papers Archive

The Harvard Law School Library announced earlier this week the release of the Maurice Ettinghausen collection of Ruhleben civilian internment camp papers, 1914-1937. An overview of the collection is available at http://oasis.lib.harvard.edu/oasis/deliver/deepLink?_collection=oasis&uniqueId=law00029.

The papers were produced when the German government established an internment camp at a horse racetrack outside of Berlin to incarcerate male foreign civilians, with most of the materials dating from 1914 to 1918. Most of those interned were British, though there were other nationalities. You can view the digitized papers by going to http://pds.lib.harvard.edu/pds/view/12382737 — the materials are divided into boxes which are further divided into topical folders. The content of the folders is not usually personal material — instead it’s things like notices, playbills, tobacco cards, newspapers, etc. If you’re interested in hand-lettered signage and general randomness don’t miss the Canteen Committee Announcements, Box 4, Folder 2.

There are also images available with this collection. You can get to them by searching for Ruhleben in Harvard’s VIA system. I did just that and got 371 hits, which included pictures of the theatre productions, camp buildings, groups and societies formed within the Ruhleben camp, and so forth.

Seeing the kind of societal bonds that developed when a bunch of people were thrown into a camp is fascinating. Especially the things like newspapers, camp notices, etc. I could spend a lot of time browsing the printed material. Kudos to Harvard for digitizing this collection, which they have had for over 75 years.

Harvard Launches Beta-Test Site for Digital Scholarship

The Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication has launched its public beta site for its open access repository, DASH (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard). It’s available at http://dash.harvard.edu.

You can search the site by keyword or you can browse by community. There are two communities available at the moment — Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Harvard Law School. Harvard Law School has about 64 items at this writing compared to over 1400 for the Arts and Sciences.

I did a search for politics and got 357 results. The results ranged from a 1991 article, The Politics of the Estranged Poor, to a pre-peer-reviewed article that actually won’t come out until 2010, International Adoption: The Human Rights Position. Search results are default-sorted by relevance but can also be sorted by title, submit date, and issue date.

Click on the title of a search result item for more detail, including abstract, a link to the published version, cite-able link, author information, and citation. Of course there’s a link to the full article as well; all the ones I saw were in PDF format.

I saw an RSS link, but when I looked at it, it seemed only to be a feed for getting information on the latest materials added to DASH. That’s fine now, but could easily get overwhelming as more communities are added to the site. If ever an archive screamed for keyword-based RSS feeds…..

There are something less than 1600 items in the repository now, though I found plenty to browse through with my keyword searching. If you want more, however, be sure to go back to the DASH front page to find links to more collections, like HMScholar and the Open Collections Program.

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