plep Archive

12th April
Town Creek Indian Mound. 'For more than one thousand years, Indians lived an agricultural life on the lands that became known as North Carolina. Around A.D. 1200, a new cultural tradition arrived in the Pee Dee River Valley. That new culture, called "Pee Dee" by archaeologists, was part of a widespread tradition known as "South Appalachian Mississippian." Throughout Georgia, South Carolina, eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, and the southern North Carolina Piedmont, the new culture gave rise to complex societies. These inhabitants built earthen mounds for their spiritual and political leaders, engaged in widespread trade, supported craft specialists, and celebrated a new kind of religion ... '

Wounded Knee.
Sitting Bull: In Memory. 'Mrs. Fanny Kelly was taken captive in July 1864 by a war party of Hunkpapa Sioux in Wyoming. During most of the five months she was held prisoner, Mrs. Kelly stayed in the lodgings of Sitting Bull, the famous leader "as a guest," of his family, "and I was treated as a guest," she wrote.'
' "He was uniformly gentle, and kind to his wife and children and courteous and considerate in his [interactions] with others. During my stay with them food was scarce more than once, and both Sitting Bull and his wife often suffered with hunger to supply me with food. They both have a very warm place in my heart." This surprising warm friendship with a woman who had every reason to hate and fear him, characterized Sitting Bull's interactions with whites ... '

National Art Gallery of Malaysia.

Tokyo National Museum.

Zen Buddhism. The art of zen.
'The essential element of Zen Buddhism is found in its name, for Zen means "meditation." Zen teaches that enlightenment is achieved through the profound realization that one is already an enlightened being. This awakening can happen gradually or in a flash of insight (as emphasized by the Soto and Rinzai schools, respectively). But in either case, it is the result of one's own efforts. Deities and scriptures can offer only limited assistance.'

Afro-Portuguese Ivories. 'Ivories from the west coast of Africa were for the most part the first African artifacts brought back to Europe through trade. The discovery of vast quantities of West African ivory, called "white gold" in Europe, transformed the nature of African-Portuguese trading in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. As Portuguese wealth increased at this time, so did taste for these luxury goods. Ivory's enormous commercial value led African leaders to carefully control its distribution and use ... '

Mapungubwe. 'The discovery of gold in stone ruins north of the Limpopo River in the 1890s attracted prospectors and treasure hunters to the Limpopo River valley. In 1932, the ruins of Mapungubwe were uncovered. Subsequent excavations revealed a court sheltered in a natural amphitheater at the bottom of the hill, and an elite graveyard at the topwith a spectacular view of the region. Twenty-three graves have been excavated from this hilltop site. The bodies in three of these graves were buried in the upright seated position associated with royalty, with a variety of gold and copper items, exotic glass beads, and other prestigious objects. These finds provide evidence not only of the early smithing of gold in southern Africa but of the extensive wealth and social differentiation of the people of Mapungubwe. Most spectacular among these finds is a gold foil rhinoceros molded over what was likely a soft core of sculpted wood ... '

Space Shuttle Archive. Remembering the Columbia disaster.

Lighting the Way. 'On this Web site, we hope to use the Internet to gather -- as well as present -- history. With your help, we want to explore changes in the science and technology of electric lighting over the past 30 years, especially the effects of energy issues on lighting. '
'Although the subject might seem a bit technical, anyone who has worked in an office, driven a car at night, or even changed a light bulb can help us shed a little light on this corner of history. We are seeking information from as broad a range of people as possible -- inventors, researchers, manufacturers, electricians, architects, city planners, lighting designers, retailers, consumers, and many others.'

History of the GARP Atlantic Tropical Experiment, 1974.

Statue of an Emperor: A Conservation Partnership. 'This exhibition features the conservation of a statue of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, who ruled the Roman Empire from A.D. 161 to 180. The statue belongs to the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, and the conservation was a collaboration between the Pergamon and the Getty Museum. Composed of approximately 40 fragments of four different types of marble, some original, others carved during different restoration campaigns of the 18th and 19th centuries, the statue was in danger of collapsing because the joints between the fragments had loosened over time ... '
Related article.

Maenad and Satyr Dancing.

Statue of Hercules (Lansdowne Herakles).

Mexican Fine Arts Centre Museum, Chicago.

The Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers at the Library of Congress. 'The online version of the Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers at the Library of Congress will comprise a selection of approximately 4700 items (totaling about 38,000 images). This second release contains about 4650 items consisting of correspondence, scientific notebooks, journals, blueprints, articles, and photographs documenting Bell's invention of the telephone and his involvement in the first telephone company, his family life, his interest in the education of the deaf, and his aeronautical and other scientific research. Dates span from 1862 to 1939, but the bulk of the materials are from 1865 to 1920. Included among Bell's papers are pages from his experimental notebook from March 10, 1876, describing the first successful experiment with the telephone, during which he spoke through the instrument to his assistant the famous words, "Mr. Watson--Come here--I want to see you." Bell's various roles in life as teacher, inventor, celebrity, and family man are covered extensively in his papers. The digitization of this selection of the Bell Family Papers is made possible through the generous support of the AT&T Foundation.'

The American Experience | The Telephone.

Children's Authors & Illustrators on the Web.

The Norman Rockwell Museum.

The Illustration Cupboard.

Maurice Sendak. 'Maurice Sendak has been called "the Picasso of children's books." But he is much more than that. There has not been another author/artist working during the past fifty years who comes close to his combined genius in both line and word. Only Beatrix Potter in this century might be thought of as comparable.'
Via the R. Michelson Galleries.

Dr. Seuss. His secret art, illustration art, and biography.

The Blackout History Project. The New York blackouts of 1965 and 1977.

The new Rain Queen of the Bolobedu people in South Africa, Modjadji Vi, has been crowned. The ceremony was accompanied by light drizzle. This is a good omen. The Rain Queen was the inspiration for H. Rider Haggard's 'She Who Must Be Obeyed'. Here's a profile of the previous Rain Queen. More on the role of the Rain Queen. (Thanks to madamjujujive for the last two links).

Thomas Hardy's Ale. With thanks to Iconomy.

We Love the Iraqi Information Minister. "In an age of spin, al-Sahaf offers feeling and authenticity. His message is consistent -- unshakeable, in fact, no matter the evidence -- but he commands daily attention by his on-the-spot, invective-rich variations on the theme. His lunatic counterfactual art is more appealing than the banal awfulness of the Reliable Sources. He is a Method actor in a production that will close in a couple of days. He stands superior to truth." -- Jean-Pierre McGarrigle.

11th April
First Nations Histories. Compact histories of Native American tribes.

Narrangansett Indian Tribe of Rhode Island. Includes a history :-
'The Narragansett Indians are the descendants of the aboriginal people of the State of Rhode Island. Archaeological evidence and the oral history of the Narragansett People establish their existence in this region more than 30,000 years ago. This history transcends all written documentaries and is present upon the faces of rock formations and through oral history. The first documented contact with the Indians of Rhode Island took place in 1524 when Giovanni de Verrazano visited Narragansett Bay and described a large Indian population, living by agriculture and hunting, and organized under powerful "kings" ... '

The Hedda Morrison Photographs of China 1933-1946. 'Hedda Morrison studied photography in her native Germany, and from 1933 to 1938 managed Hartung's Photo Shop in Beijing. From 1938 until she and her husband left China in 1946, Morrison worked as a freelance photographer, selling individual prints or thematic albums of her work and creating photographs for other people's books on China. Her photographs document lifestyles, trades, handicrafts, landscapes, religious practices, and architectural structures that in many cases have changed or have been destroyed ... '

A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilisation.

The Giant Thangkas of Tsurphu Monastery. 'Each great monastery in Tibet once possessed giant silk applique hangings for public display and worship. These often huge banners comprise some of Tibet's greatest art treasures because of their spiritual significance, size and intricate design. Some survived the cultural revolution - most did not. The giant banners of Tsurphu monastery in central Tibet - traditional seat of the Karmapas - were both destroyed during this time ... '

Ethiopian Icons: Faith and Science.

In and Out of Focus: Images from Central Africa 1885-1960.

Cuba. Photography and text by Adam Kufeld. 'I got the opportunity to go to Cuba for the first time in 1976 with the Venceremos Brigade. The Brigade had been going to Cuba since 1969, originally helping with the sugar cane harvest while learning of Cuban socialism. I, on the other hand, helped build a day care center alongside Cuban construction workers ... '

Medieval Art and Architecture in Cantabria.

Fontes Vitae: Baptismal Fonts by the Medieval Workshops in Gotland.

The Dumbbell Nebula. Great picture.

WMAP Resolves the Universe.

Under New York. 'Looking beneath a city street is like peeking under your skin: the terrain upon which your well-being depends is so close, yet so full of secrets. Under New York City there are more than 32 million miles of utility lines, 22 tunnels in all and 443 miles of subway tracks. The gas mains and steam pipes would reach across the United States and back three times. Maps of this underworld are so tangled with diagrams of cables and tunnels and pipes and mains - there are 750,000 manholes alone - that they look as if someone spilled bottles of colored inks on a sheet of paper. A fair number of people still choose to live underground, and once a year a whole herd of elephants pass through. It's another world, one that's frightening and fascinating at the same time ... '

Pentyrch, South Wales. An interesting place.

Saltfleetby. A village in Lincolnshire.

Laggan, in the Scottish Highlands.

Lyneham, Wiltshire.

The Nineteenth Century in Print: The Making of America in Books and Periodicals. 'This collection comprises books and periodicals published in the United States during the nineteenth century, primarily during the second half of the century. Most of the materials were digitized through the Making of America project, a collaboration of Cornell University and the University of Michigan to preserve textual materials on deteriorating paper and make them accessible electronically. The materials selected illuminate the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. Also included are volumes of American poetry. '

Making of America. 'Making of America (MOA) is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. The collection currently contains approximately 8,500 books and 50,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints. The project represents a major collaborative endeavor in preservation and electronic access to historical texts. '

Sunday School Books: Shaping the Values of Youth in Nineteenth- Century America. 'This collection presents 163 Sunday school books published in America between 1815 and 1865, drawn from the collections of Michigan State University Libraries and the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University Libraries. They document the culture of religious instruction of youth in America during the Antebellum era. They also illustrate a number of thematic divisions that preoccupied nineteenth-century America, including sacred and secular, natural and divine, civilized and savage, rural and industrial, adult and child. Among the topics featured are history, holidays, slavery, African Americans, Native Americans, travel and missionary accounts, death and dying, poverty, temperance, immigrants, and advice. '

Votes for Women: Selections from the National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection, 1848-1921. 'The NAWSA Collection consists of 167 books, pamphlets and other artifacts documenting the suffrage campaign. They are a subset of the Library's larger collection donated by Carrie Chapman Catt, longtime president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, in November of 1938. The collection includes works from the libraries of other members and officers of the organization including: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, Alice Stone Blackwell, Julia Ward Howe, Elizabeth Smith Miller, Mary A. Livermore. '

The Rendezvous Ballroom.
'The Rendezvous Ballroom was built in 1928 on the Balboa peninsula, in California,between Washington and Palm Avenues (along what is now Ocean Front Blvd.). The Rendezvous Ballroom was a huge, two-story building with a mezzanine and balcony. It had over 160 feet of beach frontage and was nearly 100 feet deep. The dance floor was big enough to accommodate about 3000 people. All of the big dance bands played there during the 30s and 40s: Artie Shaw, Ozzie Nelson, Benny Goodman, Guy Lombardo, Bob Crosby, Tommy Dorsey, Stan Kenton, and many, many more ... '
Via gmtPlus9.

Japanese Historical Maps.
Via wood s lot.

Highway: America's Endless Dream. Via MeFi.

My Straw Bale House. Via MeFi.

Maps of the Late Medieval Period.
Thanks to Languagehat. (For the corrected link!)

Rare Text Images.
'This exhibit displays hundreds of images from medical and natural history texts, most of which were printed before 1800. They are organized by theme: diagnostics, human body, imaging, instruments, physician-patient culture, portraits, public health, reproduction, reproduction instruments, therapeutics ... '
Via Speckled Paint.

A Flowering of Affection: Victorian Valentine Cards at the Lilly Library.
Via Speckled Paint.

Match Labels Art Gallery.
Via Geisha Asobi.

The Beer Hunter.
Thanks to Languagehat.

10th April
Chickasaw Historical Research Page. 'As a member of the Chickasaw Nation, I have been concerned about the lack of historical information about this proud nation. After searching the Internet for information, documents, etc., concerning the history of the Chickasaw Indian Nation, and not being very successful in finding useful sources, I have decided to create just the sort of "web page" that I have been looking for ... '

On This Day in North American History.

A Night in a Haida Village, from the journal of William Sturges, 1799.
The Capture and Execution of the Tsimshian Chief Scotseye, 1799.
Travel Among the Tlingit, 1828.

The Twelve Devas.
'During the Heian period, the imperial palace held Shinto rituals during the first week and Buddhist rituals during the second week of the New Year . These rituals were some of the most important for Buddhist sects at the time. Among them was the Goshichinichi no Mishio, the grandest ceremony of the Shingon sect of esoteric Buddhism, which prayed for the security of the nation, the safety of the emperor, and bountiful harvests.'
'The Twelve Devas scrolls in the Kyoto National Museum collection were originally owned by Kyoogokoku-ji (To-ji) Temple and were used in this annual ceremony. The Twelve Devas are the guardians of esoteric Buddhist monasteries as well as the "twelve directions" of esoteric Buddhism--including the four quarters the four semi-quarters, up and down, and the sun and moon ... '

Court Costumes Donated by the Princess Chichibunomiya, Kyoto National Museum.

Legends of the Kegon Sect Handscroll.

Christians in Ethiopia. 'The kingdom of Aksum officially adopted Christianity in the 4th century. But it wasn't before the 12th century (and up until the 15th) that Christianity spread, along with the Christian state, to the highlands of central Ethiopia. A remarkable collection of rock-hewn churches dates from this era. They were associated with monks, who were considered on a level with saints and whose lives were often recorded in writing. These monuments and manuscripts are still very important today as the living memory of Ethiopia's Christians ... '

Puerto Rico at the Dawn of the Modern Age. 'Puerto Rico at the Dawn of the Modern Age: Nineteenth- and Early-Twentieth-Century Perspectives portrays the early history of the commonwealth of Puerto Rico through first-person accounts, political writings, and histories drawn from the Library of Congress's General Collections. Among the topics it highlights are the land and its resources, relations with Spain, the competition among political parties, reform efforts, and recollections by veterans of the Spanish-American War. The materials in the collection were published between 1831 and 1929 and consist of 39 political pamphlets, 13 monographs, and 1 journal. '

Florida Folklife, 1937-42. 'Florida Folklife from the WPA Collections is a multiformat ethnographic field collection documenting African-American, Arabic, Bahamian, British-American, Cuban, Greek, Italian, Minorcan, Seminole, and Slavic cultures throughout Florida. Recorded by Robert Cook, Herbert Halpert, Zora Neale Hurston, Stetson Kennedy, Alton Morris, and others in conjunction with the Florida Federal Writers' Project, the Florida Music Project, and the Joint Committee on Folk Arts of the Work Projects Administration, it features folksongs and folktales in many languages, including blues and work songs from menhaden fishing boats, railroad gangs, and turpentine camps; children's songs, dance music, and religious music of many cultures; and interviews, also known as "life histories." The online presentation provides access to 376 sound recordings and 106 accompanying materials, including recording logs, transcriptions, correspondence between Florida WPA workers and Library of Congress personnel, and an essay on Florida folklife by Zora Neale Hurston. A new essay by Stetson Kennedy reflects on the labor and the legacy of the WPA in Florida, and an extensive bibliography, a list of related Web sites, and a guide to the ethnic and language groups of Florida add further context to the New Deal era and to Florida culture ... '

The Florida Heritage Collection.

Irish and British Villages.

Map of Villages Online. Zoomable by county.
Village postcards.

Marilyn Monroe Limited Edition Photographs.

Medieval Paintings in the South of France.

Slavic Medieval Treasures from Bulgaria.

Maps of the Late Medieval Period. A nice collection, including world maps. (link fixed)

The Catalan Atlas, 14th century.

New Scientist: Cloning.

New Scientist: Biodiversity.

New Scientist: Bizarre Science.

Languagehat is at a new address.

Strange Fruit.
"'Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black body swinging in the Southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees...'.
These haunting lyrics made famous by Billie Holiday were surprisingly penned by a Jewish schoolteacher from the Bronx. Discover the fascinating story behind 'Strange Fruit,' the protest anthem of the '40s that impacted millions during the civil rights movement and endures today ... "
Via MeFi.

The Wonderful Caddis Worm.
'Since the early 1980s, artist Hubert Duprat has been utilizing insects to construct some of his "sculptures." By removing caddis fly larvae from their natural habitat and providing them with precious materials, he prompts them to manufacture cases that resemble jewelers' creations ... '
Much gratitude to Iconomy.

History of Women's Swimwear.
History of Men's Swimwear.
Via Iconomy.

Some Stories about Barns.
Via Jessamyn.