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5th April

Chicago Historical Society. Articles and photos about Al Capone, the Chicago Black Sox scandal, the Columbian Exposition, the stockyards, protests and politics, and more.

Alaska During the Pacific War. 'Over the course of 1942 and early 1943, ships, planes, and thousands of troops were shifted north as forces could be spared from other battle fronts. New bases, such as those on Amchitka and Adak were constructed, and the Alaska-Canadian highway was built to connect Seattle with Juneau.'
'As part of this vast deployment of men and equipment, the U.S. Navy's combat art program sent William F. Draper to document naval activities in Alaska. He covered everything from the construction of harbors and base facilities, to the vagaries of Arctic weather, and the buildup of forces to retake Japanese held islands. One of the most difficult aspects of his assignment was dealing with the weather as the freezing cold and high winds made his hands numb, blew away his materials and damaged his paints and canvasses.'
'Edward Grigware was a successful illustrator before the war. As his part of the war effort he worked for the Navy's recruiting section and was assigned to cover life in Alaska. This undertaking was separate from the combat art program.'

Alaska's Gold. 'The discovery of gold brought adventurers, dreamers and schemers to Alaska. It's a great story! In fact, it's a lot of great stories. '
'But the stories aren't completely written yet. They are hidden in the bits and pieces of history that have managed to survive for over 100 years: things like diaries, newspapers, maps, photographs, government documents and things people used in their everyday lives ... '

Aladdin: 'Homes Built in a Day. 'The Aladdin Company of Bay City, Michigan was one of America's most long lived manufacturers of mail- order, "kit homes." Begun in 1906 by two brothers, Otto and William Sovereign, the family-owned firm continued to manufacture houses until 1981. Over the firm's long history it sold over 75,000 homes to both individual and corporate customers.'
The records of the Aladdin Company were donated to the Clarke Historical Library in 1996. The almost complete run of company catalogs, full set of sales records, over 15,000 post-World War II architectural drawings, and various other company records create an extraordinary historical resource ... '

The History of Plumbing in Jerusalem. With links to histories of plumbing in Babylon, in Greece, and other places up to the present day...

Snow in Jerusalem. A photo-essay from the year 2000.

Scalpay / Scalpaigh (Also Known as Scalpa). History and community. Don't miss the gallery of old photos.
'Scalpay (also known as Scalpaigh & Scalpa) is a beautiful island just off the coast of the Isle of Harris in the Western Isles / Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Our site is a community website for the island and has many points of interest for both visitors to the island and it's inhabitants. Originally developed by Scalpay Digital (who ceased trading 2001.) will continue to be the major source of information about The Isle of Scalpay on the internet ... '

Indian and Tibetan Buddhist Art. 'This website aims to provide general introductory information on different aspects of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist art on the basis of recent scientific studies. In particular it concentrates on the so called Indo-Tibetan Buddhist art as preserved in the early Buddhist monasteries (late 10th to early 14th centuries) in the western Himalayas.'
Picture galleries here.

American Visionary Art Museum.

Shiro Kasamatsu. 'Born in the Asakusa section of Tokyo to a middle class family, Shiro Kasamatsu started his art studies at a young age. In 1911 he became a student of Kaburagi Kiyokata, a master of the bijin-ga genre. Shiro studied Japanese style painting (Nihonga) but unlike his teacher, he concentrated on landscapes. Kiyokata chose his artist's name "Shiro", which used the character shi from one of Kiyokata's own pseudonyms and was conveniently an alternate spelling of Kasamatsu's given name.'

Funeral Customs, by Bertram S. Puckle, 1926.

Berlin Mitte: Exploration of an Urban Conversion.
'An expedition through space and time in 260 photos.'
'The radical changes within Berlin Mitte over the past 10 years are presented from an artistic perspective. Maps of the locations photographed aid in orientation.'

Malawi Photographs.
Malawi elections 1999. 'A selection of pictures, taken during the presidential election in 1999. Some is from the nomination of candidates, some is from Muluzi's campaign, on a train ride from Blantyre to Balaka.'

The American Experience: Mount Rushmore.

British Columbia Heritage. 'One of the roles of the Heritage Branch, within the Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services, is the management of 13 unique historic sites where public programs are presented.'
'Just click on any of the sites listed in the menu on your left for an introduction to the facilities and services offered. In most cases, you'll also find links to other websites that have developed further material on these historic sites. '

Oda Kazuma. 'Born in Shiba-Koen, Tokyo in 1881, the printmaker Oda Kazuma made significant contributions to both the shin hanga and sosaku hanga movements. He first studied painting with Kawamura Kiyoo and learned lithography from Kaneko Masajiro. Oda's brother, a lithograph technician in Osaka, was also important to his early education. Throughout his life, Oda worked primarily as a lithographer, although occasionally he carved and printed his own woodblock prints. Oda's most notable lithographs include his series of twenty Tokyo scenes, Tokyo fukei hangashu, made in 1916-17, and a similar series on Osaka done in 1917-19.'

Explore Edinburgh. Virtual visitor attractions.

Connecticut Birds at Yale Peabody Museum. 'The Birds of Connecticut Hall displays 722 mounted specimens representing the more than 300 species of birds that occur regularly in the state. Each species is represented by one or more specimens showing the plumage differences between sexes and age groups and the seasonal changes in plumage. Shirley Hartman directed the preparation of the exhibit, which required five years to complete; it opened to the public on 12 May 1972. '

3rd April

African Americans in New Orleans: The Music. 'Thousands of black New Orleanians have made music in their hometown--and "abroad"--over the past 200-plus years. A number of them became real stars, some even on an international level. Many more are well-remembered through their compositions and recordings, and through the recorded observations of themselves, their compatriots, and music historians, critics, and other informants. Still more taught, wrote and performed in relative obscurity, known, perhaps, only to limited audiences in their own neighborhoods, churches, and families. All of these players, however, helped to produce--and to keep alive--the incredibly rich tradition of New Orleans music ... '

African American Portraits by Carl Van Vechten 1932-1964. 'The online exhibit highlights a selection of African-American portraits of artists from various fields. Many of these artists are familiar faces today, even though some of the portraits were created more than fifty years ago. The importance of these images is two-fold; they document a specific time and milieu in 20th-century American history that was neglected by others, and they are among some of the earliest art photography images created. While Van Vechten never created as technically complex images as some of the professional photographers of his day, a consistent artistic sensibility pervades his work. His portraits of the influential African-Americans of the first half of the 20th century illustrate a rich artistic and intellectual era. '

Agents of Social Change: New Resources on 20th Century Women's Activism. 'This exhibit marks the opening for research of eight collections of 20th century women activists: the papers of Constance Baker Motley, Dorothy Kenyon, Mary Kaufman, Frances Fox Piven, Jessie Lloyd O'Connor, and Gloria Steinem and the records of the Women's Action Alliance and the National Congress of Neighborhood Women. These new resources highlight women's part in the multiple struggles for social change that span the century including labor, socialism, civil liberties, peace, racial justice, urban reform, welfare rights, and women's rights. They illuminate connections between reform movements, as well as the interplay of race, ethnicity, class, and gender within them. Processing of these collections was made possible in part by the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities. '

Michigan Farm Workers. 'In the past 100 years, the family-owned farm has all but vanished from the American scene. But despite the losses, farmers remain some of the hardest working people in the United States. When they are not planting or harvesting crops, they are repairing equipment, feeding animals, selling crops and preparing for the next season. The following photographs capture a day of work for Alvin Ernst, a third-generation farmer living in southern Michigan. '

Tribal Labourers in India. 'Located in northeastern India, the desert state of Rajasthan is home to many scheduled tribes and castes. Occupying the very bottom of India's complex caste system, their lives are caught up in a world of rapid social and economic change. Due to generations of isolation and illiteracy, they often become indebted to corrupt moneylenders and lead lives of indentured servitude. The following photographs show two forms of labor that the indigenous people of southern Rajasthan are often bound to through indebtedness: brick making and marble mining. '

Farming and Mining in Peru. Photography. 'With a population of 25 million, Peru is one of the poorest countries in South America. The country's economy is primarily based upon agriculture and mining. Many of the workers from these two industries labor daily to make ends meet in rural and remote areas of Peru's central highlands. In much of the country, children often work side by side with parents while planting crops, tending to animals or working in mines. This essay highlights the work and lives of these people. '

AIDS. 'This exhibition displays material from two AIDS-related books and ephemera donated to Monash over the past two years. '
'One collection was put together by the late Ian Goller, the other by Dr. Richard Travers. Dr. Travers was the curator of this exhibition. '

Livestock in Art from the Museum of English Rural Life. Paintings of cattle.

The Nuremberg Chronicle. 'The Nuremberg Chronicle is a pictorial history of the earth from creation to the 1490s published in 1493. It was compiled by Dr. Hartmann Schedel, illustrated and engraved by Michael Wohlgemuth, Wilhelm Pleydenwurff and Albrecht Dürer, and printed and published by Anton Koberger. The Chronicle is the first instance of partnerships shown between artists and patrons. '
'The woodcuts shown in the chronicle represented the emergence of xylography as a prosperous industry in South Germany. Xylography was quite dominant for several years before Gutenberg invented typography. The woodcuts normally presented biblical scenes, saints, and moralities. Illiterates of medieval Europe used the woodcuts as charms for protection. Xylography achieved its greatness in South Germany following the publishing of the Nuremberg Chronicle. Albrecht Dürer became a leader in the art of xylography and was a part of the distinguished group who created the woodcuts of the Chronicle. '
Many images.

Voices from the Days of Slavery: Former Slaves Tell Their Stories. 'Voices from the Days of Slavery: Former Slaves Tell Their Stories provides the opportunity to listen to former slaves describe their lives. These interviews, conducted between 1932 and 1975, capture the recollections of twenty-three identifiable people born between 1823 and the early 1860s and known to have been former slaves. Several of the people interviewed were centenarians, the oldest being 130 at the time of the interview. The almost seven hours of recordings were made in nine Southern states and provide an important glimpse of what life was like for slaves and freedmen. The former slaves discuss how they felt about slavery, slaveholders, how slaves were coerced, their families, and, of course, freedom. It is important to keep in mind, however, that all of those interviewed spoke sixty or more years after the end of their enslavement, and it is their full lives, rather than their lives during slavery, that are reflected in their words. They have much to say about living as African Americans from the 1870s to the 1930s, and beyond. As part of their testimony, several of the ex-slaves sing songs, many of which were learned during the time of their enslavement. '

Kimono. 'To Westerners the word is synonymous with their image of Japan. Mere mention of the garment conjures up wistful, nostalgic visions of Japan's past, for Gaijin (foreigners) and Japanese alike! The exhibitions you are about to view will display kimono dating from the late Edo period, as well as some contemporary kimono now being worn as formal wear ... '

Who Would Buy That? Auction oddities from all over the web.

Botanical Society of America Online Image Collection. Huge.

An Exhibition of Tibetan Calligraphy.

Documenting a Democracy: Australia's Story.

Raguenet: A View of Paris from the Pont Neuf. 'Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Raguenet specialized in views of Paris and owned a small shop for their sale in the rue de la Colombe on the Ile de la Cité. This view of Paris in the 1700s and its companion piece, View of Paris with the Ile de la Cité, were probably painted for an English patron, Lord Holland.'

Janson: A Formal Garden. 'Prosperous eighteenth-century Dutch citizens were so proud of their gardens that they hired artists like Johannes Janson to record them for posterity. The estate shown here may have been located in the province of Noordholland, north of Amsterdam. The picture shows the wealth and the sophisticated leisure afforded by the estate: the promenade at left leads to farmland, while the path at right leads to a shipping scene, two primary sources of Holland's prosperity. '

I Live in a Motel. 'Travelers know what to expect from a motel: not much, besides pornography. When writer Joshua Allen is forced to live in one for a month, he finds a bit more to appreciate.'

Senate Candidate Drops Out of Race Due to Shyness.

Antique Dealer Sick of Appraising Smurf Collections.

Everything in Entire World Now Collectible.

2nd April

Riley Dog has a new home.

African-American Lumbermen: Their Homes and Families (ca. 1908). 'In their book The Sawdust Empire: The Texas Lumber Industry 1830-1940 (1983) Robert S Maxwell and Robert D. Baker describe some of the working conditions of the African-Americans in the lumber industry. African- Americans made up from one third to one half of the workforce in East Texas saw mills. They were often given the worst jobs at the lowest pay. Their neighborhoods were segregated in what was known as the "quarter" in the mill towns. Many workers could expect to be paid two dollars a day. And charged up to six dollars a month for rent. Despite this treatment they were often grateful to have a job that provided the means to rent a home and provide food and some education for their families ... '

African Americans in New Orleans: Family History Sources.

Ukiyo-e Landscapes.

Tekenlog. Visual blog.

Swiss National Exhibition Bern 1914. A virtual museum. Images, art, history.

Sonnets from Ireland. 'Most of the sonnets here are from little known 19th century poets, and while some show the influence of Wordsworth or Tennyson, most have a distinctively Irish diction and engagement with nature. '

Leon Engelen. 'Leon's work is linked to that of landscape and animal painter of the previous centuries. In former times there was a painters' community, in which strong mutual ties existed and in which techniques and ideas were exchanged. Leon can't take advantage of such a feed-back; he had to find it all by himself, which makes him more or less apart. Moreover he specialized himself in painting bricks and tiles... '

Tram Spark. Poetic blog.

PeoplePlay UK: Guided Tours. The history of British theatre. 'Browse our Guided Tours and explore the history of performance on the British stage. Each tour is illustrated with objects from the Theatre Museum's collections and brought to life with music and voices from the past. You can read reviews of performances, see original posters, programmes and costumes and of course meet the stars.'
Circus - Pantomime - Musicals - Music Hall.

Child Hunger in Ethiopia. Photographs and Text by David Blumenfeld.
'Drought in Ethiopia is as old as the land itself. The first recorded famine due to drought in the region dates as far back as 253 BCE. Over the centuries millions have died from hunger and drought related diseases. While other countries have learned to cope with the problem, Ethiopias population continues to suffer. While some place blame on government inefficiency and corruption, others attribute the situation to a lack of farming technology and irrigation as well as ineffective food distribution. '
This year Ethiopia witnessed one of the worst droughts in recent history. Record-low rainfall led to failed-crops, loss of livestock, malnutrition, hunger, and a sharp increase in disease and death toll.'

Statuette of Madness. Online comic; noir/horror.
'It all began as a trivial case. It all ended when horror came to Earth. Experience the Unknown and cry in fear with our detective hero!'
'The story was presented as a serial which was updated nearly every it has reached an ending.'

Circle of Bliss: Buddhist Meditational Art.

Six Red Months in Russia: An Observers Account of Russia Before and During the Proletarian Dictatorship, by Louise Bryant, 1918. Travelogue written by an American sympathiser shortly after the October Revolution. An interesting historical document, if nothing else.
'I ask a favour of him who reads this bundle of stories, gathered together on the edge of Asia, in that mystic land of white nights in summer and long black days in winter, where events only heretofore dreamed or vaguely planned for future ages have suddenly come to be. I ask the reader to remember his tolerant mood when he sits himself down under his shaded lamp of an evening to read certain lovely old legends, to remember how deliberately he gets himself out of this world into another as unlike our own as the pale moon. He should recall that in reading ancient lore he does so with an open mind, calmly, never once throwing down his book and cursing because some ancient king has marched with all his gallant warriors into another country without so much as a passport from the State Department ... '
'On the grey horizon of human existence looms a great giant called Working Class Consciousness. He treads with thunderous step through all the countries of the world. There is no escape, we must go out and meet him. It all depends on us whether he will turn into a loathsome, ugly monster demanding human sacrifices or whether he shall be the saviour of mankind. We must use great foresight, patience, understanding.... We must somehow make an honest effort to understand what is happening in Russia.'
'And I who saw the dawn of a new world can only present my fragmentary and scattered evidence to you with a good deal of awe. I feel as one who went forth to gather pebbles and found pearls. ... '

How the Mars Exploration Rovers Work.

Ji Wenyu: Life Is Sweeter Than Honey. Contemporary Chinese artist.

Modern Myths. Online comic; mystery/suspense.

World Death Rate Holding Steady at 100%.

George Monbiot: Forget about Usefulness, Beauty Alone is Reason Enough to Justify Conservation.

Friedrich: A Walk At Dusk. 'His head bowed, a man walks alone in the silvery, cold moonlit night while contemplating a megalithic tomb and its implicit message of death. It is winter, and all around him nature is dying. Leafless trees loom behind like specters, but a grove of verdant oaks rises through the mist in the background with the promise of life. The waxing moon, high in the sky, also acts as a counterbalance to death, symbolizing Christ and the promise of rebirth for the artist Caspar David Friedrich.'

Corot: Italian Landscape. 'The golden morning light bathes this landscape of singing and dancing peasants with antique ruins in the background. To the left, picturesque cows wade in the reflective water, and a contemporary townscape appears in the distance. Like Lorrain, Corot presented a utopian setting in which ancient and modern culture coexist in lyrical harmony.'

1st April

Life in America: Captured Memories of Everyday Life. Photography; click on the blue dots on the left...

Roadside Memorials. A photographic documentary.

The Tale of Genji in Ukiyo-e Prints.

Russian Prison Tattoos.

Mr. Punch's History of Modern England. 1841-1857.
'The title of this work indicates at once its main source and its limitations. The files of Punch have been generally admitted to be a valuable mine of information on the manners, customs, and fashions of the Victorian age, and of the wealth of material thus provided liberal use has been made. But it must not be forgotten that Punch has always been a London paper, and that in so far as English life is reflected in his pages, London always comes first, though in this volume, and especially during the "Hungry 'Forties," Lancashire comes a very good second. For pictures of provincial society -- such, for example, as that given in Cranford or in the novels of Trollope -- or of life in Edinburgh or Dublin, the chronicler of Victorian England must look outside Punch. The "country cousin" is not forgotten, but for the most part comes into view when he is on a visit to London, not when he is on his native heath. Yet even with these deductions the amount of material is embarrassingly rich. And this is due not only to the multiplicity of subjects treated, but to the manner in which they were discussed. Of Punch, in his early days at any rate, the criticism recently applied to Victorian writers in general by a writer in Blackwood holds good: "They had a great deal to say, and they said it sometimes in too loud a voice. Such was their virtue, to which their vice was akin. Their vice was the vice of rhetoric ... '

Rigoberta Menchu. Nobel peace laureate 1992.

Martin Luther King. Nobel peace laureate 1964.

Sage, Ink. Selected cartoons from The Atlantic magazine; great stuff.

Tibet Visual History. 'The Pitt Rivers Museum (PRM) holds an extraordinarily rich collection of over 4000 historical photographs of Tibet taken by British colonial photographers between 1908 and 1950. They cohere around critical moments in the British Empire's political engagement with Tibet: Sir Charles Bell's 1920-1 Mission, the 1936 Gould Mission and Hugh Richardson's diplomatic career in Tibet, 1936-50. Taken together they comprise collections that eventually added up to a joint documentation project undertaken by the colonial regime to map out Tibet visually. The same sites and ceremonies were photographed by multiple photographers, photographs were frequently exchanged, copies made and circulated and the same images found their way into various official and unofficial albums. '

The Geisha Mystique. Photography. 'While most of Japan is forging ahead into the 21st century, some people are holding tight to their connection with the past. This relationship with ago-old customs and traditions is most evident in the city of Kyoto, once Japan's capital for more than 1,000 years. You will still find remants of "Hanamachi" (geisha districts) in isolated pockets of the city where maiko and geisha shuffle quickly to and from their evening appointments. For everyone else Kyoto keeps the past alive through numerous events, ceremonies and annual festivals.'

Jan van Eyck. 'Flemish painter (b. before 1395, Maaseik, d. 1441, Bruges)'. Good online gallery.
The Ghent Altarpiece.

The Dawn of the World: Myths and Weird Tales Told by the Mewan [Miwok] Indians of California, 1910.

A Treasury of War Poetry: British and American Poems of the World War 1914–1917. 'The 106 authors of these 151 poems represent the many countries engulfed in the first "Great War" to the individual combatants to those who ministered to the soldiers and waited for them to return home.'

As Good As News. 'The news-satire magazine for people who can read.'

The Blue Brick. 'The Blue Brick is a newspaper parody and satire website. This is not an actual news site. '

The Daily Hog. Canadian satire site.

An Orion Deep Field. 'Adrift 1,500 light-years away in one of the night sky's most recognizable constellations, the glowing Orion Nebula and the dark Horsehead Nebula are contrasting cosmic vistas. They both appear in this stunning composite digital image assembled from over 20 hours of data that includes exposures filtered to record emission from hydrogen atoms. '

Night Trails of Africa. 'Spanning southern to northern skies, stars trail across this panoramic view of the African night from equatorial Kenya. '

Le Prince: The Russian Cradle. 'In a rural setting, a peasant family sits admiring a baby in a cradle suspended from the branches of a tree. The composition takes its name from the distinctive hanging cradle made of boughs lashed together. Surrounded by goats and sheep, an old woman in a red dress and decorative headscarf holds a distaff and points towards the infant as if telling its fortune. The blue sky with pink-tinged clouds recalls the influence of François Boucher, Jean-Baptiste Le Prince's former teacher. '

Lusieri: A View of the Bay of Naples. 'Sir William Hamilton, British envoy to the court of Naples from 1764 to 1800, wanted a painting of the panoramic view of the Bay of Naples from his apartment window. He sought out the Italian artist Giovanni Battista Lusieri, whose detailed drawings and watercolors of views of Naples and other Italian sites were popular with Grand Tourists in the 1780s and 1790s. '