This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Metropolitan Museum of Art which has led them (Watson Library and the Museum Archives) to digitize the records of Francis Henry Taylor, the 5th director of the museum from 1940-1955. These records make for fascinating reading, especially those concerned with the wartime safety of artworks.
A lot of people are probably familiar with the beautiful Closer to Van Eyck website about the restoration of the Ghent Altarpiece. The website was recently updated and now includes further works by Jan van Eyck but beware one caveat which has been pointed out by Douglas McCarthy, Collections Manager at Europeana:
“These images are not available for commercial publications or other items made for profit. Images will be provided free of charge for scholarly publications, although shipping and handling fees may apply.”
CODART claims this while also stating that the website provides “high-quality, standardized technical images of the paintings available online in open access.”
Given that van Eyck died in 1441 these images should really be available at no fee. Thankfully, in a few years all European institutions will have to abide by Article 14: what is in the public domain in analogue form stays in the public domain in digital.
Emma Stanford, Digital Curator at the Bodleian Digital Library, created a quiz to help you find your favorite manuscript in their collection. Take it and see! Click here.
The New York-based Wildenstein-Plattner Institute (WPI) is digitizing and will make available their archives: 100 years of annotated sale catalogues, letters and notes.
Below are just a few examples of the amazing images we have found while weeding through our collection of glass lantern slides. We have started the digitization of a few key sub-collections. For the full collection we will post an inventory of the locations represented and digitize them as requested.
Cairo: Tomb of Laeherif (Tombs of Caliphs). Unknown date (1880-1900?)
Hand colored lantern slide. Delos, Greece. on slide: Front entrance, house K. GK_PH_15-86.3.
Cairo: Tombs of the Caliphs. Unknown date (1880-1900?)
Cairo: Mosque Emir el Gisch, exterior. Tombs of Caliphs
Hydra, Greece. On slide: town north of harbor from steamer. Hand colored lantern slide. GK_PH_15-AK67.5
The town of Hydra (Greece) from the sea. Unknown date. GK_PH_15-94.577
Ben Zweig, Digital Projects Coordinator at the National Gallery, DC recently tweeted that 22,000 high resolution CCO images from the print collection of the National Gallery have been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. A great resource.
Amazing conversations and work have come out of The Museums and Artificial Intelligence Network New York Conference and it is best summed up by Mia Ridge here. It was centered on two themes: AI and visitor data and AI and collections data. At the conference the Cooper Hewitt launched their Interaction Lab where they are “reimagining the museum experience for the 21st Century.” If you are interested in collections analysis check out Identifying Art Through Machine Learning which is a project between MoMA and Google Arts and Culture Lab.
An international forum on the art catalogue: Reloading catalogs. If anything from this is posted online we will post a link here.
A great article by Sander Münster and Melissa Terras: The visual side of digital humanities: a survey on topics, researchers, and epistemic cultures, Digital Scholarship in the Humanitieshttps://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqz022
Slides of the final presentation of Harald Klinke from his seminar on data analysis with the MET and MoMA collections (in German).
The Petrie Museum (a class act all the way!) released an Open Access Book: Characters and Collections edited by the incomparable @alicestevenson.
Richly illustrated and engagingly written, the book moves back and forth between recent history and the ancient past, between objects and people. Experts discuss the discovery, history and care of key objects in the collections such as the Koptos lions and Roman era panel portraits. The rich and varied history of the Petrie Museum is revealed by the secrets that sit on its shelves.
Click on the image above for a pdf.