Category Archives: Digital Library of the Week

Many libraries around the world are making their materials available via the Web. Here we recommend those we think will be interesting to the UArts community.

Digital Resource of the Week: International Music Scores Library Project

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The International Music Scores Library Project (IMSLP) aims to catalog all the free, public domain music scores available online in one simple, searchable interface. The Project was started in 2006 by Edward Guo, a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and currently a doctoral student at Harvard Law School.

IMSLP, commonly called the Petrucci Library after the Italian sheet music printer Ottaviano Petrucci, has over 210,000 scores and 20,000 recordings. The Library is a wiki searchable by composer, nationality,  genre, and more. But the Library is more than a collection of music: the IMSLP Journal and Forums are digital meeting places for musicians and music lovers to share ideas and collaborate on projects.

IMSLP works hard to follow all copyright regulations, as The New York Times reported last year, though this is difficult given that different countries have different rules. Volunteers help check for copyright violations. Considering signing up to become an IMSLP contributor yourself and help keep the project going!

Digital Resources of the Week: The National Trust Library Historic Postcards

Postcards have always been a popular souvenir and a fun way to send a quick message home while on vacation. Often depicting famous buildings or landscapes, The National Trust Library Historic Postcard Collection suggests that “these postcards also provide unique evidence of the evolution in American architecture, with rare glimpses of buildings or places that may no longer exist or have dramatically altered over time.”

The National Trust Historic Postcard Collection has over 20,000 postcards. The University of Maryland’s University Libraries’ Digital Collections provides images of many of these postcards. Browse by state (there are 830 postcards depicting aspects of Pennsylvania) or enter a keyword search such as Philadelphia, ocean, or flower.

 

Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida, circa 1908
Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida, circa 1908

Want to see more postcards? Search the UArts Libraries’ catalog for the subject postcards. We have many beautiful books including one about Philadelphia postcards from the early 1900s. Happy travels this summer!

 

Philadelphia's City Hall, circa 1901-1907
Philadelphia's City Hall, circa 1901-1907

Digital Resources of the Week: Book Cover Design

Graphic design, illustration, printmaking, painting. All types of artwork decorate the covers of books. 50 Watts is Will Schofield’s beautiful blog about book jackets and book illustrations. Schofield is a Philadelphia-based book dealer and you can read more about him in Steven Heller’s “Design Blogs: The New Museums” for The Atlantic (from May 19, 2011).

from Ruth Marten's 2007 Histoire Un Naturelle
from Ruth Marten's 2007 Histoire Un Naturelle

Navigation will allow you to search the blog by topics such as artists’ books, photography or film. Click on the image for a short description, more high resolution images from the book (if available), and links to resources about the book.  Schofield also provides an image index and resource links.

Are you a digital reader and missing the great designs of printed book covers? Check out Craig Mod‘s essay “Hack the Cover” and gain some insight into 21st century book jacket display. Also watch designer Chip Kidd’s TED talk “Designing Books is No Laughing Matter: OK, It Is.” Then, learn more about the history and art of book jacket design by searching the UArts Libraries catalog for the subject “book covers“.

from a 1925 Japanese edition of Aesop's Fables
from a 1925 Japanese edition of Aesop's Fables

Digital Resource of the Week: Rare Book Room

Through the publishing house Octavo, the Rare Book Room currently has over 400 digitized books available to read online. Many of the books are beautiful examples of the histories of print design, typography, and illustration.

You can search by subject such as literature (where you will find Shakespeare’s work), graphic arts (including a work by Bodoni), music (mostly Beethoven and Mozart), or photography (the Pennsylvania Railroad Photographs from the 1870s are here).

Many of the libraries that hold the original materials are right here in Philadelphia! In the drop-down menu for Find by Library, check out The American Antiquarian Society, The American Philosophical Society, the Ewell Sale Stewart Library of the Academy of Natural Sciences, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, The Library Company of Philadelphia, the Rosenbach Museum & Library, and the University of Pennsylvania Library.

Please note that you will have to allow pop-ups on your web browser to use the site.

Here are some highlights of the collection:

A book of hours - "Horae Beatae Mariae ad usum Romanum" - from 1524
A book of hours - "Horae Beatae Mariae ad usum Romanum" - from 1524
Louis Renard's "Poissons, Ecrevisses et Crabes, de Diverses Couleu" (1719)
Louis Renard's "Poissons, Ecrevisses et Crabes, de Diverses Couleu" (1719)

 

Lewis Carroll's "Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass" illustrated by Blanche McManus, 1900
Lewis Carroll's "Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass" illustrated by Blanche McManus, 1900
German Christian text, unknown author, circa 1475
German Christian text, unknown author, circa 1475

Digital Resource of the Week: Artists’ Books from Reed Library

Reed College Library has a wonderful online exhibition and essay about artists’ books. Pulling items from their Special Collections, the exhibition includes works by artists such as William Kentridge, Gerlovin and Gerlovina, and Xu Bing. The collection contains excellent examples of modern book arts and provides page by page viewing of most items.

 

Tobacco Project by Xu Bing
Tobacco Project by Xu Bing

You can browse the collection by four main sections: livre d’artist (deluxe edition prints), avant garde, conceptualist, or contemporary. Or, chose to explore by artist. When Reed does not have an artist’s work online, they link to external websites about the artist.

The University Libraries also has a book arts collection with over 400 items available for students and faculty to view.

 

Digital Resource of the Week: Getty Research Institute’s Digital Collections

The Getty Research Institute (GRI) works collaboratively with the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation.

Sketchbook of Pompeii by Sir William Gell (1830)
Sketchbook of Pompeii by Sir William Gell (1830)

 

The Getty Research Institute‘s mission “is dedicated to furthering knowledge and advancing understanding of the visual arts.” To meet this goal, the Institute has many digital collections, including images of art, architecture, photography, and primary sources such as artists’ letters.

The GRI’s digital collections can be searched a variety of ways. For example, search by medium to discover drawings or photographs. Search by subject to limit to Latin America or Modernism.

The Institute also has a Photo Study Collection of about a million of its photographs available online. The Collection acts as a reference tool for studying antiquities and Western art.

At the end of this month, GRI will launch the Getty Research Portal, “a free online search platform providing global access to digitized art history texts in the public domain.” These digitized art books will provide easy access to critical scholarship. Stay tuned to learn more!

El Lissitzky (1923) "Schaumachinerie" (Show machinery)
El Lissitzky (1923) "Schaumachinerie" (Show machinery)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digital Resource of the Week: the Mucha Foundation

 

Poster for ’Gismonda’ (1894)
Poster for ’Gismonda’ (1894)

Alphonse Maria Mucha was a Czech painter in the late 1800s. He is best known for his French Art Nouveau style illustrations for theatrical posters. The Mucha Foundation was established in 1992 and is devoted to teaching and sharing his art.

The Foundation’s website is an excellent source of reading and imagery about Mucha. The Timeline section places Mucha in political and cultural contexts. The Gallery has over 300 works available for online viewing. Browse all the works or by themes. For fun, there are Color Your Own Mucha downloadable pdfs.

There is also an excellent bibliography on Mucha to help you further your research. Learn more about him at the UArts Libraries. Search for his name as a subject and as an author.  Read a biography on Oxford Art Online (you’ll be prompted to log in if you are off campus) and view images in ARTstor (you’ll be prompted to log in if you are off campus).

Digital Resource of the Week: The Morgan Library and Museum

The Morgan Library and Museum is a terrific collection of art, music, and literature. Located in New York City, their website offers online exhibitions, music manuscripts, videos, and more.

Manāfi˓-i al-ḥayavā (The Benefits of Animals), in Persian. Persia, Maragha, between 1297 and 1300, for Shams al-Dīn Ibn Żiyā˒ al-Dīn al-Zūshkī
Manāfi˓-i al-ḥayavā (The Benefits of Animals), in Persian. Persia, Maragha, between 1297 and 1300, for Shams al-Dīn Ibn Żiyā˒ al-Dīn al-Zūshkī

Exhibitions of the library and museum holdings are diverse – from In the Company of Animals to Jim Dine: The Glyptotek Paintings to Auld Lang Syne: The Story of a Song. Many of the exhibitions have an online version with an essay and additional resources. You can also browse through highlights of the collection including Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, music manuscripts, and paintings and sculpture.

There are videos available on topics such as the famous Dutch manuscript, The Hours of Catherine of Cleves and Princeton professor Cornel West discussing Jane Austen.

Jean de Brunhoff's Histoire de Babar Maquette
Jean de Brunhoff's Histoire de Babar Maquette

The Morgan Library and Museum has an active blog highlighting different items in the collection. New at the Morgan showcases new acquisitions by the Library and Museum. Secrets from the Vault, another theme of the blog, includes posts about interesting items like John Ruskin’s Puppet Show and Death or Castration? The Pains of Circus Management.

If you like the collection, check out Pierpont Morgan Library (Pierpont Morgan was an avid collector in the late 1800s) as an author in the UArts Libraries catalog.

Digital Resource of the Week: PBS Arts

PBS Arts is a visual and performing arts website of the Public Broadcasting Service. Explore visual art, filmdance, theater, music, and writing through video. View them all in the Exhibition Archives. Here are some highlights:

Off Book is a PBS Arts collection of videos on experimental and avant-garde contemporary art. Topics such as Art in the Era of the Internet and Product Design are featured.

Sound Tracks: Music Without Borders is a series of video interviews with musicians and singers from around the world. Learn about Seu George, Brazilian samba singer, and concert pianist Yuja Wang.

loopdiver: The Journey of a Dance goes behind the scenes with the group Troika Ranch to capture the lives and emotions of its members.

PBS Arts also invites you to submit your own artwork via Flickr or YouTube. If you like PBS Arts, check out the PBS DVDs and videos available at the UArts Libraries!

Digital Resource of the Week: BBC Four Collections

BBC Four, one of the television and radio stations of the British Broadcasting Corporation, has made many of its programs available online. Called BBC Four Collections, they include:

All American programs aired in the mid 1960s and have continued through 2011. Most are a half hour to an hour in length and cover topics such as The Devil’s Music (that would be the Blues), an interview with Maya Angelou, a profile of Jackson Pollock, and the sex scandal of New York’s Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

 

Victoria Spivey sings the Blues
Victoria Spivey sings the Blues

Army: A Very British Institution is about the history of the British Armed Forces.

Radio 4 Collections is broken into 4 areas: art, history, science, and society. There are interviews with theater actors and playwrights and programs about the ancient world.

Talk, a radio broadcast series, includes interviews with influential contemporary figures such as actor Nigel Hawthorne, artist Henry Moore, and film director Orson Welles.

 

Salvador Dali on Melancholic British Art
Salvador Dali on Melancholic British Art