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 Library of the Week: Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers is a free primary resource collection from the Library of Congress. It includes newspaper pages from 1880-1922 as well as information on newspapers published from 1960 through to the present. Local Pennsylvania papers included are the Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, the Pittsburgh Dispatch, and the Scranton Tribune. See what your home state has to offer! Also, check out some UArts Libraries’ materials on newspapers and journalism to learn more about these invaluable resources.

These are high-resolution images, so you can zoom in for detail and even download pages. Here’s a page from the January 1, 1915 Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger titled “Figures and Floats Conspicuous in Brilliant Array of New Years Mummers Today.

Digital Library of the Week: Vincent van Gogh – The Letters

The Vincent Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam not only has the world’s largest collection of artwork by Van Gogh, but they also have nearly all of the surviving letters written to and written by the artist – a perfect primary resource.

Here's a sketch by van Gogh in one of his letters to Paul Gauguin

Van Gogh often wrote about his ideas, subjects for his artwork, and how he felt he was progressing as an artist. One of his regular correspondents was with Paul Gauguin. The collection, Vincent Van Gogh – The Letters, contains all 902 letters as well as some of his paintings and drawings, photos, and other documents regarding the artist’s life and work. Want to get up close? We have The Complete Letters of Vincent van Gogh as well as other books about how his art and writing are closely connected.

Digital Library of the Week: Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project

Original Edison tinfoil phonograph. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Edison National Historic Site.)
Original Edison tinfoil phonograph. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Edison National Historic Site.

Cylinder recordings are sound recordings that were first produced on tinfoil in 1877. These were the earliest medium with which sound was recorded and then replayed. With fifty years of technological development in cylinder recordings, the most famous use of these cylinders is Thomas Edison’s invention of the phonograph.

The University of California at Santa Barbara has a terrific special collection on the history and sound of cylinder recordings called the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project.

We have a direct link to it in our catalog as well as books on the history of sound recordings and the history of the phonograph. So go ahead, listen to some American history and enjoy!

Digital Library of the Week: Curtis Botanical Images

Enjoying the spring weather? Then check out Curtis Botanical Images for some beautiful flower illustrations!

Here's one of my favorites, the Crested Iris
Here's one of my favorites, the Crested Iris

Curtis’s Botanical Magazine is a gardening magazine started in the eighteenth century by William Curtis. Though there have been many owners and illustrators over the centuries, Curtis Botanical Magazine is still published today. Sydenham Edwards illustrated the magazine pages found in this database. Full-page colored drawings of various plants have an accompanying page of text describing the plant classification.

This digital collection is available through the University of Iowa Libraries. Each high-resolution .jpg includes information on the plant, the publication date, and the illustrator. If you like botany, search for one of these subjects in our catalog to find books with more great images!

Digital Library of the Week: ipl2

Internet Public Library

ipl2 is the result of two outstanding online resources coming together – the original Internet Public Library and the Librarians’ Internet Index. ipl2 lives up to its motto, “information you can trust,” by having librarians (real ones like those of us you’ve met in the UArts Libraries) scour the World Wide Web to find and evaluate the best and most scholarly resources on all subjects. This is an excellent site to find international newspapers and magazines. Also check out their Special Collections such as blogs, Iraq War resources, and Exhibits. A particular favorite of mine is their A+ Research and Writing guide.

You can even submit a reference question to be answered via email by a librarian or library science student. I’m one of those library science students! I’ve answered questions from fifth graders who want to know about fashion to farmers in Nigeria asking about plow animals. We’re doing what we love – helping people find good and trustworthy information on the Internet.

ipl2 is the first in a new series on UArts Libraries blog called Digital Library of the Week. There are so many excellent resources out there – for free – that I want to share with you. Check back each week for a new Digital Library!