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!
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.”
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.
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 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!
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.
The New York Times has started a Tumblr to showcase its extensive photo archive. Each week, The Lively Morgue will publish several photographs from the newspaper’s collection. Each photo has the date taken, explanatory caption, and photographer’s name.
Additionally, The Times is posting images of the back-side of the photographs. David Dunlap, journalist for the newspaper, explains that this is where the life of the photograph is recorded. “In many cases,” he writes, “you’ll get to see how often the photo was used, in what context and at what size; the information provided by the photographer; and the information that made it into the published caption.”
Many of the photographs will also be posted on The Lens, The Times’ photography and videography blog. Essays accompany the series of photographs, providing more insight into the people and places depicted in the images.
If you have your own Tumblr account, you’ll be able to repost and like photos posted on The Lively Morgue, creating your own collection of cultural, political, and social history.
The Consortium allows you to browse all of these collections at once. Search by collection, composer or lyricist, or subject. Almost everything in the Consortium is accessible for viewing. You can limit your search option to “digitized content only” to only view what is available online.
The Consortium also gives you the option to drag records into a virtual personal collection and then save or email the records.