Wednesday, 30 January 2008


'Inspired by the incredible snowflake photography of Mark Cassino ( o/) for the past couple of winters I've been trying my hand at capturing snowflake images.'

News Nishikie: Japan in the 1870s.

'Amazing stories new and old shown and retold by early Meiji woodblock drawers and writers'.

In the Beginning Was the Word: The Russian Church and Native Alaskan Cultures.

Ptolemy World Map.

'The presented map of the world, stretching from Western Ocean to China and from the sources of Nile to Greenland is at the same time image of the Earth in the boundless outer space. It is surrounded by personifications of 12 winds, the luminous oval in gold, pinkish and blue symbolizes the elements which make up the Universe: earth, air, fire and water. '


15th century images of the Book of Revelation.

Retro Cars.

Vintage French Tourism PR Photos.

'From 1934 towards the end of the sixties, the French Ministry for Tourism employed full-time PR photographers to snap "celebrities" travelling by Air France. I've found a pack of these press photos at the flea market of Clignancourt, and bought them for 1 euro each'.

John Bull and Uncle Sam: Four Centuries of British-American Relations.

'A joint project of the Library of Congress and The British Library, the John Bull and Uncle Sam exhibition brings together for the first time treasures from the two greatest libraries in the English-speaking world in an exploration of selected time periods and cultural movements that provide unique insights into the relationship of the United States and Great Britain. '

Voices of Civil Rights.

'The exhibition Voices of Civil Rights documents events during the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. This exhibition draws from the thousands of personal stories, oral histories, and photographs collected by the "Voices of Civil Rights" project, a collaborative effort of AARP, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), and the Library of Congress, and marks the arrival of these materials in the Library's collection. '

Eleanor Roosevelt: 'My Day'.

'Eleanor Roosevelt's "My Day" was a syndicated newspaper column published from 1935 to 1962. During those years, Eleanor wrote the column consistently six days a week, the only interruption being when her husband died, and even then she missed only four days. The column allowed Eleanor to reach millions of Americans with her views on social and political issues, current and historical events, and her private and public life. Dealing with subjects far out of the range of the conventional first lady's concerns, "My Day" is an outstanding example of the breadth of issues and activities which occupied Eleanor Roosevelt's life. '

Astro Pics.

MESSENGER Passes Mercury.

A Jet from the Sun.

Horizon to Horizon.

British Portrait Miniatures.

'These pages developed to complement the Miniatures Gallery tell the story of the portrait miniature in Britain, from its first appearance in the 1520s, at the court of Henry VIII, to the height of its popularity in the early 19th century.'


Small but nice photo-set.

Latin American Travelogues.

16th-19th century Latin American travel accounts.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Free Rice.

Play a simple word game, improve your vocabulary, donate some rice for free.
Charles Booth and Poverty Maps of London.

'Charles Booth's Inquiry into the Life and Labour of the People in London, undertaken between 1886 and 1903 was one of several surveys of working class life carried out in the 19th century. It is the only survey for which the original notes and data have survived and therefore provides a unique insight into the development of the philosophy and methodology of social investigation in the United Kingdom...'

Booth Poverty Map and Modern Map :,180400,6,large,5

Hecho en Mexico: Black Velvet Art.

'Garish images of Elvis, voluptuous pin-up girls, jungle fantasies and religious scenes are common themes in black velvet paintings, a kitsch tradition that gained popularity from the 1950s to the 1970s. Frequently fluorescent and often seen as the ultimate in bad taste, these paintings, peddled at border crossings between the U.S. and Mexico, flea markets, garage sales and eBay are the focus of this group. This pool pays homage to the artists. '

French Postcards and Kitsch of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

New England's Lost Ski Areas.

'Now celebrating the history of 588 lost ski areas in New England and 71 elsewhere! Over 9 years of service preserving the history of lost ski areas.'

Himalayan Illuminated Manuscripts and Calligraphy.

'Illuminated manuscripts: small images drawn or painted to decorate the pages of religious books.'

Medical Posters Gallery.

'The following medical posters represent a small fraction of the total number of posters designed over the past 30 years by artists in the NIH's Medical Arts and Photography Branch. '

Exploring 20th Century London.

Old Maps of Shanghai.


Victorian Music Covers.

'It is with some surprise that I admit that I actually went through and looked at all 806 of the Victorian era sheet music covers in Reading University's Spellman Collection via the wonderful Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) Visual Arts University College, UK. The vast majority are described as 'humorous' and quite a few are really funny. '

Barcelona Photoset.

The Fugitive Beauties of Hexandria.

'Priscilla Susan Bury [née Faulkner or Falkner and often cited as 'Mrs Edward Bury'] (~1790s-1869) was a self-taught watercolour artist who sketched exotic plants from her father's greenhouses on their estate near Liverpool, England, where she grew up.'

'Encouraged by a local botanist, William Rowe, and enlisting the technical expertise of staff at the Liverpool Botanical Gardens to assist with the accompanying text, Bury set about preparing a book of fifty one 'portraits' (as she called them) of her favoured Hexandrian species. These are a Linnean class of plants having six stamens, including lilies, hippeastrums, crinums and pancratiums...'

The Antiquities of Wisconsin.

'The Antiquities of Wisconsin, Increase A. Lapham's most important published work, was the result of his interest in the Indian effigy mounds found on Wisconsin's Landscape. His research for the work was funded by the American Antiquarian Society and it was published in the Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge series. Antiquities includes 92 pages of text, illustrated with 61 wood engravings, and 55 lithographed plates. '

19th and 20th Century Latin American Pamphlets.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

The World at Night.

The Aberdeen Bestiary.

12th century illuminated catalogue of beasts.

The Bureau of Atomic Tourism.

'The Bureau of Atomic Tourism is dedicated to the promotion of tourist locations around the world that have either been the site of atomic explosions, display exhibits on the development of atomic devices, or contain vehicles that were designed to deliver atomic weapons.'

Tribes of Burma.

"There is in this particular region a collection of races diverse in feature, language and customs such as cannot, perhaps, be paralleled in any other part of the world". - [Gazetteer of Upper Burma and the Shan States, Sir George Scott, 1899]

1930s Health and Safety Posters.

More here :- .

James A. Scott San Francisco Photograph Collection.

'The collection contains over 4,000 photographs of San Francisco taken by James A. Scott over a period of 40 years, beginning in the 1960's. Shown here is a selection of 27 pairs of before and after images accompanied by photographer Scott's notes and comments.'

William E. Worden San Francisco Plate Glass Negative Collection.

'The Willard E. Worden Glass Plate Negative Collection SFP-22 contains 432 glass plate negatives taken by San Francisco photographer Willard E. Worden ca. 1911-1912...'

'227 of the images depict the building of the Ingleside Terraces residential neighborhood by the Urban Realty Improvement Company. The remainder includes residences in Jordan Park and Visitacion Valley, various residential interiors, Sacred Heart School the Y.M.C.A. building at Golden Gate Avenue and Leavenworth, Y.M.C.A camps, and views of Berkeley and Piedmont. '

Illuminated Hebrew Manuscripts.

'Over 100 illuminations selected from the 1,156 extant pages of the Padua Ashkenazi Mahzor, a medieval Jewish festival prayer book; Hamburg Haggadah (1731); Ketubbot (1638); and Xanten Bible.'

AFSCME, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike.

From Wikipedia ( ) - 'The Memphis Sanitation Strike began on February 11, 1968 in Memphis Tennessee. Citing years of poor treatment, discrimination, and dangerous working conditions, some 1300 black sanitation workers walked off the job in protest ... Over the next 64 days, the strike grew into a major civil rights struggle, attracting the attention of the national news media. AFSCME and the workers demanded union recognition, wage increases, and an end to discrimination. Local clergy and community leaders also undertook an active campaign, including boycotts and civil disobedience.'

Fidel Castro Speech Database.

'This database includes speeches, interviews, etc., by Fidel Castro from 1959 to 1996. All texts are in English.'

Querying the Hive Mind.

'Give me your best games to play while waiting in line, going on long car trips, or on airplanes.'

'What is a good breakfast?'

'What are you thinking about when you pray?'

'How to be homeless? Yes, step one, lack a home. Then what?'

Scientific Instruments of Medieval and Renaissance Europe.

St. Augustine, Florida: America's Ancient City.

'Seventy three years after Columbus sailed to America, another Spanish admiral, Pedro Menéndez de Aviles, landed in Florida and established a colony among the Timucua Indians. He named it St. Augustine on September 8, 1565. The settlement was already forty two years old when Jamestown was founded, and has survived until today as the oldest European town in the United States. Over the two turbulent centuries between St. Augustine's founding and the departure of the Spaniards in 1763, the city was home to Spaniards, criollos (people of Spanish ancestry born in America), Indians, Africans and mixed blood people. Together they created a lively multi-cultural and multiethnic society that was unique in colonial North America...'

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Strange Maps.

The Minard Map of Napoleon's Russian Campaign.

Papua New Guinea, the Linguistic Superpower.

Europa Polyglotta.

Christmas Island, 1934.

How to Plan and Book a Journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway.


Tiny treasures of Japanese art. Some more here -

Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Sketches of Northern Italy.

'Follow the links below to explore Northern Italy through the eyes of the celebrated Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) during his sketching tour of the Continent in 1891. Compare his superb sketches with present-day photographs from the same locations, and retrace his steps with our interactive 19th century Baedeker maps.'

The Water Margin.

The classic Chinese novel told through comics.

'Water Margin is well-known as one of the four greatest Chinese novels in history.It tells stories of a group of heroes,who stand for different classes of people daring to struggle against the evil.There are 105 men and 3 women in all,who are oppressed by the currupt and unjust official and then rise up.These stories take place at the end of the North Song period,describing various vivid pictures of farmers' uprising full of love and hate,ties of friendship, kind and enmity,etc.'

Vintage Aprons.

Historic Lighthouses of the United States.

Click on a state to see brief descriptions and photos.

Astro Pics.

A Jupiter-Io Montage.

Hidden Galaxy IC 342.

Aurora in the Distance.

Vajreshwari Devi Temple.

Part of this India photoset -

Zapatistas! Documents of the New Mexican Revolution.

Digital Durham, North Carolina.

'For many years scholars have recognized that late nineteenth-century Durham, North Carolina makes an ideal case study for examining emancipation, industrialization, immigration, and urbanization in the context of the New South. "With its tobacco factories, textile mills, black entrepreneurs, and new college," the historian Syd Nathans observes, "Durham was a hub of enterprise and hope." By the early twentieth century, Durham became renowned for its vibrant entrepreneurial spirit. Both W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington wrote articles for the national press about their visits with members of Durham's African-American community...'

Querying the Hive Mind.

'A good friend just received a brain cancer diagnosis with an estimated one year survival time. She wants to talk about death and time.'

'What significant items have been irretrievably lost?'

'I need friends...'

The best ways to erase your hard drive.

No puzzle this week - taking a little break.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Mount Moosilauke.

Folklore and stories around a mountain in New Hampshire.

The G.I. Jones Photographic Archive of S.E. Nigerian Art and Culture.

'The photographs in this archive were taken in the 1930s by the late G. I. Jones. The photos included here are only a sample of the complete collection. '

'The photographs are unique for the creative brilliance of the art represented, the quality of the photography, and the cultural and historical significance of photographic records from this time period in Nigeria.'

American Railroad Maps 1828-1900.

'The Railroad maps represent an important historical record, illustrating the growth of travel and settlement as well as the development of industry and agriculture in the United States. They depict the development of cartographic style and technique, highlighting the achievement of early railroaders. Included in the collection are progress report surveys for individual lines, official government surveys, promotional maps, maps showing land grants and rights-of-way, and route guides published by commercial firms. '

Madubhani Painting.

'Hindu women who live in villages near the market town of Madhubani in northern India maintain old traditions and teach them to their daughters. Painting is one of the traditional skills that is passed down from generation to generation in the families of some of the women. They paint figures from nature and myth on household and village walls to mark the seasonal festivals of the religious year, for special events of the life-cycle, and when marriages are being arranged they prepare intricately designed wedding proposals...'

Gods of Japan.

A photo-dictionary.

Hotel El Rancho Las Vegas: The Strip's First Resort.

'Welcome to the El Rancho Vegas Online Exhibit. The El Rancho Vegas was the first casino resort built on what would become the Las Vegas Strip. It opened on April 3, 1941 and closed after a catastrophic fire on June 17, 1960.'

Afghanistan 1969-1974.


Rembrandt's Journey: Painter, Draftsman, Etcher.

Pioneers of Soviet Computing.

An almost-lost history.

Payphones of the World.

World War 1 Propaganda Posters.

Mongolian Stories.

Ethiopian Icons.

Political Cartoons from US Elections 1860-1912.

British Election Cartoons 1959-1997.


The history, folklore and traditions of the Orkney Islands - ghost stories, megaliths, and more on this extensive site.

Digital Sheet Music Collection 1890-1922.

'The University of Colorado at Boulder Music Library has a large sheet music collection with approximately 150,000 items including examples from the late 18th through the 20th centuries. This web site provides access to digital versions of some of the categories of sheet music within our physical collections, a new avenue to this interesting genre. The sheet music digitized and presented here was originally published between 1890 and 1922...'

A Visual Journey: Photographs by Lisa Law 1965-71.

Photographic archive of American radicalism.

'Lisa Law's photographs provide glimpses into the folk and rock music scenes, California's blossoming counterculture, and the family-centered and spiritual world of commune life in New Mexico. They are moments that she lived, witnessed, and recorded on the frontier of cultural change...'

Cambodia Tales.

'Click on the links below and you'll find comprehensive travelogues from my many trips to Cambodia. My first visit to this beautiful country took place in 1994 and I've returned every year since. Click on each link to read the travelogue and view my photos, though many photos have still to be posted...'

Mary Pickford.

'Late in her life, the actor Mary Pickford described a recurring nightmare in which she walked out on stage to perform, only to find there was no one in the audience to watch her...'

'For nearly two decades Pickford skillfully navigated her way through the industry. But by the end of her life, her nightmare became her reality. She discovered that fame was fleeting, the crowds fickle. This powerful and moving American Experience production uses archival footage, stills, original audio interviews with Pickford and clips from her movies to tell a story that is full of joy and power, of loneliness and despair.'

Witness to a Sky Burial - The Sacred Solemn Funeral Rite of Tibet.

Raleigh, North Carolina: A Capital City.

'In 1792, a thousand acres were purchased from Joel Lane on which to establish a permanent capital city, centrally located in the middle of the state, accessible to all North Carolinians...'

Nice history site, with interactive maps and an interesting section on African American history.

Stamps of Greenland.

Stamps of Tibet.

Royal Barges of Thailand.

Weekly Puzzle.

One day a girl celebrated her birthday. Two days later, her older twin brother celebrated his. How is this possible?