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Posts Tagged ‘photography’

McAllister Photographs Featured in “Under the Big Top” at the Fleming Museum

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Circus People

At UVM’s Fleming Museum until May 22, the exhibit “Under the Big Top: The Fine Art of the Circus in America” examines the iconography of circus imagery in American 20th and 21st-century art. The exhibit includes eleven photographs of traveling circus performers taken in the 1940s and 1950s by local photographer Louis L. McAllister. UVM Special Collections holds thousands of McAllister prints.

The performers in McAllister’s photos include the Viking Giant, dancer Baby Thelma Williams,  and Stanley Berent, aka Sealo the Seal Boy, promoted as “strange people” and “freaks.”  Like other 20th-century American artists represented in “Under the Big Top”, McAllister may have empathized with the outside status of these sideshow performers.

McAllister’s circus photos can also be seen in the L.L. McAllister Photographs collection in The UVM Libraries’ Center for Digital Initiatives.

Fleming + CDI Digitize Images of Japan

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

A Tourist’s Album of Japan

Katherine Wolcott and her uncle, Robert Hull Fleming, compiled this photo album on their visit to Japan in 1909. It contains nearly 40 leaves of collected photographs and postcards, numbering two to three per album page. The pictures range in content, some depicting staged photos of daily life while others portray landscapes and countryside. The album itself measures approximately 11 x 14 x 4 inches. Users can view the entire album, or individual images.

A Collaboration

This collection represents a collaboration between the university’s Robert Hull Fleming Museum, where the album is housed, and the UVM Libraries’ Center for Digital Initiatives. Conceived of as part of the Museum’s Shadows of the Samurai: Japanese Warrior Traditions exhibit, this new online resource invites many perspectives on early twentieth century Japan.

Japan in Context

Wolcott’s album captures a unique view of Japan at the brink of burgeoning Western influence. After defeating the Russians in the Russo Japanese War (1904-05), Japan began to cement itself as a global power, and its efforts to modernize began to attract Westerners. The images in this album depict a Japan with a strong national heritage and cultural appreciation as well as a newfound embrace of modernization and technology.Most of the pictures in the album sold commercially as a form of postcard. In the early 1900s, the Japanese populace began consuming millions of these types of commercially produced picture postcards. Eventually, the medium became so popular that it started to replace the more traditional wood block print. The citizenry sought pictures of their budding nation, wanting to hold a still image of the rapidly modernizing and changing countryside.

Free Cake and Cider!

Monday, January 10th, 2011

McAllister Photographs Digitization Complete

It’s taken three years, but we have finally digitized over 9,000 photographs by Louis L. Mcallister!

Come celebration the culmination of this huge collection.

McAllister Photographs Reception
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Bailey/Howe Library
3:00 – 5:00 pm

Meet the folks who worked hard on this collection, view some of the images, and enjoy free cake and cider!

The cake will even feature one of the photographs from the collection.

Porter Thayer Photos Online

Friday, December 10th, 2010

This collection is being digitized through a collaboration between the UVM Libraries’ Center for Digital Initiatives and the Brooks Memorial Library.  The collection launched with 100 initial photos in December 2010, after which batches of 50 images will be added to the collection on a continuous basis.  This work is supported in part by a grant from the Windham Foundation.

When completed, the collection will contain 1300 photographs of Windham County made from silver gelatin prints by this early 20th century itinerant town photographer. The prints were made in 1980 from the 5×7 glass plates negatives held at the Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro, Vermont.

“During the time period Porter worked, Vermont was extremely poor and rural, yet held a close-knit population that shared the labors of life. Farmers helped one another to survive in a subsistence and barter economy. For women, men, and children, life meant constant work. Thayer’s images describe the work and the tools involved. His landscape images reveal this working landscape, which today is mostly hidden by trees.” (by Jessica Weitz and Forrest Holzapfel)

Read more about this collection in a recent article from The Commons News.

What We’re Reading & Watching

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

We asked Ana Banu, a student who works in Bailey/Howe Library, to share some of her favorite books and movies from our collection and she delivered an eclectic mix of film, fashion, fiction, and art. Get them while they’re hot!

Here are her recommendations:

Yves Saint Laurent by Jéromine Savignon and Bernard Blistène

YSL is a brilliant fashion designer, although I could just call him a brilliant artist, without any further ado. He is also an inspiring individual not only for people who are intrigued by fashion. This book talks about his life in almost an intimate manner and presents it from different points of view, including his and the peoples who he worked with. You get to learn about his ways and also see how a character can become lovable through his actions, creations and way of living, right in front of your eyes. YSL dedicated his life to making women, and later on men, feel comfortable, powerful and stylish.

Zen in the art of archery by Eugen Herrigel

This book is one the shortest books, yet helpful and insightful, I’ve ever read. It is about Zen and it is about Archery. It is also about how the two go together in creating an awareness of the moment that is beyond words. Things, in general and in particular, begin appearing a lot simpler and natural after taking in what Eugene Herrigel says. And the way he says is accessible enough to keep you going.

Camera lucida : reflections on photography by Roland Barthes

This is one other short(er) book, but so intense and powerful that every paragraph could be developed into pages. In Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes talks about his own system of viewing and interpreting photography, beauty, history. It is both playful and academic and it explains things that are not easily explained, like why we get emotionally involved when looking at a photograph.

L’ećume des jours (translation: Froth of the Daydream) by Boris Vian

L’ećume des jours is a novel for the French speakers, only because it is in French, not because the story wouldn’t survive a broader audience. I, personally, read it in a different language and loved it. The images described in the book are so powerful and visual that they transcend language. Reading it in French might add some nuances to the strange and creative ways of telling Colin and Chloe’s story.

Malcolm X – Directed by Spike Lee

Based on The autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm X is a movie directed by Spike Lee. It truly embodies both historical accuracies and the director’s admiration for the person that Malcolm X was. The story is brought to life by Denzel Washington, Spike Lee’s fetish actor, and probably the best choice for playing this character.

Bubba Ho-tep

I postponed watching this movie, because it seemed to have that silly and distasteful air some movies have. But it is not distasteful, nor silly. It is the story of an old “Elvis”, who may or may not be the Real Elvis, and a black old man (Ossie Davis) who thinks he is JFK, in fighting an Egyptian mummy trying to steal some souls. And as “Elvis” says: Ask not what your rest home can do for you. Ask what you can do for your rest home.

New Digital Collection of Long Trail’s Early Years

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

The UVM Libraries’ Center for Digital Initiatives is pleased to announce our newest collection, the Long Trail Photographs, is now available online. This collection documents the nation’s first long-distance hiking trail. It is comprised of over 900 digitized glass lantern slides dating to the 1910s – 1930s. The collection captures the landscapes seen by early hikers, documenst recreational and maintenance activities on the trail, and provides an historical record of people associated with the trail’s formation. The photographs were taken by early Long Trail advocates Theron S. Dean and Herbert Wheaton Congdon.

This collection launch coincides with the March 11, 2010 centennial of the Green Mountain Club, the member organization which built and maintains the Long Trail. The CDI will present the collection to Green Mountain Club members at their Birthday Gala celebration. This GMC event is open to the public, but RSVP soon – space is limited.

CDI Discusses Local History Resources on TV

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

As Seen On TV – Historical Sources Online

Live at 5:25 – Thursday, February 25, 2010 – Channel 17

The UVM Libraries’ Center for Digital Initiatives shared some of its excellent local history resources with the audience of Preservation Burlington’s “Live at 5:25.” Outreach Librarian Robin Katz was joined by two Library staff members who have helped create CDI collections.

Mary Van Buren-Swasey of the Cataloging department uses her local history expertise to create rich museum-level descriptive records for the ongoing additions to the McAllister photograph collection. Dan DeSanto, a staff member in Reference and Instruction and a recent graduate of the University of Alabama’s School of Library and Information Science, is currently working on our forthcoming collection of Long Trail photographs.

In this video, Robin, Mary and Dan highlight collection materials, share anecdotes about the research involved in digital collection production, and invite viewers to further explore the CDI.

This episode will be shown again on Channel 17 on these dates:
Tuesday March 2, 2:30 PM
Tuesday March 9, 2:30 PM
Tuesday March 16, 2:30 PM
Tuesday March 23, 2:30 PM

To invite the CDI to address your audience, please contact us.

See how the CDI was mentioned on a previous “Live at 5:25″ show entitled “Researching Your Old House” and featuring historian and museum consultant Erica Donnis:

Louis McAllister’s Historic Burlington Photos Now Online

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Audio Slideshow: Louis McAllister

It has been said that the 25,000 photographs in Special Collections’ Louis McAllister collection ”span the marvelous (circus sideshows with signs promising ‘Viking giants,’ ‘freaks,’ and ‘strange people’) to the mundane (serene shots of bank interiors and children’s dance recitals).”  This heavily-used collection of commercial photography is now available online.

Researchers will appreciate the collection’s “museum-level cataloging” created by library faculty and staff. Extremely detailed records for individual photographs will aid scholars, genealogists, and history buffs.

See the Louis L. McAllister Photographs for yourself at the UVM Libraries’ Center for Digital Initiatives. New materials are constantly being added.