Americas and Oceania Collections blog

45 posts categorized "Photography"

25 July 2013

Prince George - British Columbia

J.Simonson, Prince George, B.C. (HS85-10-35684)
Prince George, BC., May 1, 1919  Available from Wikimedia Commons

Public Domain Mark 

Continuing our theme of a Canadian photo for every occasion, we couldn't resist providing this image of Prince George, British Columbia, taken in May 1919. The city may not come up first in Google searches any longer, but the mayor doesn't seem too bothered, judging by this piece in the Huffington Post! The photo is part of our Picturing Canada project.

[C.H.]

 

23 July 2013

The Royal Baby and Photos for Every Occasion

Courtship and wedding Photo 11 The stork's visit stereoscopic view (HS85-10-17208)

Above: 'The Stork's Visit'. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

Public Domain Mark
These works are free of known copyright restrictions.

Here in Team Americas we've been rather swept up by our own new arrival, Beth's son Camilo, but we couldn't help but notice the House of Windsor's most recent addition too. Also, given Canada's enthusiasm for the Prince of Cambridge we thought it appropriate to roll out a few Canadian photographs that match the mood.

HMS Virago firing in honour of the King (HS85-10-11979)

Above: HMS Virago firing in honour of the King. From Wikimedia Commons.

Needless to say there really is a photograph for every occasion in the collection generated from Picturing Canada, to the extent that some of them even come in 3D (with the right glasses or .gif). On a more serious note, the collection also reflects Canada's historical enthusiasm for the Royal Family, not least in the photographic tributes to Victoria and celebrations of the coronation of Edward VII contained in the collection.

Historical notes aside, enjoy the photographs and congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge from Team Americas (and Australasia).

[PJH]

01 July 2013

Happy Canada Day!

 721px-Opening_of_new_Parliament_buildings_at_Victoria,_B_C,_February_10th_1898_2_(HS85-10-9752)

Above: the opening of the Victoria parliament buildings, 1898. From Wikimedia Commons, copyright number 9752 

Public Domain Mark
These works are free of known copyright restrictions.

Many happy returns, Canada, and congratulations on your 146th year. Team Americas has made a habit of marking the occasion but this year is a little different - this year we have arranged a little present.

You see today is the official 'go live' day of the Picturing Canada project. Since I last posted on the blog about it we have completed the digitisation, uploaded over 2,000 new files to Wikimedia Commons and started hosting the images on the Library's Digitised Manuscripts viewer as well. As we mentioned before, the files uploaded onto Commons have all been released under a public domain license and it's great to see that some have already been used in various new contexts.

722px-Dan_Patch_Photo_B_(HS85-10-16532)
Above: Dan Patch in one of the collection's many photographs of animals and sports (not always combined...). From Wikimedia Commons, copyright number 16532

For those of you who missed the previous posts, the Picturing Canada project has sought to digitise the Library's collection of colonial copyright photographs. These were accumulated between the years 1895 and 1924 with over 4,000 photographs being part of the final collection. The photographs come from across Canada and the collection covers a dynamic time in Canada's history through the lens of amateurs, as well as some of Canada's more well-known photographers.

689px-The_Lieutenant_Governor_and_first_cabinet_of_the_province_of_Alberta_(HS85-10-16448)
Above: composite portrait marking the first cabinet of the Province of Alberta. From Wikimedia Commons, copyright number 16448. 

To illustrate the point, the collection holds photographs of Wilfrid Laurier, the opening of the parliament buildings in Victoria, commemorative photographs marking Alberta and Saskatchewan joining the Confederation, as well as many other photographs of Canadian politics in action.  Canada Day related politics are not the only theme though, expanding lines of communication, wars, migration, growing cities, major sporting events, notable foreign visitors and many other subjects are covered (often from multiple angles) in the collection.

So, with celebrations to attend to (do catch the annual Trafalgar Square party if you have time) I'll sign off with a reminder that you can find and use the images from Wikimedia Commons or browse and view them in fantastic detail on the Library's Digitised Manuscripts viewer (just type 'hs85/10' in the manuscripts search bar). One quick disclaimer on the latter, we're still in the process of getting the photographs onto this so do keep checking back and you'll see more everytime.

800px-Topsey's_curiosity_(HS85-10-20757)
Above: one more cat picture! From Wikimedia Commons, copyright number 20757

With all that said, enjoy the day and the photos - and if you do anything exciting with them be sure to let us know!

[PJH]



20 June 2013

Naomi Wood

Wood

Image © Ander McIntyre

A portrait of Naomi Wood at the Moghul exhibition at the British Library in December 2012.

Naomi is one of the Writers in Residence at the Eccles Centre for American Studies, the author of The Godless Boys (Picador) and Mrs Hemingway (forthcoming from Picador).

[Ander McIntyre is a photographer and a Fellow at the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library.  He is an occasional contributor to this blog.]

21 May 2013

Justin Webb, James Montgomery Flagg and Uncle Sam

Webb2
Image: Justin Webb and Uncle Sam © Ander McIntyre


A portrait of Justin Webb, presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, just before delivering the third annual Benjamin Franklin House Robert H. Smith lecture in American Democracy ('Wise Up America! A Friendly Word from a Foreigner'), co-sponsored by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library on 10 May 2013.

James Montgomery Flagg's famous First World War recruiting poster image of Uncle Sam is from the current Propaganda: Power and Persuasion exhibition at the Library, which runs until 17 September.

[Ander McIntyre is a photographer and a Fellow at the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library.  He is an occasional contributor to this blog.]

16 May 2013

Noam Chomsky and Propaganda

Noamchomsky
Noam Chomsky at the British Library, 2013 © Ander McIntyre

Ander McIntyre is a photographer and a Fellow at the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library.  He is an occasional contributor to this blog:

A portrait of Noam Chomsky just before he delivered a lecture at the British Library on 19 March this year, as part of the series of events under the banner of the Library's new exhibition Propaganda: Power and Persuasion.

In 1988, Professor Chomsky wrote, in Language and Problems of Knowledge: The Managua Lectures (MIT Press),

Work of true aesthetic value follows canons and principles that are only in part subject to human choice; in part, they reflect our fundamental nature. The result is that we can experience deep emotion - pleasure, pain, excitement, and so on - from certain creative work, though how and why remains largely unknown. But the very capacities of mind that open these possibilities to us exclude other possibilities forever. The limits of artistic creativity should, again, be a matter of joy, not sorrow, because they follow from the fact that there is a rich domain of aesthetic experience to which we have access.

A film of Chomsky's conversation at the Library with Jonathan Freedland is on our YouTube channel.

[A.M.]

10 May 2013

Changing Scenes: Canadian landscape views

Rideau Locks (Hunter's Scenery)

Above: 'View of Locks' in 'Hunter's Ottawa Scenery' [Shelfmark: RB.31.c.502]

Public Domain Mark
These works are free of known copyright restrictions.

After ducks took over the blog earlier in the week a change of tone - although our feathered / mechanical friend will be pleased water is still involved. I've been digging through a few of the Library's printed books on 19th-century Canadian scenery and I thought I'd share some of the examples of subtle and striking change I've come across. The above illustration is a view of the Rideau Canal locks that sit below the parliament buildings in Ottawa, taken from 'Hunter's Ottawa Scenery' [Ottawa City, 1855. Shelfmark: RB.31.c.502]. It shows the city around the time of its incorporation but prior to its installation as capital of the Province of Canada.

Parliament and locks (Copy 22830)

Above: 'Rideau Canal Locks and the Parliament Buildings', by the Canadian Photographic Company [Shelfmark: HS85/10, Copy. 22830]

The above photograph was copyrighted in 1910 by the Canadian Photographic Company, less than 60 years after the plate in Hunter's 'Scenery' was produced. It illustrates quite nicely the changes brought to the area and its development as a national capital, although the scale of change is not as dramatic as in other examples from the collection. A good example here is an illustration of Toronto taken from Willis', 'Canadian Scenery' (London, 1842. Shelfmark: 789.e.18).

Toronto Fish Market (Canadian Scenery)

Above: 'Fish Market, Toronto' in, 'Canadian Scenery' [Shelfmark: 789.e.18]

According to the Toronto Public Library the area shown is at the foot of today's Jarvis St., downtown Toronto. By 1903 the view looking across this area was strikingly different, as the below photograph by William Thompson Freeland shows. The photograph is taken across the road from Toronto's government buildings, looking across Younge St. and Jarvis St. out towards the lake and the islands. While it doesn't show the area from 'Canadian Scenery' directly it does illustrate the dramatic change Toronto has undergone.

Toronto Panorama pt 4 (Copy 14481)

Above: 'Toronto Panorama, pt 4' by William Thompson Freeland [Shelfmark: HS85/10, Copy. 14481]

These are just a few examples from the collection depicting the changing Canadian environment and relevant items are not just found in printed books and photographs. For example, the topographical views and maps that make up the King's Topographical collection also contain myriad views which help illuminate the developing landscape of Canada.

For more on the scale and scope of the Library's Canadian collections, visit our Help for researchers pages.

[PJH]

12 April 2013

Picturing Canada: going live (gradually)

Parliament_Hill_no._2_(HS85-10-22264)
Miniature panorama of Parliament Hill, Ottawa [copyright number 22264, shelfmark: HS85/10]

Public Domain Mark
This work is free of known copyright restrictions.

So, the day is here when Andrew and I get to show the first fruit of the Picturing Canada project to the world. Friday sees us present the initial outputs from the project to attendees of the GLAM-WIKI 2013 conference and it only seemed right to share it with our Americas blog readers too.

Digitisation is almost complete, with just the largest images still to come (a nice treat to end the project with), and while a few things need putting in place before we can host the images on the Library's Digitised Manuscripts page they are being gradually uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. Here the collection has a dedicated area which will soon have an introductory blurb and you can browse the collection as it grows over coming weeks.

That said, what have we got to show you? I briefly described the history and content of the collection a few weeks ago on the Americas blog but here are some fun extra facts. First off, we have so far mapped the collection's contents to over 300 different locations in Canada and you can browse this on the map above. This time it's a vector map so you can zoom in and out, clicking on the buttons for details on the location, how many photographs there are from each area and what time period they cover. I'm afraid there's no direct link to the photographs yet, as we're still uploading, but it will be available in the coming months.

 Picturing Canada timeline (GLAM WIKI).001

I've also got back to thinking about how the collection reflects the history of Canada. It provides a dynamic (and sometimes irreverent) lens on the many significant events that occurred between 1895 and 1924, both inside and outside of Canada. The above is one of the slides from Friday's presentation and it gives a highly selective and somewhat hap-hazard view of Canada's history during the period - but hopefully it provides a sense of some of the significant and / or interesting events of the period.

Over the course of the project Andrew and I have worked hard to make the metadata attached to these photographs usefully available as well as refining it and putting it to new uses. Hopefully the result of this will be a collection of photographs of use to historians of Canada, historians of photography, the writers of myriad Wikipedia articles and - you never know - the creator of the next cat-based meme.

I can live in hope... That said, if you put the photographs to any interesting uses please let us know.

[PJH & AG]

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