You are browsing the archive for Images-Photography.

The British Library’s “Mechanical Curator” million

- December 19, 2013 in British Library, collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, Images, Images-17th, Images-18th, Images-19th, Images-Animals, Images-Design, Images-Engraving-Line, Images-People, Images-Photography, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide

Last week the ever-incredible British Library announced that they were gifting more than 1 million images to the world, uploaded to Flickr Commons under the public domain mark, meaning complete freedom of re-use. The range and breadth of images is phenomenal. As they say in their post announcing the release the “images themselves cover a startling mix of subjects: There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of”. Each image was extracted from its respective home (books making up a total of 65,000 already digitised volumes) by a program known as the ‘Mechanical Curator’, a creation of the British Library Labs project. A crowdsourcing application is being launched in the new year (likely using tools developed by our very own Open Knowledge Foundation!) to help describe what the images portray – and the British Library is also putting out a general plea for people to innovate new ways to navigate, find and display this incredible array of images. (Email BL Labs here). Although, of course, it will one day be wonderful to be able to sort and filter these images into […]

Hand coloured photographs of 19th century Japan

- December 17, 2013 in albumine, collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, early photography, felice beato, Images, Images-19th, Images-People, Images-Photography, japan, Library of Congress, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide

A selection from a series of 42 hand coloured albumine prints – a process which used the albumen found in egg whites to bind the photographic chemicals to the paper – taken around 1880. The presence of the pictures in the Dutch National Archieff reflects a long relationship between Japan and the Netherlands, the result of an exclusive commercial relationship that would last for more than two centuries (1641-1855). Housed at: Flickr: The Commons | From: Nationaal Archieff Underlying Work: PD Worldwide | Digital Copy: No Additional Rights Download: Right click on image or see source for higher res versions The following pictures from the collections of the Library of Congress are by the Italian–British photographer Felice Beato (probably also the creator of the images above), one of the first people to take photographs in East Asia and one of the first war photographers. Library of Congress Underlying Work: PD Worldwide | Digital Copy: No Additional Rights Download: Right click on image or see source for higher res versions HELP TO KEEP US AFLOAT The Public Domain Review is a not-for-profit project and we rely on support from our readers to stay afloat. If you like what we do then […]

Robert Cornelius’ self-portrait: The First Ever “Selfie” (1839)

- November 19, 2013 in collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, first ever photographic self-portrait, Images, Images-19th, Images-People, Images-Photography, Library of Congress, robert cornelius, selfie, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide

Today the Oxford Dictionaries announced their word of the year for 2013 to be “selfie”, which they define as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” Although it’s current rampant incarnation is quite recent, the “selfie” is far from being a strictly modern phenomenon. Indeed, the photographic self-portrait is surprisingly common in the very early days of photography exploration and invention, when it was often more convenient for the experimenting photographer to act as model as well. In fact, the picture considered by many to be the first photographic portrait ever taken was a “selfie”. The image in question was taken in 1839 by an amateur chemist and photography enthusiast from Philadelphia named Robert Cornelius. Cornelius had set his camera up at the back of the family store in Philadelphia. He took the image by removing the lens cap and then running into frame where he sat for a minute before covering up the lens again. On the back he wrote “The first light Picture ever taken. 1839.” Housed at: Wikimedia Commons | From: Library of Congress Underlying Work: PD Worldwide | Digital Copy: […]

Photographs from a séance with Eva Carrière (1913)

- October 31, 2013 in Boston Public Library, collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, eva carrière, fraud, harry price, hoax, Images, Images-20th, Images-People, Images-Photography, Internet Archive, occult, seance, spirit photography, spiritualism, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide

This remarkable series of photographs are from a book entitled Phenomena of Materialisation by German physician and psychic researcher Baron von Schrenck-Notzing. The book focuses on a series of séances that Schrenck-Notzing witnessed between the years 1909 and 1913 involving the French medium Eva Carrière, or Eva C. Born Marthe Béraud, Carrière changed her name in 1909 to begin her career afresh after a series of seances she held in 1905 were exposed as a fraud. Her psychic performances as Eva C gained the attention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes mystery series, who believed she was genuine, and also Harry Houdini, who was not so convinced. Another researcher who became interested in her case was Albert von Schrenck-Notzing. A series of tests he devised between the years 1909 and 1913 convinced him that Eva C was the real deal and in 1913 he published his Phenomena of Materialisation detailing the sessions and the reasons for his belief. It has been noted that these sessions with Schrenck-Notzing verged on the pornographic. Carrière’s assistant (and reported lover) Juliette Bisson would, during the course of the séance sittings with Schrenck-Notzing, introduce her finger into Carrière’s vagina to ensure […]

Flowers and Pictures of the Holy Land

- October 9, 2013 in christianity, Chromolithography, collections, colour, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, early photography, flowers, holy land, Images, Images-19th, Images-Landscapes, Images-Photography, israel, jerusalem, palestine, photochrome, Religion, The Getty, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide

A selection of pages from a remarkable book produced sometime in the 1890s, an album of full-page colour illustrations (what look to be chromolithographs) of landmark sites in the “Holy Land”, opposite to which are mounted arrangements of dried flowers picked from the location shown. The album is bound in boards of olive wood with inlaid border and leather spine. It was produced and sold by the publisher Boulos Meo at his antique shop at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem. See more over at The Getty Research Institute. The Getty Research Institute Underlying Work: PD Worldwide | Digital Copy: No Additional Rights Download: Right click on image or see source for higher res versions HELP TO KEEP US AFLOAT The Public Domain Review is a not-for-profit project and we rely on support from our readers to stay afloat. If you like what we do then please do consider making a donation. We welcome all contributions, big or small - everything helps! Become a Patron Small angel : £3.00 GBP - monthly Medium sized hero : £5.00 GBP - monthly Large emperor : £10.00 GBP - monthly Vast deity : £20.00 GBP - monthly Make a one off Donation SIGN UP […]

Auto Polo (ca.1911)

- October 3, 2013 in auto polo, cars, collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, Flickr: the Commons, ford, Images, Images-20th, Images-People, Images-Photography, Library of Congress, polo, sport, Underlying Work: No Known Copyright Restrictions

Four photographs depicting dramatic scenes from an "auto polo" match, a version of polo played using cars rather than horses. The sport - thought to have been invented as a publicity stunt by a Ford automobile dealer from Topeka to sell Model Ts - was popular at fairs, exhibitions and sports venues across the United States and several areas in Europe from 1911 until the late 1920s.

The First Tour de France (1903)

- July 18, 2013 in 1903, collections, cycling, Digital Copy: PD Wikimedia, dreyfuss affair, first tour de france, France, Images, Images-20th, Images-People, Images-Photography, maurice garin, sport, tour de france, Underlying Work: No Known Copyright Restrictions, Wikimedia Commons

The 2013 Tour de France marks the 100th of the event’s history, which began in 1903 (the competition was put on hold during the two world wars). Strangely, this inaugural event of 1903 had it’s origins in one of France’s greatest political scandals – the Dreyfuss Affair. In 1894 a young French artillery officer of Jewish descent, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, was convicted of high treason but then, years later, was proven to be innocent in the light of new evidence, evidence which the military attempted to suppress. The ensuing debate over Dreyfuss’ innocence, and the wider issues of anti-semitism in which it was embedded, divided the nation. One such division occurred within France’s most popular cycling magazine L’Velo, causing it to split into two when an anti-Dreyfuss contingent broke away to form L’Auto-Velo. L’Velo‘s owner won a court case forcing L’Auto-Velo to change their name, which they did, to L’Auto, a move which saw their sales subsequently plummet. In an effort to boost their waning popularity, and win back their cycling fans, L’Auto set up the Tour de France in 1903. It was a hugely successful campaign which caused their sales to increase 6-fold during and after the race and, […]

Canada Through a Lens: the British Library Colonial Copyright Collection

- July 2, 2013 in British Library, Canada, CC, collections, colonialism, copyright, Curator's Choice, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, Europeana, Images, Images-19th, Images-20th, Images-Animals, Images-People, Images-Photography, Photography, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide, Wikimedia Commons

CURATOR’S CHOICE #1: PHIL HATFIELD AND ANDREW GRAY FROM THE BRITISH LIBRARY Phil Hatfield, British Library Curator in Canadian and Caribbean Studies, and Andrew Gray, British Library Wikipedian in Residence, kick off our brand new Curator’s Choice series by taking a look at the fascinating array of photographs in the British Library’s Canadian Colonial Copyright Collection. Copyright collections – those aggregations of published material accumulated by libraries as a result of copyright deposit laws – can provide a unique view of the world; especially when they have the opportunity to add photographs to their holdings. With minimal curatorial involvement in their selection and collection, as well as few gate keepers beyond the administration fee required to register copyright, you could say that such caches of material are a rare thing – a photographic world selected by myriad photographers themselves. This is the format of the British Library’s Colonial Copyright Collection of Canadian photographs, over 4,000 images registered for deposit and collected by the Library between 1895 and 1924. By and large the contents of the collection have been copyrighted as a result of the quality of the shot, the potential to make money from the photograph or, most likely, a […]

The Corset X-Rays of Dr Ludovic O’Followell (1908)

- June 18, 2013 in collections, corset, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, fashion, health, Images, Images-20th, Images-Photography, Images-Science, medicine, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide, Wikimedia Commons, x-ray

X-Ray images of women wearing corsets from the second volume of the French doctor Ludovic O’Followell’s Le Corset (1908). Although Dr O’Followell was clearly keen to show the damaging impact of corsets on women’s health, he did not actually want the corset to be abolished, but was simply trying to encourage a less severe design. Dr O’Followell in fact continued to write a regular column for the deluxe corsetier’s magazine Les Dessous Elégance. Wikimedia Commons Found via: Retronaut Underlying Work: PD Worldwide | Digital Copy: No Additional Rights Download: Right click on image or see source for higher res versions HELP TO KEEP US AFLOAT The Public Domain Review is a not-for-profit project and we rely on support from our readers to stay afloat. If you like what we do then please do consider making a donation. We welcome all contributions, big or small - everything helps! Become a Patron Small angel : £3.00 GBP - monthly Medium sized hero : £5.00 GBP - monthly Large emperor : £10.00 GBP - monthly Vast deity : £20.00 GBP - monthly Make a one off Donation SIGN UP TO THE NEWSLETTER Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver […]

Lantern Slides of Norway (ca.1910)

- April 29, 2013 in collections, fjords, Images-20th, Images-Landscapes, Images-People, Images-Photography, lantern slides, mountains, norway, scandinavia

A selection from a collection of early 20th century lantern slides held at the Fylkesarkivet of Sogn og Fjordane, a county in the west of Norway. The slides are produced by at least two British photographers – professional photographer Samuel J. Beckett and amateur photographer P. Heywood Hadfield, who was a ship’s surgeon employed by the Orient Steam Navigation Company. Hadfield produced several illustrated books from his travels, including With an Ocean Liner (Orient Co’s S.S. “Ophir”) through the Fiords of Norway. A Photographic Memento of a Fortnight’s Cruising, published in several editions by the London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co. Ltd in the early 1900s. Beckett also produced a book on Norway The Fjords and Folk of Norway, first published in 1915 by Methuen & Co. Ltd. Learn more about Lantern Slides here. (All images taken from the Flickr Commons collection of the Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane. Visit for higher resolution images and for more details on each photograph). HELP TO KEEP US AFLOAT The Public Domain Review is a not-for-profit project and we rely on support from our readers to stay afloat. If you like what we do then please do consider making a donation. We welcome all [...]