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Blog Posts by Subject: Image Collections

Fall, Fashion, Fabric and Films

This exhibit highlights the transition from summer to fall by celebrating iconic film stars of the mid-20th century and the looks we have come to associate with them.Read More ›

Delightful Vintage Halloween Cards for the Spooky at Heart

You may not normally think of Halloween as a holiday with its own stationery, but we have around 100 years worth of cards that prove otherwise. Read More ›

Digital Railroad Materials, Part 2

Is there anybody out there who does not like trains? OK, perhaps more than a few people are fed up with their daily commute. Also, trains do sometimes fail us. It was very unfortunate that during the March Snowstorm of 1888 about seventy-five miles of the Long Island Railroad system was blockaded by the snow and that the street railroad system of Brooklyn became useless.Read More ›

Digital Railroad Materials, Part 1

The New York Public Library offers a tremendous amount of material in e-format. We have been purchasing e-books for years including e-text, e-audio, e-music, and e-video. E-books include both fiction and non-fiction. Among the latter is Christian Wolmar's The Great Railroad Revolution.Read More ›

Not Your Grandmother's Hamlet

That is, the kick-off to Shakespeare Week—April 15 to 20 here at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Schizophrenia, nomadism, Lacan (oh the joys of serendipity—I just ordered his Television: A Challenge to the Psychoanalytic Profession), Deleuze, all the quite-cut edge philosophers and concepts. 

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Announcing the NYPL Digital Collections API

The New York Public Library is pleased to announce the release of its Digital Collections API (application programming interface). This tool allows software developers both in and outside of the library to write programs that search our digital collections, process the descriptions of each object, and find links to the relevant pages on the NYPL Digital Gallery. We are very excited to see what the brilliant developers who use our digital library will create. In the following post, Digital Curator for the Performing Arts, Doug Reside, reflects on 

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When They Trod the Boards: Christopher Walken, Song and Dance Man

How do we love Christopher Walken? On his 70th birthday, let us count the ways. Star of film, TV, and NYPL's own iBook Point, somehow everyone has a favorite film that stars him, be it The Deer Hunter, True Romance, or Pulp Fiction. The consummate villain, he faced off

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A World of Digital Pictures

photo via flickr by tuppusWe here at AskNYPL get regular requests for digital images on different topics and we're always happy to share the New York Public Library's very own Digital Gallery. While the NYPL Digital Gallery does a wonderful job with its collection, making things easy to find and accessible, we don't always have the content folks are 

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Silhouettes, Shadows and Shades

As the new movie Hitchcock has recently come into theaters, I am reminded of the silhouette so eloquently drawn at the beginning of the television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Before photography was a household staple, silhouettes provided an inexpensive way to record someone's likeness. And, as with Mr. Hitchcock, a shadow is often stunning in its ability to capture the likeness of a person or 

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Age of Power and Wonder

Browsing the Digital Gallery today, I came across this interesting set of cigarette cards. And since I don't think there is anyone who doesn't love space, science, retrofuturism,

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Postscript to "Kippenberger's Quixote": The Missing Piece

About a week after my most recent post, something extraordinary happened. Regina Fiorito, a representative of the Estate of Martin Kippenberger (represented by the Galerie Gisela Capitain in Cologne) contacted the Library about it. "We would like to be in touch with Kathie Coblentz from the Spencer Collection, we read her blog today about a Kippenberger book. We (The Estate 

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Fashion History at Your Fingertips: Celebrate at the Library on April 5, 2011!

Oxford University Press has launched its award-winning database, the Berg Fashion Library, and I'm so happy to have at my fingertips this comprehensive online resource that offers integrated text, image, and journal content on world dress and fashion. From the history of the corset to the beads of Mauritania, this database has it all, and I'm guessing that there are lots of you out there who will love the Berg Fashion Library too.  If you want to 

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The Jefferson Market Courthouse/Library Archive: A Sneak Peek with Barbara Knowles-Pinches

Did you know that the Jefferson Market library has an archive of images, papers and press clippings dating back to the 1800s?  This collection of Greenwich Village history has recently been processed and made available to the public by archivist and librarian Barbara Knowles-Pinches, who began working at Jefferson Market in 2009.  The digitizing process has just begun; images and a finding aid will be available online in the near future. Here, Barbara tells us about some of her favorite items from the 

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Revealed: Photographer’s Highlights of a Decade

Let’s face it; The New York Public Library has great stuff.  Its vast and exceptional collection inspires and draws many into its doors and to nypl.org. I recently overheard a patron say, "This is not just a library… it’s a repository for civilization."

Over the course of my time at the NYPL, I have been responsible for delivering high-quality reproductions of material from its world-renowned collection for

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The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, which took place 100 years ago today, was a tragic incident in New York City's history but also a turning point in the early labor movement.

One hundred and forty-six workers died, mostly young women from immigrant families. The fire was deadly because of the height of the building, the amount of fabric and flammable material inside, the lack of proper fire escapes, and exits that were locked to prevent workers from taking breaks. Many fell or jumped to their deaths. The tragedy brought greater awareness to sweatshop conditions, which led to 

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Spencer Collection Book of the Month: Kippenberger's Quixote

Kippenberger's Don Quijote de la Mancha book object (detail)When is a book not a book? For this month's Spencer Collection Book of the Month, I have a couple of answers in mind.

From the point of view of contemporary art, the answer might be, "When it's a book object."—"Art which makes use of the book format or the structure of the book; typically ... unique sculptural works that take the form of, or incorporate, 

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Verso: Looking Behind the Picture

Today we most often encounter a photograph as a digital image — its only physical presence is the screen from which it shines: a television, computer, or mobile device. Disembodied, the digital image can exist in infinite places at once, with no physical characteristics of its own.

Not so — the photographic print. While multiple prints can be made from a negative, each photograph is a finite, unique thing: it has a physical size and a surface texture; it can be folded, mailed, written upon, and touched (but please don’t touch the surface!); and it 

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Charlotte Moorman meets the Wertheim Study

Nam June Paik, 'Robot K-456' and Charlotte Moorman (1964). Photo by Peter Moore @ Estate of Peter Moore/VAGA.NYNew York in the 1970s, without cellphones, the internet, globalization, etc., was a very different place and arguably more vibrant (though I'm glad Central Park isn't like it used to be.)  Photographer extraordinaire Peter Moore tirelessly went about the City capturing just about everyone and everything, and became particularly known 

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From archives to center stage: newly processed Theater Division designs and originals

The Harem, 1924In the recent weeks, staff of the Special Formats Processing unit have been hard at work arranging, re-housing, and cataloging a number of collections, consisting of original costume and scene designs, and caricatures from the Library for the Performing Arts Billy Rose Theater Division. You may have seen samples from these stunning, vibrant original works in past exhibitions at the Lincoln 

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POP! goes the Picture Collection: Warhol at NYPL

Self-Portrait, 1967.(1)He came from my hometown. As a teenager, he collected photographs of movie stars. A few years later, I clipped fan zines featuring Hayley Mills and the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and the Dave Clark 5 and

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