Discover Europeana Collections, a Portal of 48 Million Free Artworks, Books, Videos, Artifacts & Sounds from Across Europe

≡ Category: Archives, Art, Maps, Photography |3 Comments

“Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?,” asked T.S. Eliot in lines from his play “The Rock.” His prescient description of the dawning information age has inspired data scientists and their dissenters for decades.

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The First Photo-Illustrated Book, Anna Atkins’ Austerely Beautiful Photographs of British Algae (1843)

≡ Category: Biology, Books, Photography, Science |1 Comment

Some of our favorite, and most popular, posts at Open Culture focus on book illustration. From fine art to graphic design, from the sublime to the ridiculous to the purely technical, the art used to visualize beloved works of literature and scientific texts captivates us.

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The New York Public Library Lets You Download 180,000 Images in High Resolution: Historic Photographs, Maps, Letters & More

≡ Category: Archives, History, Letters, Literature, Photography |4 Comments

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Most of us Open Culture writers and readers surely grew up thinking of the local public library as an endless source of fascinating things.

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What Does Sound Look Like?: The Audible Rendered Visible Through Clever Technology

≡ Category: Photography, Physics |Leave a Comment

How can you make the invisible, visible? One way to do it is through a nineteenth century photography technique called Schlieren Flow Visualization.

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Vintage Footage Shows a Young, Unknown Patti Smith & Robert Mapplethorpe Living at the Famed Chelsea Hotel (1970)

≡ Category: History, Music, Photography |2 Comments

Here at Open Culture, we can’t get enough of the Chelsea Hotel, which means we can’t get enough of the Chelsea Hotel in a certain era, at the height of a certain cultural moment in New York history.

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Beautiful, Color Photographs of Paris Taken 100 Years Ago—at the Beginning of World War I & the End of La Belle Époque

≡ Category: History, Photography |7 Comments

It may well be that the major pivot points of history are only visible to those around the bend. For those of us immersed in the present—for all of its deafening sirens of violent upheaval—the exact years future generations will use to mark our epoch remain unclear.

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The Interior of the Hindenburg Revealed in 1930s Color Photos: Inside the Ill-Fated Airship

≡ Category: History, Photography |7 Comments

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We’ve all seen the Hindenburg. Specifically, we’ve all seen it exploding, an incident captured on film on that fateful day of May 6, 1937 — fateful for those aboard, of course, but also fateful for the passenger airship industry, which never recovered from this worst of all possible press.

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Poignant and Unsettling Post-Mortem Family Portraits from the 19th Century

≡ Category: Life, Photography |1 Comment

The 19th century witnessed the birth of photography. And, before too long, Victorian society found important applications for the new medium — like memorializing the dead.

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Man Ray’s Portraits of Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Marcel Duchamp & Many Other 1920s Icons

≡ Category: Art, Literature, Photography |2 Comments

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When photographers specialize in portraits of famous people, they often speak of finding a visual way to reveal their oft-photographed subject’s rarely exposed nature; to bring their depths, in other words, to the surface.

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Hand-Colored 1860s Photographs Reveal the Last Days of Samurai Japan

≡ Category: History, Photography |1 Comment

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Any fan of samurai movies knows the elaborate lengths some productions can go to in order to recreate the look and feel of old Japan, but globetrotting Italian-British photographer Felice Beato (1832 – 1909) actually managed to capture those days on celluloid first-hand.

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