For a look at the future of digital museums, check out the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory’s new digital archive composed of thousands of scanned documents from the African leader’s life.
With the help of a $1.25 million grant from Google, the center digitized thousands of documents and images that illustrate the life and times of South Africa’s first black president. But instead of scanning them and dumping them online for scholars to peruse, the center, with Google’s support, created a virtual museum experience — highlighting certain pieces from the archives, putting them in the context of Mandela’s life and then enabling a visitor to the site to go deeper if they’d like.
The exhibit is organized by different phases of Mandela’s life, such as “Early Life,” “Prison Years,” “Presidential Years” and “Retirement.” As you move through the different sections, you’ll find the earliest known photograph of Mandela, scans of the desk calendars where he scribbled notes during his 27 years in prison, and handwritten notes he sent his daughters — including one written shortly after the arrest of their mother.
via L.A. Times
Something amazing has happened over at C-SPAN. In their Archives division they have put online 25 years worth of video covering American culture and politics.
Even better the website was done by JESS3, which means that it is top-notch. This includes best videos of the day, month, and forever (by views). Plus, most shared videos, embeddable spots, an interactive schedule, a page for each member of congress, and more.
It’s pretty incredible…now I just need to find a way to add civic programming into my all-entertainment schedule.
Every C-SPAN program aired since 1987, now totaling over 170,000 hours, is contained in the C-SPAN Archives and immediately accessible.
via About C-SPAN
If you want to spend some time today celebrating Dr. King than I highly recommend this website:
The King Center was established in 1968 by Coretta Scott King. It is the official living memorial dedicated to advancing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Our programs and partnerships educate the world about his life and his philosophy of nonviolence, inspiring new generations to further his work.
The archive contains hundreds of letters from and to MLK. They are fascinating to read and worthwhile for learning about segregation and the attempts to overcome it. Here is one:
Written by Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 3, 1963
Social change is painful and at times painfully slow.
The repeal of the city’s segregation laws indicates clearly that the city fathers are realistically facing the legal death of segregation. The city is not wont to battle in the legal arena because the outcome, with all its costliness, is a foregone conclusion. In the wake of the legal retreat in Albany (GA), the public library has been opened on a 30-day “trial” basis – integrated!
To be sure, neither of these related events can be measured as a full victory, but neither do they smack of defeat for those who have championed justice, self-respect and human dignity. It does, in fact, represent a partial victory, for it vindicates the direction in which the W.G. Anderson-led forces always moved. The repeal of the segregation ordinances and the vertical integration at the public library are only projects of that which is to come.
Many prophets of doom have written Albany off as an indefinite stalemate. The most important thing that has been accomplished has been the sensitizing of the Black community to the injustices and immorality of the system of segregation.
It has been said that it is impossible to ride a man’s back unless it is bent. If nothing else, the Black citizens of Albany have straightened their backs. We say now as we have said earlier, Albany will never be the same again. You have not heard the last of that Southwest Georgia city.
I love these newspaper archives coming online. It’s like having a library in your home. The articles and pictures, the classifieds and political diatribes, it’s too fun.
When it comes to the British we have to separate our living memory from our British memory. We tend to think that American culture dominates the world but for 150 years it was the British. Think of Bram Stoker (Irish) and his Dracula, or Mary Shelley (British) and Frankenstein.
I’ve had some fun looking them up in the old newspapers as well as search terms like “tea time” and “British East India”. What did you come up with?
The one I found was from June 30, 1838, on the day of Queen Victoria’s coronation. You know the one played by Emily Blunt in the awesome movie, Young Victoria, and the person behind the “Victorian Era.”
“Her reign of 63 years and 7 months, which is longer than that of any other British monarch and the longest of any female monarch in history, is known as the Victorian era.
“It was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire.”
Some screenshots from the newspaper: