A celebration of archives, archival material, and the amazing history that they protect. Expect to see a lot of strange historical finds, unique materials, and archives in the news. I throw up 5 posts a day.
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Edward Steichen was the first modern fashion photographer, best known for shadowy portraits of silver-screen stars like Gloria Swanson, Marlene Dietrich, and Louise Brooks. That the dark room master spent two years during World War I developing photographic surveillance techniques is less common knowledge.
Kitty Nicholson, retired Supervisory Conservator at the National Archives, details the conservation of the Declaration of Independence and shares a small mystery in an exclusive video on the National Archives YouTube Channel.
Watch the following video and see if you can help solve the mystery!
Found in a Junk Shop: Secrets of an Undiscovered Visionary Artist
His story is one shrouded in mystery, almost lost forever, intertwined with secret societies, hidden codes, otherworldly theories and seemingly impossible inventions before his time. Unseen for decades and salvaged by a junk dealer in the 1960s from a trash heap outside a house in Texas, his entire body of work would later go on to marvel the intellectual world. But during his lifetime, Charles Dellschau had only been known as the grouchy local butcher.
In 2009, Pete Navarro finally published his co-written The Secrets of Dellschau, revealing a lot of the script he had decoded from the books. Four books still remain in the Menil Collection, locked in a humidity-controlled room. Researchers continue to unearth new pieces of information through surviving relatives.
The Becker Medical Library has a rather spectacular collection focusing on the works of Paracelsus and his followers that contains several alchemical tracts, including three copies of the Aurem Vellus, oder Guldin Schatz und Kunst-kammer(Golden Fleece, or Golden…
It was once known as seventh holy city of Islam. It was also called the “City of Libraries” and home to the cultural elite of West Africa. Now Chinguetti is in the process of being swallowed up in its entirety by the desert and will disappear in a few generations.
Less than ten libraries and thousands of rare books remain including important Islamic manuscripts on religion, science and literature.
I hope an army of conservators and preservationists are on their way.