Friday, July 30, 2010

Albert Kahn - Early 20th Century Colour Photographs

I was sent a daily link from Very Short List and wound up searching the Albert Kahn Museum site.

Albert Kahn, (Under 'Albert Kahn (1860-1940)' , "... realising that his era was to witness great changes, he began to build up an iconographic memory of societies, environments and lifestyles – many of them traditional – around the world. From 1909 to 1931, he commissioned photographers and film cameramen to record life in over 50 countries. The images were held in the Archive of the Planet, a collection of 180,000 metres of b/w film and more than 72,000 autochrome plates, the first industrial process for true colour photography, of which the museum now has the largest collection in the world."

I'll be taking my sweet time and gazing through as much of the collection as possible, it's absolutely fascinating and I'm not quite sure how I havn't heard of this man before.I'm sure this is probably a case of me just being out in space/unobservant and hence never encountering this collection.

In navigating the french site (Mon francais, c'est terrible!) I eventually found colour photos from Canada in the 1920's.

Always good to keep in mind that a photograph is not always an accurate representation of reality. As with paintings, photographs are the interpretation of the photographer of the scene or people in which he/she is taking a picture. With that interpretation comes the photographers message (whether intentionally or not) of class, culture, gender, etc. A photograph is often more useful in giving insight into the photographer's perception of the world than it is information on the subject.

Enjoy gazing and musing!

random uni student

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Podcast - 'Stuff You Missed in History Class'

A friend in one of my classes suggested this podcast and so far I'm in love.

Stuff You Missed in History Class


random uni student

The Mythological Card Catalog

I've heard far far too many times from my grandmother how much she enjoyed using card catalogs. My impression is that she thinks they are still used in libraries...Gram's a bit behind the times. We all get nostalgic about tools and skills no longer used, however I'm pretty sure most of us can agree that this is not one of those things. Granted, I wasn't around when card catalogs were in use, but I'm very glad I wasn't...I'm a fan of catalog search software.

random uni student

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Social Media and the Long-Form Census

A great point from ACANADEMICS blog concerning the long-form census debate...

"Perhaps census questions change every year, and perhaps I missed the census that asked more "intrusive" questions.  I can understand why some people would not want to divulge this kind of private information, but in the age of Twitter and Facebook (dont' even get me started on foursquare) it seems reasonable to suggest that the general population is okay (and by "okay" I mean "eager") to share information.  We've even had to assign an acronym (TMI) to ask people to stop.  Facebook is worth hundreds of millions of dollars because each and every one of us wants others to know where we are, what we're doing, and how we feel. "

The whole blog post can be found here.


random uni student 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Technology killed the history star?

In response to an article by Sir. Keith Thomas about his working methods as a historian. I've been sitting on this for quite some time but, honestly, I'm bored in my poli-sci class so I'm zoning out and writing this. Historians, by nature and necessity, must be organized in their work. The evolution of a historian, or in my case a history student, is in part predicated on the evolution of the processes and methods by which one assembles, organizes and tracks information. I worry, however, that the rapid change in technology (specifically software and new forms of reading ie. electronic books, online journals, excell, word, Kindle et al. etc.) may disrupt this evolutionary process by which research skills are honed in that a researcher must constantly adapt to the new technology and indeed re-invent their research techniques to fit the new technology.

That's all, don't have more time to put anymore detail into it, but perhaps it's something to muse on.


random university student