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September 26, 2007

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I found this in the American Memory Collection of the Library of Congress link you provided. It's a piece regarding the New Slavery Debate period. It speaks clearly to the apparent racial attitudes of our present-day BushCo Ideology:

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/snhtml/snintro04.html

"By far the most profound influence upon the historical study of slavery during this period was the writings of Ulrich B. Phillips, whose monumental American Negro Slavery established him as the leading authority on the subject.4 American Negro Slavery was so comprehensive, its scholarship so exacting, and its racial assumptions so closely attuned to those then prevailing, that it "succeeded in neutralizing almost every assumption of the anti-slavery tradition."5 The portrait of slavery that emerged from this work bore a striking resemblance to that espoused by proslavery apologists before the Civil War. It minimized the severity of American slavery, extolled its civilizing and Christianizing functions, and reasserted the notion that the slave was submissive rather than defiant. The overall effect was a verification of the "plantation myth" and a confirmation of what Stanley M. Elkins has termed the "Sambo" image of the slave."

I LOVE the American Memory collection. In addition to the sound recordings and railroad maps, there's a full-color archive of photos from the US spanning approx. 1930-1945. (Here's the link)

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/fsachtml/fsacSubjects02.html

I hadn't realized there were so many color pix of our nation back then: migrant workers, people going about their lives, defense plant workers, children playing, etcetera etcetera etcetera. It's an addictive and fascinating trove, and some of the color in the shots looks as fresh as last week. I lose hours there routinely. thanks for giving me a chance to spout off about it, Marcy!

I LOVE the American Memory collection. In addition to the sound recordings and railroad maps, there's a full-color archive of photos from the US spanning approx. 1930-1945. (Here's the link)

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/fsachtml/fsacSubjects02.html

I hadn't realized there were so many color pix of our nation back then: migrant workers, people going about their lives, defense plant workers, children playing, etcetera etcetera etcetera. It's an addictive and fascinating trove, and some of the color in the shots looks as fresh as last week. I lose hours there routinely. thanks for giving me a chance to spout off about it, Marcy!

I LOVE the American Memory collection. In addition to the sound recordings and railroad maps, there's a full-color archive of photos from the US spanning approx. 1930-1945. (Here's the link)

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/fsachtml/fsacSubjects02.html

I hadn't realized there were so many color pix of our nation back then: migrant workers, people going about their lives, defense plant workers, children playing, etcetera etcetera etcetera. It's an addictive and fascinating trove, and some of the color in the shots looks as fresh as last week. I lose hours there routinely. thanks for giving me a chance to spout off about it, Marcy!

sorry about the triple post. sorry about the triple post. sorry about the triple post.

but wait, there's more: a photographic archive called "Washington as it was: photographs of Theodor Horydczak, 1923-1959" all taken by a local Washington commercial photographer. The grand Washington vistas are there, but also slices of life: shop windows, the electric company's showrooms of shiny new electric stoves, horse carts, residences, womens' clubs, radio studios, local factories, etc. Here's the link:
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/horydczak/index.html
and I'll try not to triple-post THIS one.

Thanks some more empypockets!
Here's another link fwiw

The National Portrait gallery maintains a database of portraits from around the country.
http://www.npg.si.edu/research/research1.htm

The Catalog of American Portraits

"The Portrait Database

In 1971, the CAP initiated a national portrait survey involving professional on-site cataloging and photographing of portraits in public and private collections across the country. Funded in part by donations, including a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation, field surveyors traveled to participating collections to examine the portraits firsthand and to gather additional information on each work. The on-site survey continues today"

"The CAP's computer database provides retrieval capabilities on almost every field of data, including portrait descriptions (setting, objects depicted, sitter's dress), medium/support, execution dates, biographical information on subjects and artists, other attributions, related works, provenance (history of ownership), exhibition history, conservation history, and bibliographic references pertaining to each work. Using international data standards, subjects of portraits can be retrieved by principal historical distinctions, historical time periods, regions, related events and people, and certain ethnic affiliations (for example, Native American/Apache/Chiricahua).

Digitized images are currently being incorporated into the database, beginning with images of nationally significant Americans from the National Portrait Gallery's permanent collection. Prints and photographs from the National Portrait Gallery's collections are included on the database. Online access of unrestricted data and images is available via the Collections Search page, here on the Gallery's web site."

Maybe you've caught these in previous submissions, but just in case you haven't...

There's a truly AMAZING collection of free course lectures at UC Berkeley: http://webcast.berkeley.edu/courses.php?semesterid=25

Separately, Brad DeLong is now posting his Berkeley economics lectures here: http://econ161.berkeley.edu/2007_audio/

It looks like UC San Diego MAY be following in UC Berkeley's illustrious footsteps here: http://podcast.ucsd.edu/

And of course there are MIT's OpenCourseWare materials here (including a small number of audio and video courses): http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/courses/courses/index.htm

The Stingy Scholar keeps track of this stuff full-time here: http://stingyscholar.blogspot.com/

Thanks for the great tip!

A minor omission in the post: John Lomax was the bigshot of the early field recordings, not Alan (his son). Alan accompanied him on the initial field work, and would ultimately devote his life to more of the same, but dad was the principal investigator in the 1930s.

Don't forget MIT Opencourseware. Many courses have complete video lecture sets. Walter Lewin's Physic 801 lectures are ne plus ultra.

This is truly the golden age for the autodidact.

Don't forget MIT Opencourseware. Many courses have complete video lecture sets. Walter Lewin's Physic 801 lectures are ne plus ultra.

This is truly the golden age for the autodidact.

&y, we'll need to get a drink sometime -- I think we have more than one thing in common. You're right, of course, John Lomax really initiated the field recordings, though much of the work was done by father and son together and I tend to (fairly or unfairly) think of Alan Lomax as more of a popularizer and promoter than his father was, both of their kind of documentarianism and of the cultures they were documenting.

While we're on the subject, from the NYT obit (now pleasantly open access):

Mr. Lomax started his work as a teenager, lugging a 500-pound recording machine through the South and West with his father, the pioneering folklorist John A. Lomax. They collected songs of cowboys, plantation workers, prisoners and others who were rarely heard.

"The prisoners in those penitentiaries simply had dynamite in their performances," Mr. Lomax recalled. "There was more emotional heat, more power, more nobility in what they did than all the Beethovens and Bachs could produce." [...]

"My father was fired from the University of Texas for recording those dirty old cowboy songs," Mr. Lomax said. "Cowboys were lowdown, flea-ridden and boozing, so a guy who associated with them -- even though he romanticized them a lot, as my father did -- was looked down on."

The Lomaxes' book "American Ballads and Folk Songs" was published in 1934, followed by "Negro Folk Songs as Sung by Leadbelly" (1936), "Cowboy Songs" (1937), "Our Singing Country" (1938) and "Folk Songs: USA" (1946). John A. Lomax became the curator of the Archive of Folk Song at the Library of Congress; his son joined him there as assistant director in 1937. [...]

"We now have cultural machines so powerful that one singer can reach everybody in the world, and make all the other singers feel inferior because they're not like him," Mr. Lomax once reflected. "Once that gets started, he gets backed by so much cash and so much power that he becomes a monstrous invader from outer space, crushing the life out of all the other human possibilities. My life has been devoted to opposing that tendency."

A sentiment I think most bloggers can appreciate.

I attended an Alan Lomax memorial two- or three-day symposium & concert downtown here in NY (hosted by CUNY, as I recall), on the one-year anniversary of his death. The symposium was mixed (at the time I was looking to learn more about Woody Guthrie, Cisco Houston, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGee, Leadbelly, and all of them, but there wasn't much to be had -- but, excellent talks on cowboy songs that really got me interested in that kind of material). The concert was very good, in a small and relaxed venue with Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie and son, Odetta, and some folks Lomax had first discovered and recorded (Honeyboy Edwards). I even met Lomax's sister, Bess Lomax Hawes (who had performed with either the Weavers or Almanac Singers for a time).

They announced the website for the Alan Lomax archive, which I thought was going to be like the American Memory project -- a free online collection of all of his recordings -- but, at least the last time I checked, it was just a searchable online catalog of what they had, and you still had to go into the center in person if you wanted to listen to anything.

Hi EP, thanks for the great links. I'll add this one - the NIH has a great video collection:

http://videocast.nih.gov/PastEvents.asp

Thanks so much for the link, EP! It is a fascinating site, and it really makes history come alive, in a sense!

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