I enjoy learning about people who made history and paved the way for the generations after them. This photo shows three of these women captured together way back in the late 19th century. These are the first three licensed women doctors from their respective countries who obtained a degree in Western medicine.
In 2019, Tamara Lanier sued Harvard University claiming that she was the rightful owner of daguerreotypes of an enslaved father and daughter. A Massachusetts judge has dismissed her claim, ruling that it’s Harvard that should own the images after all.
In 1976 while rummaging through an attic of Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology in search of old museum publications, editorial assistant Lorna Condon opened a drawer in a wooden cabinet. Inside, she found a number of flat leather cases which contained a series of daguerreotypes of partially and fully nude Black people. Names were handwritten on paper labels identifying 7 individuals: Alfred, Delia, Drama, Fassena, Jack, Jem, and Renty with assumed ethnicities and occupations. The daguerreotypes represented some of the earliest known images of slaves in the U.S.
In this video, Vox brings another example of a historic image that was most likely staged. It’s Roger Fenton’s Valley of the Shadow of Death taken in 1855 during the Crimean War. Two versions of the image caused a lot of questions and controversy, and film director Errol Morris was determined to figure it out.
I don’t remember the first time I became aware of my family photo album, but from a very young age I always found looking at those photos a time absorbing, and totally enthralling pastime. I would sit for long periods of time staring at those familiar faces, and all those captured moments of times gone by, and lose myself in a world of wonder.
‘’Mum, who’s this little girl here?’’, ‘’Who’s that army man?’’, ‘’Where’s this?’’ I would ask, pointing at faded black and white images displayed proudly in the behemoth album that sat on my lap, squashing me into the armchair.
The Smithsonian Institution has released an online gallery of 2.8 million images with more to come. The massive collection includes images and data from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, along with nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo. And the best of all is: all photos are copyright-free and available for you to download and use.
Most of us know Unsplash as a home of free stock photos (and an endless source of discussion about whether or not we should share our images for free). But today, there’s a good news story coming from the company. Thanks to its latest partnership, Unsplash is now offering a selection of historical photos free for everyone to download and use.
If you enjoy historic photos and need them for any purpose, here’s a real gem. Paris Musées has just launched an online collection with more than 100,000 digital reproductions of classic artwork. Among them, there are 62,500 photos, all of them scanned in high-resolution and publicly accessible under a CC0 license.
“There is work that profits children, and there is work that brings profit only to employers. The object of employing children is not to train them, but to get high profits from their work” – Lewis Wickes Hine (1874-1940)
Lewis Wickes Hine was an American sociologist and photographer, whose work was instrumental in changing child labour laws in the United States.
Hine is my favourite photographer. Aside from being technically excellent, his black and white photographs are some of the most important ever taken. His record of the first half of the 20th century is a unique glimpse into the real lives of working class America, and his work for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) was instrumental in bringing about change for the nation’s children.