The National: Egypt’s golden age of cinema: hundreds of rare photos come to Abu Dhabi . “More than 600 never-before-seen photographs from Egyptian cinema have been released online by Akkasah, the Centre for Photography at NYU Abu Dhabi. The collection of photographs and negatives belonging to Samir Farid, a prominent Egyptian writer, scholar, and leading film critic, was donated to the centre. It features a wide range of negatives taken on sets of various Egyptian films, from publicity shots, to candid pictures of cast and crew, and images captured while filming behind the scenes.”
H-Announce: Digitized Field Recordings of Lorenzo Dow Turner. “The project digitized close to 40 hours of field recordings made by African American academic and linguist Lorenzo Dow Turner, known as the ‘Father of Gullah Studies.’ The recordings were made between 1932 and 1952, and cover a variety of geographical locations, from Nigeria and Cameroon to Brazil, as well as locations within the United States, where Turner encountered native speakers of Yoruba, Igbo, Portuguese, English, Creole and Gullah among other languages and various dialects. Turner used these recordings as evidence to trace the linguistic and cultural connections between West Africa and the Americas.”
Express & Star: Second World War photos to be preserved in Express & Star online archive. “Hundreds of historic photographs dating back to the Second World War will be the next to be preserved for future generations as part of the Express & Star photo archive project.” There is already a substantial amount of content in the archive, which is why it gets filed under New instead of Around.
Scroll: Rediscovering Indian thought: How a scholar built a database of pre-Independence magazines. “The database indexes 315,000 entries from 255 English-language periodicals that were published between 1837 and 1947. It is, and will always be, a free resource. The database would not exist were it not for the immense hard work by a core group of research assistants – Meghna Basu, Christian Fastenrath, and Nidhi Shukla – and the help of hundreds of students and libraries around the world, and more than $350,000 in grants.” I loved this article until I started thinking about all the other endangered archives in the world and how much irreplaceable history may have been sold as waste paper.
Daily Finland: Finnish missions abroad expand historical archives. “As part of its centenary celebration in March 2018, the Foreign Ministry published reports from the Finnish diplomatic missions abroad dating from before 1927. The Ministry has now expanded its digitised service to include reports from the missions until 1945, when the Second World War ended.”
The Art Newspaper: ‘An invaluable resource’ for provenance research: German pre-1945 auction catalogues are published online. “Around 9,000 catalogues from more than 390 auction houses in Germany, Austria and Switzerland dating from 1901 to 1945 are now available online, a new resource that art-market historians and provenance researchers seeking to trace and identify Nazi-looted art say is invaluable to their work.”
Another find via Reddit: a database covering popular music in movies and television from the 1920s to 1981. It’s called Lights, Camera Backbeat. From the About page: “LCB starts at the beginning of synchronised sound and film with early Vitaphone and Phonofilm musical shorts in the 1920’s and continues up to the birth of MTV in 1981. The 1980’s launched a new era in music on film with a massive increase in music videos produced for TV use as well as home video product on VCR and Betamax. Prior to 1981 there were often only limited chances to see major pop music performers on TV and in the cinema, particularly if you lived outside the USA.” I did a couple of quick searches; the database did not contain Paul Anka’s performances in GIRLS TOWN and did not contain Mamie Van Doren’s songs from UNTAMED YOUTH. So lots of results, but nowhere near complete.