Oregon Historical Society: Beached Whale Blow-Up: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Florence Exploding Whale. “On the morning of November 12, 1970, KATU news directors asked reporter Paul Linnman and cameraman Doug Brazil to cover an unusual story taking place on the Oregon coast. A 45-foot sperm whale had washed up on the beach near Florence, Oregon, a few days prior, and the Oregon Highway Division was left to come up with a plan on how best to deal with 8 tons of rotting whale flesh. What caught the attention of the news room in Portland, however, was not the whale itself but the plan of how to best dispose of the carcass: dynamite.” The subsequent video is one of the early viral videos of Internet culture and is why I’m including it here.
Domestika: This Digital Archive Is a Treasure Chest of Typography and Design. “The TM Research Archive is a website created by a Swiss student, called Louise Paradis, as her final project for her master’s degree. It compiles information about and images from Typographische Monatsblätter, dating between the 1970s and 1990s. It is a treasure chest filled to the brim with dozens of covers, indexes from different issues, and detailed biographies of its most prominent designers and typographers.”
Belfast Telegraph: BBC hits rewind on NI faces and places from past for new website. “…a new website, the first of its kind, is opening up access to a rich treasure trove of footage from BBC Northern Ireland’s archive. Weeks and months of searching through the BBC vaults in London and Belfast has unearthed more than 13,000 broadcasting gems and, as the corporation prepares to celebrate 100 years next year, the new portal is being presented as a fully searchable gift to the public.”
Hyperallergic: The Radical Collective of 20-Somethings Who Filmed the DNC and RNC of 1972. “One of the earliest and most important of these groups was Top Value Television (TVTV), a collective founded in San Francisco which was active from 1972 to 1979. During that time, they produced numerous independent documentaries, often by bringing their cameras to major events. TVTV’s vast catalog of raw footage and other materials has long been kept in the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA). Now, thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, BAMPFA has digitized hundreds of hours of the footage, and the archive is making it freely available through a new online database, Preserving Guerrilla Television.”
Unredacted: New Digital National Security Archive Collection Publishes Thousands of Declassified Nixon and Ford President’s Daily Briefs. “The National Security Archive, with our partners at the scholarly publisher ProQuest, is publishing a new collection of declassified President’s Daily Briefs (PDBs) from the Nixon and Ford administrations. The collection, The President’s Daily Brief: Nixon, Ford, and the CIA, 1969-1977, offers researchers an unparalleled look into daily intelligence briefings provided to the White House by the CIA from 1969 to 1977.”
Screen Rant: Watch TV From The 70s, 80s, & 90s On This Cool Retro Website. “A website called My Decade TV, created by Joey Cato, lets users watch TVs from the 70s, 80s, and 90s that offer a variety of different channels, including cartoons, game shows, movies, news, music videos, and more. Cato explains in the TV manual, which can be accessed below the TVs, that the websites were created because he wanted ‘to honor the pop culture memories of decades past.’ He went on to add that ‘each site aspires to simulate the vintage experience of channel-surfing on a TV from a particular era,’ so to support that, ‘channel content may not necessarily start playing from the beginning.'” This might be “just” a YouTube wrapper, but even if it is it’s ridiculously good. Warning: timesink.
Juxtapoz: Letterform Archive Release Online Archive of Counterculture Newspapers and Magazines from the 1960s and 70s. “Letterform Archive has been creating some wonderful online collections for readers to browse, and a few days ago released a wonderful historic overview of ‘Counterculture Newspapers and Magazines’ of the 1960s and 70s, what LFA describes as ‘an explosion of independent publishing in the 1960s and ’70s(that) took advantage of new, accessible technology to spread countercultural messages around the world.'”
The California Aggie: The California Aggie first undergraduate UC newspaper to digitize entire collection. “The California Aggie, formerly known as The Weekly Agricola, is the first undergraduate UC newspaper to digitize its entire historical collection. The California Digital Newspaper Collection (CDNC) — the online home of many historical editions of California-based periodicals — now showcases 5,410 issues of The Aggie. These issues date all the way back to the first issue of The Weekly Agricola on Sept. 29, 1915. The collection is broken down by year and month, has a keyword-search function and is available for download.” The Aggie is the newspaper of the University of California, Davis.
Boing Boing: This cool online radio station lets you listen to popular songs from any decade and country from 1900 to now. “When you go to Radiooooo you see a map of the world. You click on any country on the map, and select a decade beginning with 1900. It will start playing music from that country and decade.” I tried United States / 1940s and the site started playing a lovely little groove called “Hot Dog” by Chris Powell & The Five Blue Flames.
Library of Congress: Photography Archive of Shawn Walker and a Collection of Harlem Photography Workshop Acquired by Library of Congress. “The Shawn Walker archive contains nearly 100,000 photographs, negatives and transparencies depicting life in Harlem — a pivotal crossroad of African diaspora culture — between 1963 and the present. The Kamoinge collection — generously donated by Walker — consists of nearly 2,500 items, including prints by Kamoinge members such as Barboza, Draper, Smith and others.”
University of Notre Dame: Quantum Interest. “Published in Switzerland in the 1970s and 1980s, Epistemological Letters was a critical venue for work that was viewed as marginal by mainstream physicists of the era — work that would later contribute to important developments in areas such as quantum computing, quantum encryption and quantum teleportation. Think a Reddit for theoretical physicists.”
Buffalo State College: Zine Scene: Buffalo State Music Publications Preserved in New Digital Archive. “Long before music websites, blogs, and social media accounts provided a means of instant communication, fanzines—or zines—were one of the few ways for aspiring rock writers to get published. In the early to mid-1970s, Buffalo State College provided a supportive environment for students who embraced a do-it-yourself ethic to detail the burgeoning new music—punk, glam, and new wave—that was largely ignored by the mainstream press. With funding from United Students Government, two influential zines—the Shakin’ Street Gazette (SSG) and Foxtrot—were published and distributed throughout the city.”
New-to-me, from Open Culture: How Dick Cavett Brought Sophistication to Late Night Talk Shows: Watch 270 Classic Interviews Online. “Just as the avuncular presence of Ed Sullivan helped ease middle America into accepting Elvis Presley and The Beatles, the aw-shucks midwestern charm of Dick Cavett made Woodstock hippies seem downright cuddly when he had Jefferson Airplane, David Crosby, and Joni Mitchell on just after the legendary music festival in 1969. He had a way of making everyone around him comfortable enough to reveal just a little more than they might otherwise.”
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.”
Brown University: Digitization of Historic Campus Speeches with CLIR Grant . “The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has awarded the Brown University Library $23,215 from its Recordings at Risk program. One of 13 projects selected out of 34 to receive grants from the program, the Library’s proposal, ‘Brown University Archives Audio-Visual Collection: Global Perspectives from Campus Speeches,’ will allow us to digitize and make available to the public a large selection of audio and video recordings of speeches by leading public figures invited to Brown between 1950 and 1995. “