Mashable: ‘Pee-wee’s Playhouse’ is a bizarrely perfect pandemic binge. “I’ve heard a lot of metaphors about social distancing — that it’s like a long-distance relationship, a voyage at sea, a prison sentence, being on a spaceship. For me, 2020 has been somewhat like Pee-wee and his Playhouse: a bizarre exercise in rekindling my inner child and appreciating the power my imagination has over my circumstance.”
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.”
Cornell Chronicle: Paniccioli’s vast hip-hop photo archive launches online. “Missy Elliott and Li’l Kim dressed up as anime characters, resting between takes on the set of the ‘Sock It 2 Me’ music video. Biz Markie bouncing off his chair in a dressing room of the Apollo Theater. Doug E. Fresh blowing out candles on his birthday cake that’s decorated to look like a vinyl record, as Sean ‘Puff Daddy’ Combs peers over his shoulder. These and nearly 20,000 similar images can now be viewed online as Cornell University Library launches the Ernie Paniccioli Photo Archive, a digital collection chronicling hip-hop music and culture from the 1980s to the early 2000s.”
Adam Matthew Digital: Adam Matthew Digital publishes the first module of Mass Observation Project: 1981-2009. “This first of three modules covers the 1980s and is a fascinating source of personal diaries and first-hand accounts from a diverse range of ‘mass observers’ in Britain. The material consists of responses to questionnaires, referred to as directives, and covers a broad range of topics from global politics and events such as the emergence of AIDS and the Cold War; to details of the wonderful and the mundane in the everyday lives of individual responders. This range of topics makes it a truly rich source of primary source content on British social history.”
c-X1: The ‘Necromancer’ For All Performers and Portrayers Fanzine Archive. This was a fanzine for the band Rush. “‘The Necromancer’ launched its first four issues across four consecutive months – from July through October of 1988. It then published its next five issues on a bi-monthly basis, ending with its final ninth issue on July/August 1989. Though the fanzine came to an end over thirty years ago, it has now found new life here at Cygnus-X1.net. A complete archive of each issue is now available for your reading and reminiscing pleasure.”
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.
Bucks Free Press: Let’s Rock Lockdown: Retro festival goes online in special show tomorrow. “The 80s LockdownFest will feature appearances by Tony Hadley, Wet Wet Wet, ABC, Howard Jones, Midge Ure, Jason Donovan, Toyah, Hue & Cry, Chesney Hawkes, Brother Beyond, Five Star, Then Jerico and more. The evening will be hosted by Pat Sharp and Dave Benson Phillips and the fun kicks off at 7pm on YouTube and across all the Let’s Rock locations Facebook pages. The 80s Lockdownfest online festival is completely free to enjoy – but the Let’s Rock team raise thousands of pounds for charity every year, so music fans will have the option to donate to Child Bereavement UK.”
DJ Magazine: A new archive to capture the memories of the ’80s and ‘90s rave scene is going online. “A new online archive will celebrate Blackburn’s acid house rave scene of the late ’80s / early ’90s. FLASHBACK is a new online archive comprising images and audio interviews, reflecting on the infamous acid house parties that took place in Blackburn, Lancashire between 1988 and 1991.”
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.”
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.”
Culver City News: Polish Solidarity Collection Donated to Wende Museum. “The Wende Museum of the Cold War received a groundbreaking collection of materials from the Polish Solidarity movement, an anti-Soviet and anti-authority movement that is credited for playing a vital role in the collapse of the Soviet Union during the 1980s. The Polish Solidarity is a trade union that was formally started in September of 1980 in Poland and was made up of a group of workers that were striking against the scarce economy, rising food prices, and authoritarian state under a Polish government that was controlled by the Soviet sphere of influence.” Plans are to digitize the collection and make it available online.