Scents of history: study hopes to recreate smells of old Europe (The Guardian)

The Guardian: Scents of history: study hopes to recreate smells of old Europe. “From the pungent scent of a cigar to the gentle fragrance of roses, smells can transport us to days gone by. Now researchers are hoping to harness the pongs of the past to do just that. Scientists, historians and experts in artificial intelligence across the UK and Europe have announced they are teaming up for a €2.8m project labelled ‘Odeuropa’ to identify and even recreate the aromas that would have assailed noses between the 16th and early 20th centuries.”

Victoria University of Wellington: Both sides of the coin at University Classics Museum

Victoria University of Wellington: Both sides of the coin at University Classics Museum. Antiquities from the Classics Museum at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington are now available online for students, scholars, and enthusiasts of Classical Greek and Roman culture worldwide…. The collection is a mix of Greek and Roman materials, running from the Bronze Age (3000–1200BC) to the later Roman Period (200-400AD), and is representative of a wider range of different objects and periods.”

For music archivists, a contemporary dilemma: Should racist songs from our past be heard today? (Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Times: For music archivists, a contemporary dilemma: Should racist songs from our past be heard today? . “It’s a journey that American pop culture creators and curators have repeatedly taken as the Black Lives Matter movement has brought renewed attention to white privilege and called out once-common racists tropes. Much of the focus has been on TV episodes featuring blackface. Creators of ’30 Rock,’ ‘The Golden Girls,’ ‘Saturday Night Live’ and ‘The Office’ have all removed from circulation offensive episodes. This year thousands of ice cream trucks that for decades churned out ‘Turkey in the Straw’ have been reprogrammed to delete a work whose roots stretch to an 1830s-era song called ‘Zip Coon.'”

New York Times: For 3 Filmmakers, Now Is the Best Time for a Coronavirus Documentary

New York Times: For 3 Filmmakers, Now Is the Best Time for a Coronavirus Documentary. “As the coronavirus raged out of control this spring, Alex Gibney, an Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker who has released two other movies this year, embarked on a secret project: a film that would ‘tell the origin story’ of the pandemic that has cost more than 215,000 Americans their lives. He wanted to know if the carnage could have been prevented.”

TIME: This Isn’t the First Time America Has Voted During a Pandemic. Here’s How the 1918 Flu Affected That Year’s Election

TIME: This Isn’t the First Time America Has Voted During a Pandemic. Here’s How the 1918 Flu Affected That Year’s Election. “As the midterm elections of 1918 approached, World War I was winding down, but a new strain of the flu was surging. It had been spreading earlier in the year, but is believed to have mutated into a more deadly, more contagious strain that fall. Data analyzed by Tom Ewing, a professor of history at Virginia Tech, reveal that death rates in northeastern cities had spiked in late September and mid-October in 1918, and had sharply declined by Election Day on Nov. 5, while West Coast cities were in the throes of ongoing outbreaks.”

The Atlantic: America’s Toxic Love Affair With Technology

The Atlantic: America’s Toxic Love Affair With Technology. “America has long carried on a great love affair with technological progress. But the truth is that really big inventions—the printing press, the internal-combustion engine, the internet—have both upsides and downsides. They make new things possible, but they also tend to undo settled expectations and create chaos. The real question is not whether there will be major technological changes, but whether societies can learn to better handle the disruptions that follow.”

Arizona State University: ASU collection of rare, historically significant books made accessible to the public online

Arizona State University: ASU collection of rare, historically significant books made accessible to the public online. “‘The Federalist Papers,’ a collection of short essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay in 1788, is one of the most well-known pro-Constitution writings. A first edition printing of this book, along with 23 other rare books and manuscripts related to significant figures, moments, ideas, debates and movements from American history, can be explored through Arizona State University’s Civic Classics Collection.”

The Conversation: Five COVID customs which emerged during lockdown

The Conversation: Five COVID customs which emerged during lockdown. “I have been tracking how people are expressing beliefs and values using folkloric practices today. It seems that during these dark times they are being used to visibly brighten our communities. Many of us will have perpetuated these customs simply for something to do – particularly families desperate for ideas to occupy children. So here are five folkloric customs that could come to define this age in the future.”

Fast Company: Fake video threatens to rewrite history. Here’s how to protect it

Fast Company: Fake video threatens to rewrite history. Here’s how to protect it. “In an age of very little institutional trust, without a firm historical context that future historians and the public can rely on to authenticate digital media events of the past, we may be looking at the dawn of a new era of civilization: post-history. We need to act now to ensure the continuity of history without stifling the creative potential of these new AI tools.”

The Conversation: COVID-19 anti-vaxxers use the same arguments from 135 years ago

The Conversation: COVID-19 anti-vaxxers use the same arguments from 135 years ago. “As a historian of medicine, it’s become clear from researching the history of vaccines that those who promote anti-vaccination consistently use a standard set of strategies. Although it can be hard to see patterns of argument in the modern context, looking back at a historical instance of epidemic and misinformation provides a useful case study for revealing today’s recurring anti-vaccination strategies.”

University of Utah: Marriott Library digital exhibit finds echoes of today’s pandemic news in century-old headlines

University of Utah: Marriott Library digital exhibit finds echoes of today’s pandemic news in century-old headlines. “Cancelled events. Shuttered businesses. Debates about face coverings. Although the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020 seems like a century ago, it was an actual century ago, in fall 1918, when the Spanish Flu pandemic rolled through most parts of the globe—including Utah. The newspaper headlines of the time show not only the concern and caution in the early stages of the pandemic but also the eventual drop in cases and easing of restrictions—the endgame that, for us, remains in the foggy future. The J. Willard Marriott Library is launching a new digital exhibit to explore the 1918 flu pandemic in Utah through contemporary newspaper articles. The articles show how the issues and divisions that have appeared in the COVID-19 pandemic are, unfortunately, nothing new. ”

Harvard Gazette: Crowd-sourcing the story of a people

Harvard Gazette: Crowd-sourcing the story of a people. “Tiya Miles believes a better understanding of the past is as likely to be found in a formal archive, a National Park, or a conversation with an elderly relative as it is in the classroom. Miles, who received a bachelor’s degree in Afro-American Studies from the College in 1992, joined the faculty in 2018 as professor of history and Radcliffe Alumnae Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.”

Fine Books & Collections: Discover the UK’s Historic Books

From a month ago and I just found it. Fine Books & Collections: Discover the UK’s Historic Books . “Discover Historic Books was put together during UK lockdown this year by the team behind the Unlocking The Archive project, a collaboration between the University of East Anglia (UEA), the National Trust’s Blickling Estate property, and Norfolk Library and Information Service. Visitors to the website can explore ancient books such as Daniel Heinsius’ 1629 In Praise of the Ass (Laus asini) and A History of Lapland by John Scheffer (1674) using interactive hotpoints to explain the text and all the nuts and bolts of the physical books, from Renaissance typefaces to yapp edges and printers’ marks.”

Medium: What Future Generations Will Remember About The Pandemic

Medium: What Future Generations Will Remember About The Pandemic. “Today’s kids will be back in school at some point, hopefully soon. What should scare us is that their kids will study us in their history books. My grandmother, like so many others, came here with nothing without her parents. She was 8. Everything I have including the ‘liberty’ and ‘rights’ were nothing I earned. They were gifted them from her and many others who sacrificed. I always thought our job was to give something of equivalent value to our kids and grandkids. They have known for some time we have decided not to give them a more livable planet. And that’s unforgivable.”

University of Stirling: Replicas are also ‘the real thing’ say researchers

University of Stirling: Replicas are also ‘the real thing’ say researchers. “Heritage specialists at the University of Stirling are calling on those who create, use and care for replicas to rethink their approaches after launching a new website to promote recognition of their authenticity, value and significance. New Future for Replicas, co-produced by an international team of experts led by Stirling’s Dr Sally Foster and Professor Siân Jones, offers innovative guidance encouraging professionals, institutions, museums and heritage sites to place new value on physical replicas, whether copies of monuments or artefacts.”