Image description: National Museum of American History curator Carlene Stephens examines a glass disc recording that was made in Alexander Graham Bell’s Volta Lab. The disc contains the audio of a male voice repeating “Mary had a little lamb” twice.
In December, scholars recovered sound from this and other recordings made over 100 years ago. Until now, the technology to listen to the recordings without damaging the objects was not available. Learn more about how they recovered the audio.
Photo by Rich Strauss, Smithsonian Institution
Microfilming in the Digital Age
Multi-Pay Vouchers (MPV) are important records. As we said in an earlier post, pay vouchers are in some cases the only surviving documents that can verify service for benefit-seeking veterans whose OMPFs (Office of Military Personnel Files) were destroyed in the 1973 fire. These records are also increasingly important for historical and genealogical researchers.
Although scanning MPVs in high-resolution color would provide a higher level of graphic reproduction, NARA’s primary goal is the long-term preservation of the essential information contained in these documents. Silver halide film stored in appropriate conditions is a preservation standard with a life expectancy beyond 500 years. In the first photo above, you can see the difference between a scanned copy (left), and microfilmed copy (right).
Microfilm is an excellent intermediate format that you may easily digitize at any point in the future at minimal expense and effort. A reel of 1200-plus images can be digitized in a matter of minutes.
Filming is productive, averaging 250 document pages per hour at NARA-St. Louis. This rate is unattainable with digitization without utilizing automated document feeders on scanners, a practice that is not recommended for archival holdings.
The next microfilm reformatting project in St. Louis will involve discharge cards, which, like military pay vouchers, are used to establish evidence of military service. These cards contain information such as duty stations and chronological career details that are not contained on pay vouchers.
Natasha Trethewey has been named the Poet Laureate of Mississippi.
“We move forward but it stays with us.” These aren’t Jenny Holzer’s words, but she’s the artist who molded them into a visual titan. This photo-illustration, now the back cover of our “Beyond 9/11” Special Commemorative Issue, is Holzer’s rendering of the significance of 9/11, done in her signature style. What we see are these words transposed onto towers that fell 10 years ago.
The phrasing actually belongs to Howard Lutnik, the CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, the company whose offices took up the 101 to the 105 floors of the World Trade Center’s north tower. Lutnik took the morning off from work on Sept. 11, 2001 to take his son Kyle to his first day of kindergarten, and was interviewed about that day (along with his son, now a freshman in high school) as a part of our “Beyond 9/11” project.
After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in the late 1970s, Holzer began coining her artistic trademark by writing short slogans in public places. “If you want to reach a general audience,” she told TIME in 1990, “it’s not art issues that are going to compel them to stop on their way to lunch, it has to be life issues.” She went on to project her “truisms” onto famous cityscapes all over the world.
“Beyond 9/11” began as a series of portraits of the 40 men and women whose lives are forever tethered to that day, but we quickly realized that their words held as much power as their images. Executive editor Radhika Jones says Holzer’s work is “a beautiful marriage” between the artistic vision of this issue and the significance of the words behind them. Now, her 9/11 back cover image, wrapped in silver, sits next to Julian LaVerdiere and Paul Myoda’s “Tribute in Light Years,” a tribute to the buildings that are lost to us now.
There’s something to be said for an 88-year-old with a Tumblr account.
Since 1923, TIME has reported the world’s history and somewhere along the way, we became a part of it. TIME co-founder Henry Luce once said, “I became a journalist to come as close as possible to the heart of the world.”…
-Zsa Zsa Gabor, in a letter to the editors in response to this story
Washington, D.C., 1969(via timemagazine)
A history of TIME covers devoted to AIDS throughout its history, with the most iconic from February 12, 2001.
“This is a story about AIDS in Africa. Look at the pictures. Read the words. And then try not to care.”
Check out the top of Reddit right now and you’ll see a TIME cover focusing on the obesity epidemic in America. It’s a great cover. But it’s not ours.
It was designed last year as a class assignment by Ricky Linn, a graphic design student at Art Center of College of Design. We hear his professor didn’t like it.
We may not have elbow patches on our blazers, Ricky, but it’s definitely an A to us.
So this just happened.
NUMBER ONE ON REDDIT.
Good lord I wish I could show this to my instructor now who thought this was failed concept.