Tag Archives: New York Times

Our Own Photo Morgue


“Senator Lodge Borne to Rest,” November 17, 1924, Boston Herald.  Photograph by United Newspictures, Inc. Cambridge Public Library Archives and Special Collections, Boston Herald Photographs (008).

The Cambridge Room has been collecting the Boston Herald’s photo morgue and we’re amassing a nice, small collection of photographs related to Cambridge, including the one above picturing Massachusetts Senator Henry Cabot Lodge’s funeral at Christ Church in Cambridge.

In learning about the New York Times’ photo morgue, The Lively Morgue, we were pleasantly surprised to see that the Times decoded the back of their photographs as a way to enhance their historical value.
Explanation of the back of New York Times photographs.  To see the original on the Lively Morgue, click here and scroll down.

Below is the back of the Boston Herald’s photograph of Senator Lodge’s funeral.  There are similarities, including caption, photographic news agency (in this case United Newspictures, Inc. of New York), and a reference number.  You can learn a lot from the back of a photograph.

Back of “Senator Lodge Borne to Rest,” November 17, 1924, Boston Herald.  Photograph by United Newspictures, Inc. Cambridge Public Library Archives and Special Collections, Boston Herald Photographs (008).



The New York Times’ Photo Morgue

“Skims over the drifts like a bird:” A big sled outfitted with propellers and skis, devised by the aptly named Wing Brothers of St. Ignace, Mich., New York Times, 24 February 1924, courtesy of the Lively Morgue.

The New York Times has an archive collection that includes somewhere between 5 and 6 million photographs.  This collection is called the morgue and the Times is making many of the photographs available on a Tumblr called the Lively Morgue.  It’s a great collection of images from the paper’s history.  What we really like is that each post includes a photo of the back of the picture, which gives all kinds of great information.  Enjoy!


The Archivist who Won’t Retire

Bruce Adams former archivist at the Division of Old Records, courtesy of the New York Times.

The New York Times recently wrote a Character Study on Bruce Adams, a newly retired archivist with a tenure of 30 years at the Division of Old Records in Manhattan.  The Division of Old Records contains courtroom journals dating back to 1674 – that means there’s a lot of paper.  There’s so much paper that Adams decided that immediately upon retiring, he would continue to work as a volunteer.  Now he’s doing his old job with no pay.

Don’t let the name of the archives fool you – the collection is filled with great artifacts, like the 1909 letter from Typhoid Mary asking to be set free from quarantine from the North Brother Island and Aaron Burr’s 1804 indictment for dueling as well as his divorce filing.  Who wouldn’t want to keep filing those papers?  Take it from us, archivists can be obsessive about their work!  Read the article on Adams here.

Archivists Make the New York Times

Archiving in the Digital Era,” a video from the New York Times, published April 29, 2013.

Today’s New York Times had a nice article and short video on archivists working in New York City, titled “Leaving Cloister of Dusty Offices, Young Archivists Meet Like Minds.”  The article focuses on the social aspect of NYC archivists and the video features archivists’ excitement around and challenge with the digital era.  Click the image above to watch the video and see Albert Einstein’s family tea set.

Library of Miniature Books


Neale Albert, collector of miniature books, adjusts his library in his dollhouse version of Cliveden House, a British mansion, stocked with miniature books from his collection.  Courtesy of the New York Times.

Yesterday’s New York Times had a lovely  little article on miniature book collectors, Redefining a Little Library, featuring collector Neale Albert and his 4,000-book collection.  Miniature books can be no larger than three inches and are printed and bound like regular books.  Many of Albert’s mini-books are stored in a dollhouse library in his apartment.  His favorites include an atlas of the British Empire contained a goatskin-bound globe the size of a softball and a book claiming to be Voltaire writings with a key embedded in its cover to open a tiny book of erotica hidden inside.

Stop by Bromer Booksellers at 607 Boylston Street in Boston if you’d like to peruse or perhaps start your own miniature book collection.  Bromer’s is on the Miniature Book Society‘s approved list of dealers.

Fashion on the Titanic

Gloves from the Titanic, salvaged and restored.

One hundred years ago, the United States and Europe was still reeling from the sinking of the Titanic.  Over the past month, there has been a flurry of interest in the unsinkable ship’s sinking. Here are a few highlights for those interested in more:

1.  The April 12, 2012 New York Times did a nice photo piece on the fashion of the Titanic.
2.  The April 12, 2012 Cambridge Chronicle did a piece on rare book collector Harry Elkins Widener – of Widener Library fame – who died on the Titanic.
3.  Ancestry.com has compiled a free, new database exclusively around the Titanic.
4.  Daniel Mendelsohn’s Unsinkable in the April 16, 2012 New Yorker is about why 100 years later, we’re still obsessed with the Titanic’s sinking.

36 Hours in Cambridge from the NYTimes

Last month, New York Times Travel did a short piece on Cambridge in the winter for its 36 Hours travelog.

Watch Cambridge in 36 seconds:  http://video.nytimes.com/video/2011/12/22/travel/100000001234816/36-seconds-in-cambridge-mass.html.

Enjoy a slide show:  http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2011/12/25/travel/25CAMBRIDGE.html?ref=travel.

And compare your 36 hours in Cambridge:  http://travel.nytimes.com/2011/12/25/travel/36-hours-cambridge-mass.html.

Librarian Nostalgia

Do you remember these?  Photograph from the New York Times.

Last week the New York Times Sunday Review had a lovely opinion piece by Shannon O’Neill, archivist and reference librarian at the Atlantic City Free Public Library, on the ever-changing landscape of libraries, particularly in the digital age.  O’Neill reminds us that library technologies are constantly changing and offers us a great slide show that will inspire lots of nostalgia.  Enjoy!

Mixed America’s Family Trees

The New York Times has developed an interactive feature on family trees in response to the demographic shift that is currently happening in the United States.  Driven by immigration and intermarriage, multiracial and multiethnic Americans – usually grouped together as “mixed race” – are one of the country’s fastest growing demographics.    Three diverse families, including the Lopez-Mullins Family, the Mateus Family, and the family of  actor Lou Diamond Phillips, are featured with photographs and audio.  Readers are encouraged to post their own family tree.

To view the Mixed America’s family tree feature, click here:  http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/us/family-trees.html?ref=us#index.

To read the New York Times article, Black? White? Asian? More Young Americans Choose All of the Above, click here:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/us/30mixed.html?scp=1&sq=genealogy&st=nyt.