The popularity of silhouettes in the 18th and 19th centuries wasn’t only due to them being an affordable form of portraiture before the era of photography, the art also fit with popular pseudosciences like phrenology.
More than 5,000 wine labels at the University of California, Davis, chronicle the industry from the 1800s to the 1950s, before and after Prohibition in the United States.
Up on the second floor of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, you might hear the rising notes of opera faintly ringing from a card catalogue, or see people wearing headphones at the ends of the sheet music aisles.
Each whaling ship that departed the northeastern United States carried a logbook aboard, in which whale hunts, shipwrecks, weather conditions, and daily sailing life were recorded.
When French colonial forces pulled out of Guinea following its declaration of independence in 1958, they notoriously even took the lightbulbs.
Since 1901, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo has maintained a photography department, and now holds a collection of over 70,000 glass plate and film negatives.
There are several US organizations and libraries that contain key archives documenting art practices and work linked with AIDS and artists living with HIV.
In 1920s Hamburg, a dancer couple created wild, Expressionist costumes that looked like retro robots and Bauhaus knights.
The Rare Book Room of the New York Academy of Medicine Library in East Harlem has a trove of printed materials connected to camping and outdoor recreation in the early 1900s.
The 17th-century Manual of Calligraphy and Painting (Shi zhu zhai shu hua pu) is so fragile that until digitization no one was allowed to open it.
Soon over 200 exhibition websites for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), going back to its first web experiments in 1995, will be totally archived, from their images to their code.
Old NYC, a project by software engineer Dan Vanderkam, launched last month with thousands of images from the New York Public Library mapped across the five boroughs.