The E-Sylum:  Volume 8, Number 10, March 6, 2005, Article 21


The March 3, 2005 New York Times had an article about
the new gallery of images on the New York Public Library
web site:

"So far, about 275,000 items are online, and you can browse
by subject, by collection, by name or by keyword. The images
first appear in thumbnail pictures, a dozen to a page. Some
include verso views. You can collect 'em, enlarge 'em, download
'em, print 'em and hang 'em on your wall at home. All are free,
unless, of course, you plan to make money on them yourself.
(Permission is required.)

Despite the Web site's great richness, sleek looks and fast
response to a mouse click, it does feel a bit musty. The digital
gallery is modeled on an old-fashioned card catalog, with all the
attendant creaks. Doing a search is like going into a library and
opening file drawers."

"The digital gallery has a big collection from the Civil War,
including pictures of the dead taken by Alexander Gardner
and pictures of the wounded kept by the United States Sanitary
Commission. It has thousands of rare photographs of Russia
and the Soviet Union, including funny shots of a day nursery at
a Moscow factory, and thousands of color pictures of every
block in Lower Manhattan taken in a single year, 1999, by
one man, Dylan Stone."

"This grand, eccentric collection has uncountable strengths,
but the late 20th century is not among them. That's the way it
has to be for a library that is completely accessible to everyone
on earth. Only items that date before 1923 are in the public
domain, free for the plucking. That's why there is no image
from 2003. And for the year 2004, you will find only one
entry, made in error. It's a clothing ad from a page of a
1904 Scribner's Magazine."

"For the weary wanderer, the library has included a special
heading on the opening page of its Web site, "Explore,"
divided into seven neat subject areas. If you don't know
what you're looking for, it's good to start here.

But if you feel like burrowing, you might try searching inside
the individual collections and libraries within the New York
Public Library. Rummage through the rare books division
(pausing a moment to reflect how incredible it is to be
rummaging in a rare books library) and you will find George
Catlin's "North American Indian Portfolio," J.-J. Grandville's
"Les Fleurs Animées," William Blake's illuminated book
"Milton" and Alvin Langdon Coburn's book of portrait
photographs, "Men of Mark."

To read the full article, see: Full Story

To visit the NYPL image gallery: Image Gallery

[Using the simple search terms "coin," "coinage,"
"numismatist" and "mint" one can locate a few items of
interest to numismatists, such as a lyric sheet for the 1896
chart-topper, "Let us have free coinage, boys at sixteen
to one," with words and music by Albert P. Schack.
The song was an anthem during the Presidential debates
of that year, which also saw the creation of "Bryan Money"
medals and tokens (ID: 1165958).

Another image is of a poster from the Bryan era:
"Have you gone to the bottom of the Silver Question?"
(ID 1259271).

Another image is a page from a scrapbook of "America's
First Illustrator," Alexander Anderson (1775-1870). The
page shows drawings of early U.S. and colonial coins
(ID: T000148).

Or how about an image of a book page illustrating a
gold medal awarded to Nathaniel Greene (1742-1786)
(ID: 420802)?

Or an image of an April 28th, 1826 letter from Richard
Riker, John Agnew, Thomas Bolton and William A. Davis
informing recipient of the awarding of medals from the
Corporation of the City of New York at the celebration of
the completion of the New York canals
ID: 54675 )?

What numismatic goodies can YOU find?

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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