As early as the 17th century, St Helena’s position in the South Atlantic made it important to shipping between Western Europe and the east – a useful place where ships could take on water and supplies. Its cliffs and volcanic outcrops must have presented a fairly bleak view to sailors approaching after a long voyage.
Approaching St Helena, circa 1906 (reference CO 1069/766)
The East India Company controlled the island from the 1650s through to 1815 (with brief Dutch interludes), when Napoleon was exiled to the island and the British government temporarily took direct control.
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A very happy Waitangi Day to all New Zealanders everywhere.
To coincide with Waitangi Day, The National Archives has digitised a series of photo albums from the Colonial Office Library, in Australasia Through a Lens. The images, released on Flickr, include 211 images of New Zealand and New Zealanders. Among these are a signed photo of the All Blacks touring team of 1953-1954, scenic photographs published by Burton Bros, and scans of lithographs from the publication ‘The New Zealanders Illustrated’ by George French Angas.
The National Archives also holds three transcriptions of the Treaty of Waitangi, including the one depicted below, but I don’t want to focus this blog post on the treaty itself. The official copy of the treaty is held in The National Archives of New Zealand in Wellington, and there are plenty of people who can discuss it with far more authority than me.
Treaty of Waitangi, 6 February 1840: copy of the text of the treaty, in Maori, with the names of some of the signatories. Certified, in English, as a true copy by George Clarke, Chief Collector of Aborigines. Reference MFQ 1/402/1
Unidentified Flying Object sightings c.1969 (ref: AIR 20/11612)
Yesterday marked the fifth anniversary of the launch of the Flickr Commons. There are now more than 250,000 images in the Commons, from 56 different libraries, archives and museums.
To celebrate, the Library of Congress, one of the original members, has pulled together galleries of the most viewed and favourite images from the Commons.
Our three most viewed images are:
UFO sightings chart (right)
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‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom, and with all thy getting get understanding’
This inscription from the Book of Proverbs can be found in the Great Hall of Manchester Central Library. I’m an Opening up Archives trainee, based in Manchester Archives, which is a part of Manchester Libraries. Today, many archival institutions have a social media presence; they tweet, blog, have a Facebook page and a Flickr Photostream, but to what extent do they help us get wisdom? I’d like to concentrate on three different, emerging, and perhaps misunderstood, online-based channels which offer the potential to produce an engaging, interesting and accessible online narrative.
Augmented Reality (AR), as I understand it, involves the combination of a real world view with a virtual scene generated by a computer, augmented with additional information which is viewed through a smart phone or tablet. I’ve written about AR previously on the Manchester Archives blog, in which I discussed what AR could add to this pictorial poster (below) produced for the Manchester Corporation Transport Department by E. Wigglesworth in the early 1930s. The potential and possibilities for contextualising an item or collection appears endless.
Manchester Corporation Transport Department poster by E. Wigglesworth (GB127 M29 File 71J)
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On Wednesday we released ‘Asia through a lens’, the latest batch of Colonial Office photographs in the CO 1069 collection.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the project, over the past couple of years we have been releasing parts of our CO 1069 photographic collection on Flickr. The photos are from the colonial period and feature images taken by government staff from all over the world. They range from around 1860, to when many colonies gained independence in the 1960s. You can read more about the project on my previous blog and our news story.
So far we have released images of Africa, the Americas and island territories (including the Caribbean) and the latest set released online on Wednesday are of Asia.
This set of photographs hasn’t disappointed – it is a beautifully diverse collection, with plenty of panoramic scenes, everyday life and events alongside the more unusual examples of typhoon damage, theatre performances and celebratory ‘bun mountains’! We also see a number of beautifully coloured prints that have inspired staff to order copies for themselves!