By HELEN DALRYMPLE
"Edward S. Curtis's: The North American Indian: Photographic Images," "The Irving Fine Collection," and "Emergence of Advertising in America, 1850-1920" are the latest additions to the Library's American Memory Web site at www.loc.gov. Each collection offers a distinct view of American culture.
The North American Indian by Edward S. Curtis is one of the most significant representations of traditional American Indian culture. Issued in limited edition from 1907 to 1930, the 20-volume set is organized by tribes and culture areas encompassing the Great Plains, Great Basin, Plateau Region, Southwest, California, Pacific Northwest and Alaska. The online collection presents all 2,226 published images, with comprehensive identifying data, including plate numbering, dimensions and the original captions by Curtis. The source materials for this collection are housed at Northwestern University Library.
The career of Irving Fine (1914-1962), composer conductor, writer and academic, is documented in the Library of Congress Music Division by approximately 4,350 items in the Irving Fine Collection. This initial online presentation contains more than 50 items from the collection, including photographs, musical sketches and scores, a record performance of the String Quartet (1952) and the finding aid for the larger collection. A contemporary of Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein, Fine died in 1962 at the age of 47, cutting short one of the most promising careers in 20th century American classical music.
"Emergence of Advertising in America, 1850-1929" presents more than 9,000 images relating to the early history of advertising in the United States. The materials, drawn from the Rare Book, Manuscript Divisions and Special Collections Library at Duke University, include cookbooks, photographs of billboards, print advertisements, trade cards, calendars, almanacs and leaflets for a multitude of products. Images selected for inclusion are arranged in 11 categories covering subjects such as early advertising publications, tobacco advertising and the advertisements of companies such as Kodak, Ponds and the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency. The online collection includes a timeline of events in business technology, media, marketing and advertising covering the period 1850-1920.
The digitization of Curtis's photographs and the advertising collection was supported by an award from the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition. This $2 million, three-year program, which concluded in 1999, has made awards to 33 institutions nationwide to enable them to make their important American history collections available.
American Memory is a project of the National Digital Library Program of the Library of Congress. Its more than 100 collections—which range from papers of the U.S. presidents, Civil War photographs and early films of Thomas Edison to papers documenting the women's suffrage and civil rights movements, Jazz Age photographs and the first baseball cards—include more than 7 million items from the collections of the Library and those of other major repositories.
The latest Web site from the Library is aimed at kids and families. The colorful and interactive "America's Library" (www.americaslibrary.gov) invites users to "Log On … Play Around … Learn Something."