Thursday, January 7, 2016

NYPL - NEW Digital Resource

The New York Public Library [NYPL] has announced the launch of 180,000 high resolution public domain images through its Digital Collections. The site includes thousands of images of the Gulf South, including this one of a Mississippi Carnegie Library under construction (1910).

In many instances, the versos of photographs are also scanned. These often provide substantive contextual information.  For example, photographer Dick Williams captured the above image circa 1939. Producer Michael Todd and Director Hassard Short are shown inspecting the "Gay Old New Orleans" model for the New York World's Fair.

I've mentioned Todd's production in a previous post.

The Crescent City was prominent at the fair. The New Orleans Village celebrated Mardi Gras week with nightly carnival parades. Eddie Durchin and his orchestra played, and Joe Louis, Fredi Washington and Ann Lewis performed a skit. Mississippi-born "Hammerin' Hank" Armstrong (1912-1988) led a dance number at the Sazerac Restaurant Show.

Names of artists and designers were frequently included in publicity photographs. From the verso of the photograph show above, one can glean that Pilar Fernandez (left) of Havana, Cuba painted murals for "Gay Old New Orleans."  Another reveals that Irene Sharaff (1910-1993) designed Michael Todd's costumes.

Images above:  Aurelius P. Hood. Carnegie Library in Course of Construction at Mound Bayou, MS. 1910. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.  Permalink:
This structure -- demolished in the 1930s -- was on the corner of SW Green Street East and Fisher Avenue.

Dick Williams. Michael Todd and Hassard Short Inspect Old New Orleans Model. Circa 1939. New York Public Library. Permalink:

Leo Casey, Director of Publicity. Pilar Fernandez (Havana, Cuba) and Janice Torre (1928 Carrollton Ave) Sitting on a Fence. Detail.  1940. New York Public Library. Permalink:

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