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Exploring innovations in history: architecture, television, travel — new collections made available through LSTA!


New collection highlights

Calisphere continues to grow, not only in size but also in breadth with new collections providing insight into innovations in architecture, television, and travel.

UC Santa Barbara’s Art, Design & Architecture (AD&A) Museum is a longstanding contributor of finding aids to the Online Archive of California (OAC). Last December, the museum enabled harvesting of selected digitized materials in its Architecture and Design Collection.

One of the largest architectural archives in North America, the AD&A’s holdings include drawings, photographs, models, project papers, decorative objects, and furniture from Southern California architects and designers from the late nineteenth through the early twenty-first century, with a specific focus on Southern California Modernism.

One particular collection features Albert Frey, a Swiss architect who moved to Palm Springs in the early 1930s. Frey experimented with a number of building and design techniques on his own personal homes, and his astonishing creativity is well-represented in these materials.

Photograph: Frey House 2 exteriorPhotograph: Frey House 2 interior

Photographs of Frey House 2, a house built around a large boulder.

The Television Academy Foundation has made available an invaluable collection of interviews with people who have made a significant impact on television. Lucy Lawless, LeVar Burton, Alton Brown, George Takei, Barbara Walters, RuPaul — these are only a handful of the 872 individuals whose personal stories offer a unique perspective on television history through The Interviews: An Oral History of Television collection.

Interview: Lucy LawlessInterview: LeVar BurtonInterview: Alton Brown

Interview: George TakeiInterview: Barbara WaltersInterview: RuPaul Charles

Interviews from the Television Academy Foundation’s The Interviews: An Oral History of Television.

The Los Angeles Public Library carries us to a time of exciting innovations in transportation, when railways, airlines, and automobiles opened up possibilities to travel to destinations around the world. The Travel Posters Collection highlights the “Golden Age of Travel,” when posters were commissioned to entice would-be explorers to visit these destinations and appeared as common fixtures in travel agent offices, railway stations and airports. The collection showcases vibrant graphic design, including Art Deco and Futurist imagery.

Image: Ame´lie-les-BainsImage: NorwayImage: Romance in EgyptImage: See Malaya

Posters from the Los Angeles Public Library’s Travel Posters Collection.

We are thrilled to share that Calisphere has also added over 6,800 items last month from 69 libraries, archives, and museums that have participated in “California Revealed“. California Revealed is a State Library initiative to help California’s public libraries, in partnership with other local heritage groups, digitize, preserve, and provide online access to archival materials (books, newspapers, photographs, audiovisual recordings, and more) that tell the incredible stories of the Golden State.

One noteworthy example is the California Revealed from Women’s Museum of California collection. Founded in 1983, the Women’s Museum of California is one of only five women’s museums in the United States. Its mission is to inspire and educate current and future generations about the experiences and contributions of women by collecting, preserving, and interpreting a broad collection of reference materials that document women’s history and the female experience.

Audio recordings sound wave
Many of the items currently available include audio recordings of the National Organization for Women board meetings and conferences, 1978-1979.

Explore all of our California Revealed collections including first-time contributions from the Museum of Western Film History, Siskiyou County Museum, National City Public Library, Napa County Historical Society, Notre Dame de Namur University, and so many more! Additional California Revealed collections will be added to Calisphere over the coming months.

The California Revealed Project is supported by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), administered in California by the State Librarian.

“Harvesting California’s Bounty” Initiative and Shareable Metadata Workshops

We are able to share all of these new collections on Calisphere through our “Harvesting California’s Bounty” project, a multi-year initiative focusing on bringing together digital collections that are otherwise dispersed across a range of library, archive, and museum systems. Also supported by IMLS under the provisions of the LSTA, this grant gives us extra capacity, including staffing, to harvest these digital collections.

As part of this initiative, we are providing free, all-day interactive workshops in multiple locations throughout California in an effort to encourage more public libraries and other cultural heritage orgs to share their collections. Launched this March, these workshops will continue through May and are focused on promoting good practices for creating shareable metadata, and helping contributors understand how to increase the discoverability of their collections. Visit our “Better Sharing Through Metadata” workshop wiki for additional information, including scheduling and registration.

We are excited to help make these collections publicly available, findable, and usable for the long term, and grateful for LSTA’s support for making it possible.