Google holds the largest collection of the digitised letters from the wartime

Google opened the largest Russian online archive of letters of more than 800 letters (1941 – 1945) from the war years, “Live memory”. The project was developed by agency Friends Moscow for Google Russia dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the great Patriotic war. There are videos where some of the letters received were read out by theatre and movie actors, musicians, athletes, TV presenters and politicians.

Google holds the largest collection of the digitized letters from the wartimeWillem Rabe created a typographic illustration made up of characters from around 800 letters serves as the interface to the online archive. As visitors will read letters, words will form an image of a soldier who has returned home from the front, reunited with his son.

“Turning what had been static typeface illustrations into a fully immersive interactive experience was an exciting challenge to me as it required both artistic and technical expertise to yield the results we were aiming for. After receiving the photographic data, I started to work on adjusting the contrast of the photograph, then creating an intricate line drawing featuring every contour, crease, strand of hair and fold within the image,” explains Willem.

Google holds the largest collection of the digitized letters from the wartime“The process took a hefty hundred hours and involved a lot of manual labour as every letter of every term had to be sized, spaced and in some instances rotated to get the most even overall appearance.

“After completing the process and following a strict protocol all the outlines were converted into a machine readable format and fed into the content management system that powers the interactive archive. This allowed us to later assign terms to letters that would match contextually.”

You can view the videos here: http://pisma.may9.ru/#/archive/video

Website: http://pisma.may9.ru/#/

New online archive features rare African photos

 

100,000 original Black and white negatives, dating back from 1940’s, of Mali’s most famous photographers, will be digitised using a $300,000 National endowment for the Humanities grant.

The archive features family portraits and photos of military activities, diplomatic visits, political events, national monuments, architecture, cultural and religious ceremonies and other aspects of popular culture.

Candace keller, assistant professor of African art history and visual culture, is collaborating with MSU’s MATRIX: The centre for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences and the Maison Africaine de la Photographie in Bamako, Mali, to create the Archive of Malian Photography by digitising and restoring the negatives thereby protecting them from further damage.

Access will be provided only to the low-resolution photos making them unusable in print but still useful for research and scholarship and protecting photos from further exploitation. “These photos have the potential to shape the way photographic history and cultural practice in West Africa are taught and studied since the concepts displayed go beyond what we’re used to seeing: village-based lifestyles,” said Keller.

Keller’s current two-year project is the second phase of the Archive of Malian Photography project. She and her team have already digitised 28,000 Malian photos using a grant from the British Library Endangered Archives Programme.

 

Negatives from Malian photographer Abdourahmane Sakaly’s collection being processed for Michigan State University’s Archive of Malian Photography.
Negatives from Malian photographer Abdourahmane Sakaly’s collection being processed for Michigan State University’s Archive of Malian Photography.

Courtesy: Michigan State University