Editors Note 03/2021: Postcards-Illinois is no longer a collection in IDHH.
Illinois State University (ISU) is our newest contributor, with 13 exciting collections including Voices of Extremism, circus films, and the letters of Buffalo Bill. ISU is now the second largest contributor to the Illinois Digital Heritage Hub, contributing the metadata for nearly 20,000 objects.
One of these collections is the Passion for Circus collection of circus images, a collection of over 9400 photographs of the circus taken between the 1930s and the 1950s. The images come from the special collection of Sverre “Bex” and Faye Braathen, which came to the Milner Library in the mid-1970s after the Braathens passed away.
The Passion for Circus collection includes gorgeous color photographs of all things circus that Sverre shot on an Eastman Kodak Ektra F 1.9 camera using Kodachrome film. The photographs show the exciting and vibrant world of circus life and the spectators that flocked to these events. The images show the flashy costumes worn by the performers, the circus wagons used to transport the travelers and their animals around the country, and daring acts of acrobatics and contortionism.
Here is a sneak peak of some of the images from the collection.
For more on this collection, visit the Illinois State University Milner Library digital collections on their home site
You can also access all these images through DPLA this link
This month the IDHH welcomes the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) into the hub. UIUC is no stranger to DPLA, and has been a contributing content hub to DPLA since 2013, so we are pleased to welcome a DPLA veteran aboard. UIUC comes to the IDHH with 19 collections ranging in subject from historical maps of Africa to theater and costume design, Irish political cartoons, and much more.
As part of the many collections that the University of Illinois is making available, the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music’s Music Instrument Digital Image and 3D Model Collection boasts 231 images of historical instruments (1810-1972) and includes both the familiar and the unfamiliar. The instruments chronicle the evolution of many of the instruments that we recognize today, as well as many instruments that are a product of their time and did not continue to be produced.
Check out this sneak peek of some of the instruments in this collection.
To see more of the images in the collection, please click here.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has many other collections as well, please visit those in the University of Illinois digital library here and as part of the DPLA here.
This month we welcomed DePaul University into the IDHH. DePaul University has shared the Deborah Bright Photographs collection, which includes 96 black and white photographs taken by the photographer, Deborah Bright, in 1985.
The images in the collection capture an eerily quiet side of Chicago in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, sparsely populated by people. Bright took these photographs as part of the Lincoln Park Study Group, which was a project directed by Dr. Charles Suchar, and involved many DePaul faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. As part of this, a group was formed to conduct a historical and cultural study of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, where DePaul is located. Bright’s photographs document the neighborhood as it was at the time, in a process of gentrification.
The collection was donated to DePaul by Bright in 2015 as thirty-seven strips of negatives, with ninety-six exposures, and thirteen 8″x10″ contact sheets containing ninety-eight photos in total.
Here is a sneak peek from the collection.
Permission to display here is granted by DePaul University Special Collections and Archives.
Autumn is a beautiful time of year in Illinois when the leaves on the trees change from green to a wild display of colors, the crops in the fields are completing their lifecycle and are ready for harvest, and wildflowers such as goldenrod are putting out their final, golden blooms.
To celebrate this wonderful time of year, in 1939, the Eureka Community Association, of Eureka, Illinois organized the first Eureka Pumpkin Festival. Originally billed as a way to boost the local economy after the Great Depression, the Eureka Pumpkin Festival was a successful community festival that celebrated pumpkins and the people of Eureka, IL, and lasted from that first festival in 1939 to 1961.
The Eureka Public Library District has nearly 300 photographs and scans of pamphlets and recipe books that document the festival over the years.
This new blog will highlight digital collections that have been contributed to the Illinois Digital Heritage Hub and will be updated biweekly. These collections come from the rich and diverse group of institutions that contribute their metadata to the IDHH. Contributors are made up of libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and many other great institutions from around the state of Illinois.
In these collections you will find diaries chronicling the first hand experience of residents of Illinois, photographs documenting the changing cities and towns, and newspapers that give a glimpse into everyday life of years gone by. All of these and more can be found through the Digital Public Library of America, as well as highlighted here on the IDHH Highlights blog. Explore the rich cultural heritage of Illinois with us!