Are you a primary sources buff? An enthusiast for all things ephemeral? A lover of comics, vintage newsreels or magic? If so, you should check out these amazing, newly-published open collections.
- British Pathé – one of the leading producers of newsreels and documentaries during the 20th Century has shared its entire collection — over 85,000 historical films from 1896-1976 — on YouTube.
- Digital Comic Museum – Free access to hundreds of pre-1959 comic books, uploaded by users who often offer historical research and commentary alongside high-quality scans. Saladin Ahmed’s been finding some great comics featuring POC and women superheroes in the collection and sharing info about them on Twitter and Tumblr.
- Open Access Maps – Access (and download!) over 20,000 maps from the NYPL’s map collection. Want to see how the territories mapped in the old documents compare to present geography? Use the Map Warper to digitally align, or “rectify,” the historical maps with contemporary ones.
- Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is offering aspiring wizards the chance to take free & open online versions of the magical curriculum. And though this is a volunteer/fan-supported project, we hear the instructors take their assessment work very seriously.
Want to keep learning about these kinds of collections, as they’re made available? Some websites to keep checking are: Open Culture, The Vault (Slate), Folklife Today (Library of Congress), and Picture This (Library of Congress).