Last year, to commemorate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. we turned to the Chicago History Museum and their Prints and Photographs Collection and highlighted Declan Haun’s photojournalism of Dr. King’s activism, including his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech, the 1965 Selma-Montgomery marches, and the 1966 Chicago Freedom Movement. To celebrate his life this year, we’re featuring more of Declan Haun’s photography from Chicago History Museum’s Prints and Photographs Collection: this time, looking specifically at some of the more impressive photographs from the Selma to Montgomery March. Haun moved to Chicago in 1963 and documented the fervor of standing up for equality that Dr. King inspired among millions of Americans during the later years of the Civil Rights Movement. Haun was notorious as a free-lance photojournalist for the strong sense of social conscience for his subjects, translating his compassion into attention to the composition and formal aspects of his photography.
The Selma-Montgomery marches were three separate marches, held along the 54 mile strip of highway between the small city of Selma to the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. It was organized as a voting rights march to counter systemic voter registration obstruction in Alabama and across the greater South. It was also a response to the murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson that February, who was shot by a state trooper during a non-violent march. The first demonstration on March 7th became violent, when state troopers assaulted unarmed marchers with billy clubs and tear gas when they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The organizer, Amelia Boynton was beaten unconscious, and the press published a photo of her lying on the bridge.
On Tuesday March 9th, clergy from across America joined the marchers as Dr. King led them towards Montgomery along the same route. The marchers turned around on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, obeying a federal injunction that prevented the march from crossing into the unincorporated part of Dallas county. That night a white mob murdered James Reeb, a minister from Boston who had traveled to Montgomery.
Haun’s photographs of the march depict the realness of the events, and retell the story of Dr. King’s impact and the fight for civil rights with details and compassion that could otherwise be overwritten. Photographs of people assembling along with the necessary and uncurated and often invisible parts of organizing and fighting for rights such as living rooms filled cots and mattresses to house people from out of town aren’t just a statement about the stakes and drive of people, but actual evidence of the energy that went into fighting for civil rights.
The IDHH is pleased to announce that all contributing institutions will be featured on the IDHH website’s Browse by Partners feature. This is the first of several site updates planned for 2020 in response to user feedback after launch. Like everything else we do, this website feature relies on good metadata. In order to optimize search and discovery and sorting and faceting sort results, consistent contributor names are essential.
Now is a good time to review your institution’s name as it appears in your metadata records to check for any inconsistencies. To start, checkout the Browse by Partner page and see if you can find your institution. If you discover anything unusual about the way your institution’s name appears on the page, such as duplication or misspellings or if your institution’s name simply does not show up, we highly recommend remediating your institution’s provider field metadata. As always, contact the DPLA’s metadata manager, Joshua Lynch, if you have any questions.
The data provider field is the DPLA Metadata Application Profile label for the contributing institution name. CARLI member contributors include the institution name in the collection field, dcterms:isPartOf. Other institutions will generally need to include the institution name in the dcterms:provenance field. This field is not repeatable; if you have multiple dcterm:provenance fields in your records, only the first will be used by the DPLA as the name of your institution. Be consistent with this field. The institution’s name should be the same value across all of your institution’s records and collections. Otherwise, collections will be fragmented between multiple provider names that are really from the same institution.
There are some best practices for this provider field metadata. Please include only letters: no special characters. Special characters may break the way institution names display on the Browse by Partners page or in the catalog. In a similar grain, please do not include URIs or URLs in the provider field metadata. These links may break the website and are redundant: each of your institution’s records in the IDHH and DPLA catalogs links back to your local collections automatically. Finally, please keep your institution name short: the shorter the better. If there are multiple terms for your institution, present or not in your metadata, we recommend opting for the shortest one. This makes your institution name easier to read and more digestible to the average user and thus, your materials more findable! Also, extremely long contributor names can take up a lot of space on the Browse by Partners page and in catalog Contributing Institution widget. For more information, please consult the IDHH Metadata Best Practices guide.
So much of our work at the IDHH is focused on photographs, but so often we overlook the history of photography in the 20th century- specifically how photographs and the camera became the way we documented our everyday life.
In celebration of the darkest time of the year and the lights of the winter holidays I want to highlight lantern and glass slides from Mount Prospect Library’s “Dimensions of Life in Mount Prospect”, The Museum of the Grand Prairie through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s “Teaching With Cultural Heritage”, and Highland Park Historical Society’s “George D. Rice Collection”.
The Magic Lantern was an early projector. Originally invented in the 16th century, projectionists would move painted glass slides behind the lens to create performances and shows. Only lit by candle light, the projection was weak. In the 19th century, small kerosene lamps were mass produced and replaced other, more dangerous illumination methods. Kerosene in part popularized lanterns and put them in churches, schools, homes, fraternal societies and more in the hands of amateur projectionists. This Magic Lantern from Mount Prospect Public Library’s is a German import from the early 20th century. With 37 glass slides, it projected scenes onto a wall, and included crayons for creating personal slides for new projections.
Mount Prospect Public Library’s “Dimensions Of Life in Mount Prospect” includes photographs and descriptions of artifacts from residents of Mount Prospect from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. With artifacts ranging from horse-hair mittens, to glass soda pop bottles, the collection shows how the early days of Mount Prospect and the northwest suburbs of Chicago were influenced by its German heritage and American identity before World War II when the village suburb’s population exploded. The Museum of the Grand Prairie (formerly known as The Early American Museum) has a large collection of painted glass slides that children could use with toy lanterns.
These awesome images would be projected on screens, showing sequences and small cartoonish and kitschy ethnographies and scenes of the everyday from ambiguous places. Compare these slides to the glass lantern slides from the George D. Rice Collection at the Highland Park Historical Society.