Wednesday, March 7, 2012

SD Library Challenge Lesson #8: ArchiveGrid & Camio

As instructed in the discovery exercise, I typed "Sitting Bull autograph card" into the search box of ArchiveGrid, and this led to a record at Cornell University. The page in ArchiveGrid included a brief biography of Sitting Bull, a Sioux shaman who led a resistance against encroachment by "the white men," then later ended up touring with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (also depicted in the recent remake of "True Grit"), which is apparently where the autograph card came from.

Rather than traveling to Ithaca, NY to view the autograph card, I clicked on the link to the Cornell Library, and after a quick search discovered that the item had been digitized:

I tried a search of my own for "prehistoric jewelry," (a subject I've been researching lately, and have since found, by the way, that the preferred terminology is "personal ornamentation"), and was at first a bit perplexed by the results. The results are organized by the name of the collection, such as "Smith papers."  Thus, I think this resource is better suited for scholars, historians, genealogists, etc. who are looking for information about or by a specific person.


This is an excellent database for viewing works of art "up close and personal!"
I did the search for Paul Revere, and I was impressed with his silver work - lovely spoons! I also learned that his son (or other namesake, Paul Revere, Jr.) was also a silversmith. There were also works about Paul Revere, like Grant Wood's famous painting.

It's not easy to find at first, but the "view a high resolution full image" (at the top of the page) is wonderful for seeing details.
For example, when I searched "Sioux," one of the objects that caught my eye was a beaded dress. In high definition, the beadwork is very detailed.

I then searched "Dali," one of my favorite artists. I've seen some of his actual work in person in the Dali museum in St. Petersburg, FL, and it's almost as impressive to view them in Camio in hi-def: you can see brushstrokes and even imperfections in the canvas. There were 81 items returned in the search results.

As a health science librarian, most of my patrons would not use this for academic work. But I do work at the reference desk a few hours a week, and we have art majors who may desire to see some of these works for a variety of reasons. This could be especially helpful for art faculty by allowing a virtual field trip - there are probably many students in South Dakota who have never had the opportunity to visit a major art museum in Chicago, NY, etc. Camio offers more of a sense of what it is like to see these works in person.

I will definitely recommend it if any patrons ask about seeing works of art by a particular artist or in a particular genre.

1 comment:

  1. Great comments, Goatsucker! Thank you for taking the extra step to actually locate the digitized image of Sitting Bull's autograph card and posting the link for those of us who were not as diligent. :) Yes, CAMIO can bring great museums/galleries to us! In some cases, we can better detail than if we were standing before it in person.