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Arkyves

Online Reference Tool for the History of Culture

Edited by Hans Brandhorst and Etienne Posthumus

http://arkyves.org/
Arkyves is both a unique database of images and texts and a meeting place for everyone who wants to study imagery and publish about it. All visual and textual sources are made accessible with the help of the multilingual vocabulary for cultural content of the Iconclass system. By using this system it has been made possible to find and retrieve images and texts from various sources on a specific topic.
By using Arkyves it is currently possible to access almost 900.000 images, texts, etc. from libraries and museums in many countries among them the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD), the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, and the university libraries of Milan, Utrecht and Glasgow . More collections will follow in the near future. The database contains a link to the images which are available in open access.
Arkyves is both a research tool for art historians and book historians, as well as a tool to facilitate the process of describing images.

Some of Arkyves’ features:
• Completely rewritten front-end: responsive design in a modern web application.
• New user interface: clear and easy to use, centered around pre-selected themes.
• Iconclass controlled vocabulary for improved powerful retrieval options.
• Iconclass searches currently possible in 9 different languages (English, Dutch, French, German, Finnish, Polish, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese)
• For partners: possibility to create dedicated Iconclass retrieval browsers, for easy inclusion in their website.
• Arkyves is now open as a platform to assist institutions and individual researchers to catalogue and publish their own datasets of images in hybrid Open Access.
• Updated back-end search, based on industry-leading ElasticSearch.


Partner Institutions:
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek; Biblia Sacra project; Bibliothèques Virtuelles Humanistes; Byvanck Illuminated Manuscript project; Cardiff University; Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Dresden; Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington; Getty Research Institute & Provenance Index; Glasgow University Library; Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel; Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague; The Leiden Collection, New York; Museum Meermanno; RKD, Netherlands Institute for Art History; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Anton Ulrich Museum, Braunschweig; University Library, Amsterdam; University Library, Utrecht; University of Milan, Marengo; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign



To enquire about this product, or arrange a free 30-day institutional trial, please contact our Sales Department at sales-nl@brill.com (outside the Americas) or sales-us@brill.com (the Americas).

1) Arkyves demo: Product information Information about 'Arkyves, Reference Tool for the History of Culture': what is it, how can you use it, the different tools, future developments, and more. Watch it here
2) Arkyves demo: Searching for content in Arkyves Examples of the different kinds of search possibilities in Arkyves. Watch it here
Moscow News, founded in 1930, for years represented the official English-language press organ of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Its establishment stemmed from a large influx of foreign, mostly American, workers who emigrated to Russia during the Great Depression. Its mastermind was American journalist and activist Anna Louise Strong, who acted in cooperation with Stalin’s cultural propagandists with the aim of providing English-speaking newcomers with an informative – and often edulcorated – view of the Soviet standards of life. Thus, throughout the years, Moscow News served as a tool of positive propaganda that the Soviet regime employed to embellish and polish its public image. As a consequence, censorship heavily affected its rhetoric, narrative, and contents, determining which issues were worthy of being reported and which ones had to be dismissed or ignored. For this reason, the newspaper is a rich resource for those who are interested in assessing the internal mechanism of the Soviet Union’s cultural diplomacy and consensus-building machine.

In the late 1940s, the newspaper and its editors became the target of Stalin’s purges. With the exacerbation of the Cold War confrontation and the worsening of the nuclear arms race, the newspaper came to represent an unnecessary open window to the regime’s internal dynamics. The newspaper’s publication was therefore interrupted between 1949 and 1956. Nevertheless, Moscow News was resuscitated during Khrushchev’s thaw. The general editorial policy of the newspaper did not change, as it continued providing a rather orthodox interpretation of the Cold War and the role of the Soviet Union in world affairs. It also continued to focus on the achievements of Russian society, covering fields ranging from sports to technology. But its structure changed completely, as it became a modern media outlet translated in as many as a dozen different languages, including Russian, and distributed worldwide. It relied on professional interpreters, translators, and copyeditors, and its style, layout, and reporting matched those of Western presses.

Content-wise, Moscow News remained substantially aligned with the Politburo’s policy, thus blaming American policy and simultaneously ignoring or underestimating crucial events in the Eastern bloc, as in the case of the Prague Spring or the revolts in Budapest. This all changed, however, with the launch of the policies of glasnost and perestroika in the 1980s, when the paper progressively endorsed a transparency campaign aimed at uncovering some of the most disturbing elements of Stalin’s reign of terror. The institutional changes that affected Russia after the end of the Cold War represented both a challenge and an opportunity for the newspaper, which moved from being Stalin’s mouthpiece to promoting democracy and the free press in Russia. Mounting criticism by Moscow News toward the current political setting in Moscow led to its definitive closure in 2014.

The Daily Worker Online contains 23,064 pages, from 1922 until 1966, of The Daily Worker, the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) between 1924 and 1958, and The Worker.

The Daily Worker was the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) between 1924 and 1958. While performing this function, the newspaper represented nevertheless much more than just a tool of political propaganda. Originally, its articles and campaigns were intended to raise working-class awareness in the US and to promote the tenets of socialism there. However, gradually, The Daily Worker started to appeal to a broader audience, not just rank-and-file Communists. Its main target became the victims of the Great Depression, the masses of the unemployed, the dispossessed, and the marginalized minorities packing American metropolises. Its reports covered a wide range of subjects, from policy reforms to labor strikes, from civil rights to housing and urban planning, from foreign policy to sports, literature, and general culture.

Given the breadth of the topics covered by The Daily Worker and the fact that it navigated some of the most transformative years of American democracy and society, including the Progressive Era, the New Deal, WWII, and the Cold War, this newspaper constitutes an excellent resource for the reconstruction and analysis of both US domestic changes and varied foreign entanglements in the first half of the twentieth century. In fact, The Daily Worker was part and parcel of the wider American public debate, not just one of its many radical voices. For many years, its articles reflected the so-called Popular Front culture and spoke to a growing, complex, and multifaceted American left. To do so in an effective way, the newspaper relied on some of the most prominent artists and intellectuals of the era, such as Woody Guthrie, Martha Graham, Lester Rodney, Mike Gold, and many others. As a result, some of The Daily Worker’s campaigns rapidly broke out of the radical realm and entered mainstream public debate. Instances of this, for example, were when the newspaper promoted racial desegregation in professional American sports, when its editors advocated for minimum wages and fair employment conditions, and when its articles contributed to popularizing the war alliance with the USSR.

Even so, The Daily Worker remained largely aligned with a communist perspective on and interpretation of both domestic and international affairs. This is the principal reason, as soon as the Cold War began and the cooperative spirit of the Popular Front disappeared, the paper took a much more orthodox turn, which put it on a collision course with both the emergence of a Cold War consensus among American liberals and, most importantly, with the staunch anti-communism that characterized 1950s America. From that moment onward, the newspaper started to be generally perceived as a destabilizing threat to American democracy. The FBI increased its surveillance of the newspaper’s editors, subscription figures dropped, and communist voices were stigmatized and marginalized. These factors all contributed to the closure of The Daily Worker at the beginning of 1958. After a brief suspension of activities, the CPUSA published a weekend paper called The Worker from 1958 to 1968.

The Guatemala Collection

Government and Church Documents for Sacatepéquez (1587-1991)

Populated predominantly by indígenas (indigenous peoples) who speak Kaqchikel-Maya, Sacatepéquez department offers an excellent window into Latin American and Native American history. Located in the central highlands of Guatemala, it was home to two colonial capitals and is contiguous with the nation’s contemporary capital. Throughout the colonial and national eras, indigenous people farmed to feed themselves and the regions (and capitals) that surrounded them. Through arduous and often corvée labor, they also built much of the infrastructure in their communities and nation. Crucial to Guatemala’s colonial and national development, indígenas were largely discounted and denigrated. Despite such discrimination and disadvantages, many found ways to survive and thrive. Often converging at the nexus of modernization and tradition, the documents in this collection convey the complicated hybrid history of a nation striving to present itself as progressive and civilized in an Atlantic world that seldom associated those qualities with indigeneity. Penned primarily by non-indigenous elites, authorities, and scribes, the documents in this collection explore complex ethnic, racial, class, and gender relations and how they changed over time.

Spanning more than four hundred years, The Guatemala Collection: Government and Church Documents for Sacatepéquez (1587-1991) concentrates primarily on the national era, particularly 1824-1948. The vast majority of the documents—correspondence, annual reports, statistics, letters, litigation—found within The Guatemala Collection are copies from the Archivo General de Centroamérica and the Archivo Histórico Arquidiocesano “Francisco de Paula García Peláez” (formerly known as Archivo Eclesiástico de Guatemala) in Guatemala City. In recent years, the latter has seldom been opened to the public. Colonial documents mainly come from the Archivo General de Indias in Seville, Spain. A few of the documents and transcripts come from the Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica (CIRMA) in Antigua. In general, the documents are organized by place, theme, and chronology.

The Guatemala Collection comprises ten series. Eight of the series are titled after the department or municipality to which the documents correspond. The remaining two series—Colonial Documents and Secondary Sources—are titled descriptively. Although they also present findings and information concerning Sacatepéquez and its municipalities, for reasons of chronology and the nature of the documents, these series have been set apart from the main collection. The secondary source documents, which were authored primarily by the donor and historian Christopher Lutz, scholar and researcher Héctor Concohá, historian Wendy Kramer, and anthropologist Sheldon Annis, are notes, commentaries, descriptions, indexes, syntheses, and analyses of materials included in the collection itself or from the archives. Across these ten series, the documents of the collection are organized into fifty-seven distinct classifications that include such themes as economy, agriculture, forced labor, complaints, crime, annual reports, natural disasters, municipal affairs, education, elections, military, public works, religion, public health, lands and estates, development, resignations and solicitations, regulations, festivities, and maps. The majority of the documents are labeled by Concohá as to their years and subject matter.

Although Lutz initially was explicit in his research requests, after his exile from Guatemala in 1980, the project took on a life of its own as Concohá continuously widened the parameters of the research. Consequently, The Guatemala Collection houses a rich array of government, church, and civil documents that bear testimony to an indigenous population’s struggle and success with the changing social, economic, political, and religious dynamics of colonial and independent rule.

Image artwork: Caroline Salvin, Dueñas de la puerta de la casa, octubre de 1873 ( Dueñas from the house door, October 1873; watercolor)

The History of Afghanistan Online

Fayż Muḥammad Kātib Hazārah's Sirāj al-tawārīkh

The Sirāj al-tawārīkh is the essential text for any scholar wishing to understand Afghanistan’s history. It forms the core text of historical writings from within Afghanistan for the period, 1747-1919. Mystery surrounded the work for decades to how many volumes existed. After the discovery of suppressed parts of the third and missing fourth volumes, Brill can now offer this extended resource, as it was originally envisaged by its author, in an accessible English language translation.

The Sirāj al-tawārīkh is the most important history of Afghanistan ever written. For many decades, Afghanistan’s history had been recounted through records of the experiences and policies of the British in India. And yet the country has a rich historiographic tradition of its own; the work we present here is the pinnacle of Afghanistan’s own writings.

The Sirāj al-tawārīkh was commissioned as an official national history by the Afghan prince, and later amir, Habib Allah Khan (reign 1901-1919). Its author, Fayz Muhammad Khan, better known as “Katib” (The Writer), was a Shiʿi Hazarah of the Muhammad Khwajah clan and scribe at the royal court. For more than twenty years he had full access to government archives and oral sources. His seminal work, the Sirāj al-tawārīkh, offers us an unparalleled picture of the country through his eyes.

The roots of much of the fabric of Afghanistan’s society today— tribe and state relations, the rule of law, gender issues, and the economy—are elegantly and minutely detailed in this preeminent text.

The work is of unparalleled significance to anyone studying the social, political, and economic history of Afghanistan as well as its relations with British India, Qajar Iran, Tsarist Central Asia, and the emirate of Bukhara. The extraordinary level of detail make it a fundamental resource for all scholarship on Afghanistan.

The History of Afghanistan Online is annotated, fully indexed, and includes introductions, twelve appendices, Persian-English and English-Persian glossaries, and a bibliography.

The History of Afghanistan is also available as a set of 11 volumes in print, covering all four volumes of this unique resource on Afghanistan.