#ColorOurCollections Begins!

It’s the first day of #ColorOurCollections, a week-long special collections coloring fest we’re organizing on social media. More than 50 institutions (see our growing list) will share images from their collections for you to download and color from now through Friday. You are invited to share your results using the hashtag.

Every day on our blog, we will feature two #ColorOurCollections coloring sheets from our library, along with content from participants worldwide. You can also download our full #ColorOurCollections coloring book.

Our first coloring sheet shows the five types of unicorns depicted in Pierre Pomet’s 1694 Histoire generale des drogues. The horns of these mythical creatures were believed to have medicinal properties, although, as Pomet admits, “unicorn horn” was usually the tusk of a narwhal. For more on Pomet and unicorns, read this blog post.

Click to download the PDF coloring sheet featuring the unicorns in Pomet, Histoire general des drogues, 1694.

Click to download the PDF coloring sheet featuring the unicorns in Pomet, Histoire general des drogues, 1694.

Our second coloring sheet features another horned animal, found in Gesner’s Historia animalium, Liber I. As we know, rhinoceroses do not have horns on their backs; Gesner’s rhino can be traced back to a 1515 print by Albrecht Durer, which was unsurprisingly not drawn from life. As unicorns and horned-back rhinos don’t exist, there’s no need to strive for realism. We’d love to see the most fantastically colorful beasts you can imagine! Don’t forget to tag @nyamhistory and include #ColorOurCollections.

Click to download the PDF coloring sheet featuring the rhino in Gesner, Historiae Animalium, Liber I, 1551

Click to download the PDF coloring sheet featuring the rhino in Gesner, Historiae Animalium, Liber I, 1551

We are thrilled that special collections across the pond agreed to join #ColorOurCollections, even with the Americanized spelling in the hashtag. Last week, the University of Strathclyde’s Archives and Special Collections, Europeana, and the Bodleian Libraries all released coloring books. Click on each organization to download, print, and color.

Page 4 of the coloring book from the University of Strathclyde’s Archives and Special Collections, featuring Tscep von wonders, Brussels, 1514?

Page 4 of the coloring book from the University of Strathclyde’s Archives and Special Collections, featuring Tscep von wonders, Brussels, 1514?

How do special collections decide which images to select for coloring? James Madison University Libraries Special Collections described their process on their blog. We especially love the Alice and Wonderland title page. Download their full coloring book.

A coloring page selected by James Madison University Libraries, featuring a 1910 illustrated copy of Alice in Wonderland.

A coloring page selected by James Madison University Libraries, featuring a 1910 illustrated copy of Alice in Wonderland.

Our final feature of the day comes from the Biodiversity Heritage Library, a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries who will keep you coloring for years! Enjoy their unbelievable Flickr album with more than 1,000 images representing their member libraries. Still want more? Enjoy the coloring sheets on their Pinterest board, which you can also download in coloring book form.

A coloring sheet from the Biodiversity Heritage Library, featuring Seguy, Papillons, 1925.

A coloring sheet from the Biodiversity Heritage Library, featuring Seguy, Papillons, 1925.

Keep following #ColorOurCollections on your favorite social media outlets. And take a look at our Pinterest boards, where we are pinning images shared by participating special collections along with images colored by fans.

Coming Soon at the Center: Gessner, Coloring, Lobotomy, Digital Humanities

The coming weeks are busy ones for the Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health. We hope you’ll join us for these upcoming events.

Ann Blair

Ann Blair

This Saturday, January 30, at 11 am, Harvard historian Ann Blair will give a free Bibliography Week lecture, Credit, thanks, and blame in the works of Conrad Gessner (1516-1565).” Blair will show how the Zürich physician and natural historian used the print medium to promote his forth-coming publications. Gessner also sought contributions of manuscripts, images, and help from scholars all over Europe. Register online.

February 1-5 is #ColorOurCollections Week, a special collections coloring fest we’ve organized on social media. More than 30 institutions will share images from their collections, and followers are invited to color the images and share their results. Email us at library@nyam.org for more details; we’ll add your institution to our Twitter list if you’d like to participate. Watch the hashtag and join in the fun! And watch this space: We’ll feature coloring content on the blog all next week.

Collections Care Assistant Emily Moyer and Archivist Rebecca Pou #ColorOurCollections.

Collections Care Assistant Emily Moyer and Archivist Rebecca Pou #ColorOurCollections.

Miriam Posner

Miriam Posner

On February 9 at 6 pm, Miriam Posner, University of California, Los Angeles, will offer a free lecture Walter Freeman and the Visual Culture of Lobotomy.” Between 1936 and 1967, Freeman, a prominent neurologist, lobotomized as many as 3,500 Americans. Freeman also took patients’ photographs before their operations and years—even decades—later. Posner will detail her efforts to understand why Freeman was so devoted to photography, using computer-assisted image-mining and analysis techniques. This lecture will appeal to a wide-range of interests, including medical photography, data analysis, mid-twentieth century America, and the history of mental health. Register online.

Heidi Knoblauch

Heidi Knoblauch

The following day from 1 pm–5 pm, Posner will be joined by Heidi Knoblauch, Bard College, for a “Digital Humanities: Visualizing Data” workshop. The program will begin with a discussion of what people mean when they say “digital humanities,” followed by a hands-on section on how to find and structure data using Palladio, a tool for visualizing humanities data. The workshop costs $25 and is limited to 30 participants. Register online.

We hope to see you online and at our on-site events!

#ColorOurCollections February 1-5

As you may know by now, there is a coloring craze going on. And we want libraries and their patrons to join in the fun!

Inspired in part by a recent twitter exchange with the Biodiversity Heritage Library, we are starting a week-long special collections coloring fest on social media, using the hashtag #ColorOurCollections. There is so much great coloring content in special collections, especially when looking at early illustrated books meant to be colored by hand.

Collections Care Assistant Emily Moyer and Archivist Rebecca Pou #ColorOurCollections.

Collections Care Assistant Emily Moyer and Archivist Rebecca Pou #ColorOurCollections.

If you work in a library or special collection, share images from your collections and invite followers to share their colored copies from February 1-5. You could use images already online in your digital collections, or you could even create easily printable coloring sheets or a coloring book, which we did a few years ago.

If you are a coloring fan, grab those colored pencils and felt-tip markers and #ColorOurCollections, then share your results using the hashtag.

CamelColored

Camel from Conrad Gesner’s Historia Animalium, Liber I, 1551.