Category Archives: Cool items

An All-Star Team

It has been about seven months since NASA and Internet Archive teamed up to create Through a Space Act Agreement, NASA has granted Internet Archive unprecedented access to all of the NASA centers’ media archives.

While media from NASA had previously been held in numerous stations around the country, Internet Archive now provides a one stop shop for NASA images, video, and audio. By 2011, it is expected that will hold more than five million still images and tens of thousand of hours of video and audio. Already, is the largest collection of NASA media available through a single site, hosting more than 140,000 still images and dozens of hours of video and audio.

The mission of this project is threefold:

  • To be a resource for educators, students, researchers and anyone else who wishes to use the media assets of NASA to further our understanding the earth, aeronautics, space exploration, astronomy and NASA itself
  • To encourage young people to study math and science in order to inspire them to become the next generation of scientists
  • To facilitate the sharing of media resources within NASA by being the primary source of media for NASA employees and contractors
  • Perusing this site can easily take up hours of your time, so here a few highlights to get you acquainted:

  • Space Shuttle Columbia
  • Young Stars Emerge From Orion’s Head
  • Monkey Baker With a Model Jupiter Vehicle
  • Astronauts’ Wake Up Calls
  • Buzz Aldrin on the Moon
  • Astronaut John Glenn in a State of Weightlessness
  • Jupiter, its Great Red Spot
  • Hubble Reveals the Heart of the Whirlpool Galaxy
  • Christa McAuliffe Experiences Weightlessness During KC-135 Flight
  • Great Observatories Present Rainbow of a Galaxy
  • To find more items of interest, visit the homepage to browse. Check back often as more items will be flowing in all the time.

    –Cara Binder

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    200 Candles for Abraham Lincoln

    Just about 200 years ago, or 10 score as Abraham Lincoln might say, one of the most iconic presidents in history was born. On February 12, 1809, Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks gave birth to a baby boy in a one room cabin. He would grow up to lead the United States and make two of the most well-known speeches in United States history, the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation. Now, 200 years later, his country still throws him a birthday party.

    President Obama, another tall, elegant man from Illinois who swore into office with his hand on the Lincoln Bible, will be in Springfield on Thursday in the company of $95 ticket holders who are ready for a monumental start to Presidents’ Day Weekend. Although Obama has said, “I cannot swallow whole the view of Lincoln as the Great Emancipator,” he has looked to Lincoln for help in speech writing and inspiration in leadership. The two have drawn constant comparisons in the press, and one can only wonder how the United States would celebrate Barack Obama’s 200th birthday.

    This week, many will celebrate Abe by using the new Lincoln postage stamps, visiting one of the many Lincoln-centered exhibits at museums and libraries, watching the new play about Lincoln at Ford’s Theater, or browsing through the Abraham Lincoln material at Internet Archive.

    Here are some highlights from our collections:

  • Abraham Lincoln, a 1930 biographical film directed by D.W. Griffith
  • Gettysburg Address, audio version read by John Greenman
  • Abraham Lincoln, a book of quotes
  • The Face of Lincoln, a short film of a sculptor describing Lincoln’s life while sculpting his bust
  • The Works of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, Vol. 4,Vol. 5, Vol. 6, Vol. 7
  • Abraham Lincoln: A History
  • The Writings of Abraham Lincoln
  • Happy Birthday, Abe!

    –Cara Binder

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    Picklist #3

    Some random morsels from the Internet Archive collections:

    1. Paul Otlet (pronounced ot-LAY; 1868-1944) is considered the “father” of information science. A Belgian lawyer and visionary, he aspired to create a central repository of all human knowledge. From the 1920s until the Nazis took Brussels, he began to build such a collection, called the Mundaneum, which housed a massive catalog made up of millions of 3×5 index cards. Each card contained data pulled from books for indexing and reuse. Otlet is considered by some to be the forefather of the World Wide Web. His 1934 magnum opus Traite de Documentation (Treaties on Documentation: The Book of the Book) has yet to be translated into English, but the Archive has digitized a collection of his essays.

    In the Archive’s Moving Image collection you’ll also find a 1998 documentary about Otlet, made for Dutch television and entitled Alle Kennis van de Wereld (“All the Knowledge of the World”). The documentary (23 min) is narrated by Boyd Rayward, Otlet’s biographer. It is in both English and French (and, unfortunately, has no subtitles).

    (See also Alex Wright’s 6/17/08 New York Times article, “The Web Time Forgot,” which discusses Otlet’s Mundaneum.)

    2. Arabian Nights with twenty color illustrations by the renowned French illustrator Edmond Dulac (1882-1953). Published by Hodder & Stoughton (1907).




    3. Pete Seeger interviewed by Tim Robbins, “The Ballad of Pete Seeger,” an original radio documentary celebrating Pete Seeger’s life and times, and featuring a candid conversation with actor Tim Robbins and historic audio from the Pacifica Radio Archives. 4 DVDs and 2 CDs

    4.  The most popular item in the Live Music Archive, with nearly 2.5 million downloads, is OfARevolution (O.A.R.) Live at Madison Square Garden on January 14, 2006.  This Archive volunteer had never heard of the group before today, but according to the New York Times review of the 2006 show, the Columbus, Ohio, band has achieved success “by playing concerts nonstop and by encouraging fans to share recordings.”

    5.210px-toscaniniconducting4 Beethoven’s Symphony # 6, Pastoral.

    Legendary Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Recorded over several sessions from June-October 1937 at Queen’s Hall, London. Transferred and restored from the original 78 RPM RCA Victor set M-417 by Bob Varney.

    6. Bach’s Air on the G String and the estimable Sixth Suite for Unaccompanied Cello  make up concert 22 (Bach’s Songs of Strings) of the podcast collection of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.  This entire collection of 22 concerts is terrific.


    Shiver me timbers if the Archive ARRRn’t going to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day:The Goose that laid the Golden Egg


    AnimationClothes Make the Pirate



    — Renata

    Exploring Prison

    Prison MutinyDocumentaries:

    Audio programs:


    On the lighter side:

    — Alexis

    What is Plone?

    That’s a good question, and you can use the Internet Archive to answer it!

    Plone is an open source Content Management System (CMS) that you can use to create and run a web site. Among other things, it’s got a nice, graphical interface so that people adding content to the site don’t have to know html or have any other technical skills to contribute.

    If you’re interested in learning more about it, just do a search for videos about Plone on and you’ll find about 30 instructional movies to help you get started creating your own Plone web site.

    Multimedia and Podcasting With PloneHere are a few good ones to get you started:

    If you’re interested in learning about other computer-oriented topics, check out the ArsDigita and Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs courses, which contain computer science lectures from MIT professors.

    — Alexis

    Paper Models

    Paper Model - A4V4 RocketIf you’re looking for a little project to do with the kids (older kids – these are a little complicated!), try making a paper model. We’ve got a few really cool ones on the archive to try out (all in pdf):

    — Alexis

    The BEAR-able Lightness of Being

    Shibuya Bear in Tokyo ShopAs hibernation season sets in for bears of the Northern Hemisphere, it seems appropriate to blog about our favorite furry friends. While real life bears snore away the dark days of winter, there are plenty of teddy bears, gummy bears, animated bears, bear costumes, bear songs, and Cinnamon Bears on to lighten our hours. Besides, it’s Friday and we can BEAR-ly contain ourselves!

    — Renata

    Map of Booger Canyon, Arizona and 58,713 other USGS DRG Maps

    Booger Canyon, ArizonaIf you’ve been nosing around the Web looking for free maps, the Archive’s new collection of nearly sixty thousand digital raster graphic (DRG) maps from the USGS is nothing to sneeze at. These maps are in the public domain, but getting access to them usually costs money. The Archive provides them for free thanks to the work of Jared Benedict of the Libre Map Project and donations from over 100 map liberators. For best results, the maps should be viewed with global positioning software or a map viewer.

    A few examples:

    Nose Rock, New Mexico
    Roman Nose, Idaho
    Blue Nose Peak, Nevada
    The Nose East, Wyoming
    Devils Nose, California

    — Renata