Monday, February 18, 2008

hot news from the archives

...of the library of congress, lincoln department:
when i was a kid--elementary school, and on into junior high--i was all over this abraham lincoln stuff. most likely because my father was a photographer, and since i could remember, my brother and i had as one of our many primary play places his old--and still semi-functioning--darkroom out on grandma's farm, i had always been transfixed by the old field photography from the civil war battlefields [see the example, above]. not just the rawness of the subjects [death, life, and all things in-between], but also because of the unbelievable life-like details achievable in those then century-old photos. our little kodak brownies, and other hand-made oatmeal pin-hole cameras, could only dream of such quality. so with great interest i listened to this piece on npr's morning edition [click here to read; click here to hear] about a new discovery in the library of congress archives. seems some photos and negatives had been mislabelled and filed under "president grant" and not discovered until the whole she-banged was gone through as the library puts its massive--massive--archives online. [and what a wet dream THAT is for the history geeks out there.]

above is a photograph of the text of lincoln's second inaugural address, hand-written by old honest abe himself, and featuring his own edit markings. if you're as geeky as i am, you'll explore the many links on the npr story, and then realize you've forgotten to eat breakfast--again.

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