Digital Collections

Digital Collection Spotlight – Halloween Edition

By Mariah Lewis, Metadata Management Librarian

The Digital Collection Spotlight is meant to highlight digital collections created both within and outside of the Fordham University community. In this edition of the Digital Collection Spotlight, we will be getting into the spirit of the spooky season with some Halloween themed collections.

Internet Archive: Sci-Fi/Horror Films

Lady Frankenstein is written in orange over a black and white movie image of a cemetery.
The title screen for “Lady Frankenstein” which is available to watch on the Internet Archive.

Sci-Fi/Horror Collection from the Internet Archive

The Internet Archive was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. It hosts a number of different types of collections that can be utilized by the public. It includes texts, videos, music, and archived websites from around the world.

However, in this post we are going to highlight their Sci-Fi/Horror Films collections. The movies cover topics from monsters, aliens, disasters, space travel, time travel, experiments, and more. The movies date back to the 1920s and feature such films as Night of the Living Dead (1968), Phantom of the Opera (1925), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919)- a silent film, and Carnival of Souls (1962) among many others.

Biodiversity Heritage Library: Monsters Are Real

Monsters are Real Collection on Flickr

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is an international collaboration of botanic, natural history, research and national libraries. Together the consortium members and affiliates digitize and make available biodiversity related publications. All content in the digital library is freely available for users around the world. through its online portal and Flickr account which pulls images from the publications within BHL.

In 2014, the Biodiversity Heritage Library used its vast collection of resources to create a collection titled, “Monsters Are Real.” The Flickr collection pulls together images from centuries’ worth of books that highlight monster images. These monsters include sea serpents, the Kraken, Hydra, mermaids, and leviathans. The context of the images- the full books- are easily accessible from the collection.

Homeland Security Digital Library: CDC’s Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic

Cartoon of zombies at night
Zombies from the cover page of the CDC’s guide.

Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic – a graphic Novella from the Centers for Disease Control

The Homeland Security Digital Library focuses on collecting documents with the topic of homeland security. This includes coverage of policy, strategy and organizational management. About 58% of the content within the digital library is available openly. The remainder of the content requires an account to access.

The Homeland Security Digital Library shows us that digital collections and content does not necessarily have to be historical or ‘archival.’ One of the items is an illustrated story titled Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic. The story follows a fictional scenario in which a zombie virus breaks out. It highlights the importance of being prepared in an emergency and gives usable tips for preparing for disasters that are not so fictional.

University of Virginia: Salem Witch Trials – Documentary Archive and Transcription Project

Title page of "A Modern Enquiry into the nature of witchcraft.." by John Hale in 1697.
A screenshot of the title page of “A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft” published in 1697. The original can be viewed here.

Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project

Digital collections can also be focused on using documents to get to the data held within them. The “Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive” is a project hosted by the University of Virginia and directed by Benjamin Ray. The archive contains primary source materials as well as educational information that provides a more complete pictures of the Salem Witch Trials. This includes court records, historical maps, handwritten notes and letters, record books, sermons, diaries, and more contemporary works. By digitizing and transcribing the contents of this collection, the data can be used by scholars around the world.

Dú Halloween Folklore

Halloween Folklore from University College Dublin

Dú is the National Folklore Collection digitization project of the University College Dublin. It contains items from the college’s manuscript collection, the School’s Collection and the Photographic Collection. 

Within the project website from the School’s Collection is folkloric content related to Halloween. All of the content is hand written accounts of folklore from different counties in either English or Irish. While not every entry has been transcribed, the project is working towards a fully transcribed collection.

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