Read, Watch and Listen

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Cover, Illustration by Esme, 'Woman Week-End Book'

London: Odhams Press, [1949] 1950. Permission IPC Media, a Time Inc. Company. CC-BY-NC-ND.

Publisher Odhams Press used the same visual identity across genres and decades when it repurposed cover designs by illustrator Esme (Florence Olive Esme Eve) from The Woman Week-End Book numbers 1 and 2 (1949) for the Creda Housecraft Manual (1958). While the Woman Week-End Books are entertaining selections of short stories, and tips on beauty, housewifery, personal problems, cookery, knitting, and useful things to make’, the Creda Housecraft Manual promotes a household appliance brand forming an example therefore of the ‘advertising cookbooks’ genre.

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Cover, Illustration by Esme, Woman 'Week-End Book Number Two'

London: Odhams Press, 1949. Permission IPC Media, a Time Inc. Company.

Publisher Odhams Press used the same visual identity across genres and decades when it repurposed cover designs by illustrator Esme (Florence Olive Esme Eve) from The Woman Week-End Book numbers 1 and 2 (1949) for the Creda Housecraft Manual (1958). While the Woman Week-End Books are entertaining selections of short stories, and tips on beauty, housewifery, personal problems, cookery, knitting, and useful things to make’, the Creda Housecraft Manual promotes a household appliance brand forming an example therefore of the ‘advertising cookbooks’ genre.

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‘The Kitchen Buffet’, illustration by James Kingsland

Mary and Russel Wright, Guide to Easier Living, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1954 (1950). Permission Russel Wright Studios CC-BY.

Hosting domestic dinner parties without the assistance of staff is a major topic of twentieth-century domestic advice. Mary and Russel Wright, leading designer of casual mid-century modern ceramics, proclaim the social benefits of buffet suppers and asking guests to clear up after the meal. Illustrator James Kingsland here provides a clear picture of how the tradition-busting buffet supper works for home entertaining.

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Teen decorator, image ‘Courtesy Dow Chemical Company’

Teen Guide to Homemaking, edited by Barclay, Marion Stearns and Frances Champion, New York and London: McGraw-Hill Book Company Inc., 1961, p. 205. Courtesy Dow CC-BY-NC.

This book shows girls designing rooms using swatches, models, paints, etc., demonstrating creativity, competence, and thrift by fitting a new slipcover to an old chair, and decorating a mirror frame (thereby beautifying their spaces and themselves). This teen decorator’s model interior anticipates the active learning strategies proposed for engaging audiences in home economics instruction, for example in Genevieve Callahan and Lou Richardson’s book Home Economics Show-How and Showmanship (1966).

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Clothing suitable for the country, illustration by Belinda Lyon

Pam Lyons, Today’s Etiquette, London: Bancroft and Co. Ltd., 1967, p. 135. Reproduced with permission, Linden Artists. CC-BY-NC.

Illustrations in domestic advice books can undercut the advice. Pam Lyons dry passage about dressing for the countryside (‘Clothes that co-ordinate to carry you through both smart and casual occasions are the order of the day’) is accompanied by Belinda Lyon’s illustration of a man on horseback waving to a woman with flowing hair, holding some flowers. Lyon’s fashionable, informal illustrations engage a different reader than the conservative text.

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24th of September 1869 London Standard Newspaper

Neil Imray Livingstone Wilson and Ian Livingstone kindly granted permission on behalf of, respectively, the Livingstone family and the David Livingstone Centre trustees to transport, spectrally image, and digitally publish the manuscript pages of the 1871 Field diary, and related materials at the National Library of Scotland. Page shown DLC297b, held at the David Livingstone Centre, Blantyre, Scotland.

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Testing spectral imaging processing

Onsite processing in Scotland relied primarily on applying principal component analysis (PCA) to the raw image sets. Experimentation began with this technique from the earliest initial imaging phase. The image is from October 2009, and shows the low-resolution, "raw" and processed PCA spectral images. The PCA technique uses combinations of an original set of images to construct an equivalent set of images ordered by statistical variance. Images from diary page DLC 297b/160, held at the David Livingstone Centre, Blantyre, Scotland. 

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Examining and preparing the diary

The National Trust for Scotland arranged for Conservator Kate Kidd, to prepare the materials for imaging. Kate is shown with Ken Boydston and Mike Toth of the Spectral imaging team. Work included stabilizing documents for handling, repairing all edge tears and tears along central fold lines, reattaching a detached page, and supporting manuscript weaknesses using very light-weight Japanese tissue and wheat starch paste. Page shown DLC297d, held at the David Livingstone Centre, Blantyre, Scotland.

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EurekaVision multi-spectral imaging system

The team transported the system from the U.S. MegaVision E6, 39 megapixel camera back (7216 X 5412 pixels; 16-bit data with approximately 12 bits of dynamic range) mounted in a technical view camera with a 60mm UV-VIS-IR lens and a colour filter wheel installed for UV fluorescence studies. Ken Boydston sets up imaging system in the reprographics department of the National Library of Scotland. The LED illumination array and diffuser can be seen in the background.

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Capturing the images

Each LED panel contained seven banks of LEDs that emit in the ultraviolet and visible regions of the spectrum and five additional clusters of LEDs that emit in the infrared region. A primary advantage of the system is that LEDs do not generate heat that can damage fragile pages. The EurekaVision system illuminated each Livingstone folio, while the monochrome camera automatically photographed the folio under each illumination.

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