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From our Archives

After giving a talk to folks from the National Archives, they gave me a book — Your Land, Our Land, edited by Monroe Dodd and Brian Burnes, on the staff of the National Archives — of photos from the regional archives. Beautiful stuff in it. Here are some samples. (I photographed them since the book doesn’t fit into my scanner very well.) Click on the samples to download large versions:

artillery shells
From the Watertown arsenal (Boston), WWI artillery shells

artillery shells
Woody Guthrie’s signed loyalty oath

artillery shells
vMinerva Markowitz working an engraving machine: Brooklyn Navy Yard, WWII

This book, published by Kansas City Star Books and the Foundation for the National Archives comes with the usual stern copyright warning:

“All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior consent of the publisher.”

But I checked with counsel: The copyright only extends to the selection and arrangement of the photos, plus any text they added. The photos themselves are public domain (I presume), and “in the US (unlike Europe), there is no copyright protection for the digitization or accurate reproduction of public domain works.”

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5 Responses to “From our Archives”

  1. Very interesting! I wonder what Ms. Markowitz was engraving? It looks like the stencil she is tracing may be where her right hand is. Also interesting is, is she related to the current and long-time Brooklyn politician, Marty Markowitz?

    In the first photo, why was the government interested in collecting “fruit stones and nut shells”? I’m too lazy (busy) to follow up.

  2. @Andy

    I believe peach pits were used in gas masks. According to this, the government collected them to make charcoal for use in filtering out toxins

  3. My great grandfather was a foreman in Watertown Arsenal around that time.

  4. Thanks, SamW-interesting!

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