Archives and History News: Glastonbury Festival, women in the First World War, and sound recordings!

Glastonbury festival has gradually moved from from hippy counter-culture to mainstream middle-class staple. The V&A now keeps an archive about Glastonbury, the final nail in the counter-culture coffin. Glastonbury is dead. Long live Glastonbury!

An image from the V&A’s Glastonbury archive

I found this incredible story via a friend. Dorothy Lawrence, a woman-in-disguise-as-a-man fought on the frontline during the First World War. The British authorities weren’t too pleased. In contrast, Flora Sandes, another British woman, went to Serbia as a nurse. The Serbians weren’t as choosy as the British, and Flora not only become a respected soldier, but she was also promoted to Captain. She loved the war, as it was a time of unimaginable freedom for a woman.

Captain Flora Sandes

The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art has made digital copies of more than 400,000 artworks available to download for free, for non-commercial use. That means you’ll all be be able to go to their website and use wonderful images like this:

The Hippopotamus at the Zoological Gardens, Regent’s Park, by Juan de Borbón, 1852

The New Yorker magazine has a great story about how an experimental physicist was inspired by The Grateful Dead (who are rather keen on archives) to help preserve nineteenth and early twentieth century ethnographic recordings of Aboriginal music. You have to subscribe to get the whole story.

Over in India, All India Radio Tiruchirappalli is working hard to digitise a huge collection of tapes and records, of Indian classical and folk music and talk shows, for future generations to enjoy.

This month you can also hear me, on the Who Do You Think You Are? magazine podcast, talking about lunatic asylums, along with plenty of information about First World War genealogy. I also have a feature about asylums in the July issue of the magazine.

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