If you have been to Google today, it may have come to your attention that today is the 224th anniversary of the birth of Louis Daguerre, inventor of the first permanent photographic process, called a daguerreotype.  Daguerreotypes were used from around 1839 to 1860, and differ in many ways from later photographic types: the process created a direct positive on a silvered copper plate. The result is a somewhat mirrored image, that because of its fragility, would have often been stored in a decorative case, behind a piece of glass. Because the image was transferred directly as a positive (meaning, there is no negative) it was not possible to make copies of the same image- every daguerreotype in existence is completely unique.

A search in our B.C. Historical Photograph Collection yields one lone example of a daguerreotype, a portrait of an unidentified man:

BC1933, Portrait of a man

BC1933, Portrait of a man

You can see that his rosy cheeks have been hand-painted on. Like many daguerreotypes, this one is in a decorative case:

Decorative daguerreotype case

Decorative daguerreotype case

For more daguerreotypes:

Library of Congress daguerreotype collection

Daguerreotypes at Harvard University

Search for daguerreotypes at Library and Archives Canada

See the process at the Getty Museum

and just for fun:

CBC wants you to send in your daguerreotype-style photos

My Daguerreotype Boyfriend (full disclosure- they aren’t all daguerreotypes)

For information on searching photograph collections at UBC, check out our Historical Photographs research guide.

Nov 18

Remembering our Chinatowns: book launch and reading

The Chinese Canadian Historical Society of B.C. and the Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese Canadian Studies (INSTRCC) at UBC are co-presenting a book launch and readings for a trio of books by three local authors next week. Larry Wong (Dim Sum Stories), Rebecca Lau (Mami) and Chad Reimer (Chilliwack's Chinatowns, a history) will read from their respective books next week at the Museum of Vancouver. The event starts at 7 pm (doors at 6 pm) and light refreshments will follow.

read more

Google has introduced a simple way for authors to compute their citation metrics and track them over time. To make use of this service Click here and follow the instructions to get started.

According to Google “Here’s how it works. You can quickly identify which articles are yours, by selecting one or more groups of articles that are computed statistically. Then, Google will collect citations to your articles, graph them over time, and compute your citation metrics – the widely used h-index; the i-10 index, which is simply the number of articles with at least ten citations; and, of course, the total number of citations to your articles. Each metric is computed over all citations and also over citations in articles published in the last five years.

Your citation metrics will update automatically as we find new citations to your articles on the web. You can also set up automated updates for the list of your articles, or you can choose to review the suggested updates. And you can, of course, manually update your profile by adding missing articles, fixing bibliographic errors, and merging duplicate entries.

As one would expect, you can search for profiles of colleagues, co-authors, or other researchers using their name, affiliation, or areas of interest, e.g., researchers at US universities or researchers interested in genomics. You can add links to your co-authors, if they already have a profile, or you can invite them to create one.

You can also make your profile public, e.g., Alex Verstak, Anurag Acharya. If you choose to make your profile public, it can appear in Google Scholar search results when someone searches for your name, e.g., [alex verstak]. This will make it easier for your colleagues worldwide to follow your work.

We would like to thank the participants in the limited release of Scholar Citations for their detailed feedback. They were generous with their time and patient with an early version. Their feedback greatly helped us improve the service. The key challenge was to make profile maintenance as hands-free as possible for those of you who prefer the convenience of automated updates, while providing as much flexibility as possible for those who prefer to curate their profile themselves.”

Here is hoping that Google Scholar Citations will help researchers everywhere view and track the worldwide influence of their own and their colleagues’ work.

To celebrate the 2011 release of Beaujolais Nouveau, we’re featuring a link to Metro Wine Map of France (opens in new window) designed by Dr. David Gissen as a wonderful example of mapping and data visualization.

To learn more about geographic information, see GIS Services, a part of Humanities and Social Sciences Division at Koerner Library.


Photo credit: Sergei Melkonov at flickr


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