Imaging the French Revolution Discussion
Imaging the French Revolution Home
3. Can imagery be addressed in new ways with on-line methods? Can a collective discussion of imagery produce more scholarly knowledge than just an individual analysis? Is it possible to analyze electronic images in a scholarly manner without examining the material object? texture of the paper? printing technique? style? color?
Advantage of examining the material object Jack Censer, 6-1-03, 3:33 PM
the material object Lynn Hunt, 6-23-03, 10:52 PM
RE: Advantage of examining the material object Vivian Cameron, 7-6-03, 6:28 PM
On-line Collaboration Wayne Hanley, 6-6-03,
9:53 AM
On-line Collaboration Barbara Day-Hickman, 7-1-03,
4:22 PM
RE: On-line Collaboration Joan B. Landes,
7-14-03, 3:28 PM
zooming on images Warren Roberts, 7-2-03, 2:08 PM
on-line collaboration Vivian Cameron, 7-6-03,
6:35 PM
on material objects and digital technology Joan B. Landes, 7-12-03, 5:33 PM
Final thoughts Warren Roberts, 7-19-03, 8:03 AM
on-line collaboration Barbara Day-Hickman,
7-24-03, 4:28 PM

Subject: the material object
Posted By: Lynn Hunt
Date Posted: 6-23-03, 10:52 PM

Although in principle the actual thing in itself should be a better source than any other, in fact digitization offers some advantages that have yet to be fully exploited. Perhaps our eventual use of “virtual lightbox” or some other technique will make this more apparent. The possibility of isolating certain parts of an image and in particular the prospect of magnification and zooming in COULD make it possible in the future to do more with on-line viewing of images than the naked eye can do with the thing itself. In addition, the prospect of comparing a multitude of images as we are trying to do opens up a more serial kind of analysisa kind of Annales school of the image? Seeing the photo collection at the Estampes Department of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris is perhaps better but the videodisk, for example, with its thousands of shots, thousands of images, and also some details is a model of what might be possible in the future. Surely we can learn something different by comparing images in larger data bases. The question is what difference it might make. I know that my own experience was a combination of the two: I saw an exposition of scores, if not hundreds, of revolutionary prints at the Musée Carnavalet in the 1970s, and this opened my eyes to the relevance of visual imagery. Maurice Agulhon had just published his book on the Marianne figure and suddenly it all came together for me in ways it had not before. It was seeing the multitude of images and seeing the originals in all their technicolor beauty that opened my eyes.

Videodisk: Images de la Révolution française, a co-production of the Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris) and Pergamon Press (London), 1989.
Extended Discussion
Imaging the French Revolution Home