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Shares images and ephemera that document the practice of nineteenth-century memorial photography.
Beyond the Dark Veil is a compilation of 130 images from the collection of The Thanatos Archive documenting the tradition of early postmortem, mourning, and memorial photography dating to the 1840s.
Secure the Shadow uses a combination of cultural anthropology and visual analysis to explore the photographic representations of death in the United States from 1840 to the present. It looks at the ways in which people have taken and used photographs of deceased loved ones and their funerals to mitigate the finality of death. Ruby employs newspaper accounts, advertisements, letters, photographers' account books, interviews, and other material to determine why and how photography and death became intertwined in the nineteenth century. He traces this century's struggle between America's public denial of death and a deeply felt private need to use pictures of those we love to mourn their loss.
The mesmerizing photographic history of occult phenomena, from levitations and apparitions to spectres, ghosts, and auras.
Anonymous Halloween photographs from c.1875–1955—truly haunting Americana, with a foreword by David Lynch The photographs in Haunted Air provide an extraordinary glimpse into the traditions of this macabre festival from ages past, and form an important document of photographic history. These are the pictures of the dead: family portraits, mementos of the treasured, now unrecognizable, other. Torn from album pages, sold piecemeal for pennies and scattered, abandoned to melancholy chance, and the hands of strangers. The roots of Halloween lie in the ancient pre-Christian Celtic festival of Samhain, a feast to mark the death of the old year and the birth of the new. It was believed that on this night the veil separating the worlds of the living and the dead grew thin and ruptured, allowing spirits to pass through and walk unseen but not unheard amongst men. The advent of Christianity saw the pagan festival subsumed in All Souls' Day, when across Europe the dead were mourned and venerated. Children and the poor, often masked or in outlandish costume, wandered the night begging "soul cakes" in exchange for prayers, and fires burned to keep malevolent phantoms at bay. From Europe, the haunted tradition would quickly take root and flourish in the fertile soil of the New World. Feeding hungrily on fresh lore, consuming half-remembered tales of its own shadowy origins and rituals, Halloween was reborn in America. The pumpkin supplanted the carved turnip; costumes grew ever stranger, and celebrants both rural and urban seized gleefully on the festival's intoxicating, lawless spirit. For one wild night, the dead stared into the faces of the living and the living, ghoulishly masked and clad in tattered backwoods baroque, stared back.
Focusing on crime with images derived from the Burn's Archives, this is a photographic history concentrating on the period between 1850 and 1950 when criminals often admitted their crimes and were quickly punished - the development of change in punishments prescribed is documented here in iconic photographs. This compilation gives readers a forensic view, offering entire series of images used by detectives or that reveal the evolving standards of the US criminal justice system from water torture to work camps. This evidence is a call for justice and resource for historians.
Collects vivid historical photographs of medical students engaged in dissection-related studies as performed between the mid-nineteenth and the mid-twentieth centuries, in a volume that offers insight into both period dissection practices and medical portraiture.

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