Archives » July 20th, 2002

July 20, 2002

Dr. Seuss Goes to War

Also on the subject of history, I just finished reading Dr. Seuss Goes to War. A fascinating look at Dr. Seuss’ early life as a WWII political cartoonist, it includes drawings of some very familiar Seussian flora and fauna going up against the likes of Hitler and Mussolini. And, on a web-related note (you know there’s always one), there is a companion website of sorts, hosted by UC San Diego’s Mandeville Library, who holds the originals of all these cartoons (they also host his advertising cartoons). The website is actually pretty well-done, for a photo gallery, showing every single cartoon in the wartime collection – something the dead-trees edition was unable to do. The website, however, doesn’t include the text, by historian Richard H. Minear, that actually puts the cartoons in context. So, the book and website, perhaps unwittingly, complement each other pretty well.

Internet Archive

The Internet Archive got a heap of (well-deserved) publicity last year when they launched their Wayback Machine interface to their Web Collections. If you go there, you can find yet another place on the web that has absolutely no idea that this site exists.

But, long before the Wayback Machine, I discovered the Internet Archive and a completely different collection of theirs: The Movie Collection. This collection has over a thousand short films — the kind that bring up waves of nostalgia about the America That Used To Be. These are WWII propaganda films, 1950’s etiquette films, corporate training films from the 60’s, and more. Make sure you have a fast connection if you go there, though, since these movies are in MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 format, at anywhere from 4MB to 25MB per minute. A fascinating glimpse in the past.