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Presenting Topolski’s Chronicle in the Digital Matters Research Talk Series

By Luke Leither

It is difficult to believe the Fall semester is already coming to a close! You can tell we are nearing the end because the library is full of students diligently working on final projects and preparing for the coming finals. Good luck to everyone in these last couple of weeks!

Papal Procession, Topolski’s Chronicle, 1964

As this semester wraps up, so too does the Digital Matters Fall grant cycle. As it happens, I was fortunate to be awarded one of the faculty grants and will be briefly discussing my research and the grant work at the Digital Matters Research Talks on Wednesday, December 7 at 11am. The talks will be held in ProtoSpace on level 2 of the Marriott Library and all are welcome to come. My talk will be about the artist Feliks Topolski and his self-published Chronicle from the mid to late 20th century.

Topolski’s Chronicle is a series of broadsheets distributed bimonthly to subscribers from 1953 through 1982. The Marriott Library subscribed to the Chronicle and has preserved it in the Fine Arts & Architecture Collection to this day. Each “issue” was based on a theme pulled from current events and depicted in the artist’s unique style. Topolski has been lauded as a superlative

Elvis Presley, Topolski’s Chronicle, 1965

draughtsman and his Chronicles showcase his talent as an artist and recorder of the world around him. Because Topolski believed that the artist was the eye of history, he devoted his time to acting as witness to the most important social and political events of the day.  The Chronicle features issues about world politics, the equal rights movement, popular culture, and more.

Visual resources like the Chronicle are often overlooked as sources by academics engaged in humanities and social science research.  Perhaps the most obvious and difficult-to-address reason for this is the challenge of searching library catalogs, databases, and other indexes for visual content related to a specific topic.  My work with the Chronicle seeks to bring it to light using computing power to extract and share usable data from the work.

If you’re interested, please come to the research talks. We’ll be taking questions and suggestions and all are welcome!

The Digital Matters Research Talk Series will be held Wednesday December 7th, 2022 from 11:00am – 12:30pm in ProtoSpace 2751.

Luke Leither | Art & Art History Librarian
Creativity & Innovation Services / Fine Arts & Architecture Library

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