Online Archive of Historical Earthquake Images Published

The National Information Service for Earthquake Engineering (NISEE) at the University of California, Berkeley, has added the Jan Kozak Collection of Historical Earthquake Images to its extensive online collections of modern earthquake engineering images. The Kozak collection of 876 slides (many with multiple images) depict artistic representations of earthquakes from 54 countries between the years 1120 and 1908 (with two additions from 1932), most selected by Dr. Kozak from his personal collection of prints, drawings, illustrations and paintings.

The collection is both an historical art collection and a scientific record of earthquake occurrence and hazard. Many images provide "macroseismic" details of occurrence, location, intensity, and damage that can be compared with historical earthquake catalogs. The artistic treatment of cultural themes associated with sudden natural forces touch on folkloric, scientific, and religious interpretations of seismic events.


(KZ50)— German copper engraving of Val di Noto, Sicily, 1693

The project to digitize and make the images available on the Internet was made possible by the Czech - American Joint Commission for Cooperation in Science and Technology (Prague). The collection can be explored and used in the visual resources of NISEE at http://www.eerc.berkeley.edu/. The images can be viewed through a chronological index and a location index. A Preface to the collection written by Professor Bruce Bolt and an historical bibliography of sources accompany the image collection. The project was proposed by Katie Frohmberg and completed at the EERC Library in October.

Chuck James
EERC Library