Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Unlikely Allies? Flickr and the Library of Congress

Check out this article regarding the Library of Congress and its use of Flickr, the online photo sharing website. Excerpt below:

When the Library of Congress began looking for ways to publicize its historical photos collections last year, it found an unlikely partner in Flickr, which created a project called "The Commons" (, where the library — and now several other institutions — have posted their public photography archives.

Six months into the project, the library has been able to update 500 photo records with new information provided by Flickr users — everything from names of people and places in photographs to specific airplane models shown in photos, says Helena Zinkham, acting chief of the Prints and Photographs Division.

The library began with two major collections: 1,500 black-and-white photos taken from 1910 to 1920 by George Grantham Bain's New York-based Bain News Service and 1,600 color shots from the Farm Service Administration/Office of War Information that were taken in the 1940s. It has since added 900 additional photos from the Bain collection.

The photos were chosen for their popularity with library visitors and the fact that they had no copyright restrictions.

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