Saturday, January 19, 2008

Library of Congress Photos on Flickr

I read recently on David Warlick’s blog that the Library of Congress has announced a new pilot project. They have posted more than 3,000 photographs on Flickr, the web site designed for sharing photos.

The photos chosen for this project are from two popular collections, the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information (photos chosen are from 1930s to 1940s) and the George Grantham Bain News Service (photos chosen
are from 1910s). Some photos are in color; some, in black-and-white. The Library has two goals for this project: (1) to create better access to their collections and (2) to learn more about their photos.

They would like people who view the photos to tag them, to comment, and to make notes on the images. That could increase the information known about these photos. You do not need a Flickr account to view the photos; however, you do if you plan to tag or comment on them.

Images were chosen only if no copyright restrictions are known. See the Library’s FAQ page for more information about copyrights and reusing these photos. The photos can be downloaded and printed.

Flickr has created The Commons as a model for other institutions to participate in projects such as this one with the Library of Congress.

These photos are excellent… and fascinating. It’s well worth taking the time to view them!

Read more about this project at these sites:
David Warlick’s Two Cents Worth, Library of Congress Director of Communications Matt Raymond’s blog, the Library of Congress
, and Flickr.

Women are trained to do precise and vital engine installation detail in Douglas Aircraft Company plants, Long Beach, Calif.

1942 Oct. Palmer, Alfred T.,, photographer. 1 transparency: color.
No known copyright restrictions... This photo is public

School children singing, Pie Town, New Mexico
1940 Oct. Lee, Russell,, 1903-, photographer. 1 slide: color.
Rights Info: No known restrictions on publication.
No known copyright restrictions This photo is public


Patrick Peccatte said...

We have a project similar to the LoC pilot project, called “PhotosNormandie”, which is alive since one year about:
For now, descriptions are in French language and we are trying to improve them. So, we invite comments to get better localisations, better identifications, check and verify information, etc.
A main difference between the two projects is the following: we are using IPTC metadata that are embedded in our hi-res photos, but LoC does not use IPTC and their descriptions and tags are attached to Flickr platform.
With best regards
Patrick Peccatte

Jo Schiffbauer said...


Thank you for sharing. Your photos take us--as do the Library of Congress photos--to a time and place in history that words alone cannot do.