92 Comments

  1. Gary Price
    January 16, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Congrats on the launch. LC is the second (that we know of) library to work with Flickr. The National Library of Australia and their Picture Australia project has offered a Flickr section for a couple of years. We’ve posted about it on ResourceShelf.

  2. Mike Mahaffie
    January 16, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    I love this idea. This is exactly the right direction to go in with parts of your collection. Thank you!

    Now, since I can’t help meddling… It would be useful to find ways to geo-locate these photos. Within your existing information on many, there is information as to town or county in which the photo was taken. Why not add that information in tag form (geo_state:delaware, geo_county:kent, geo_place:dover, for example).

    beyond that, there may be users out here that can place a photo with more specificity. Flickr provides a very nice map interface that allows us to “place” our own shots. It might be possible to open that up in some form to the commons to allow people to “place” some of these. You might have to add some oversight to that, to avoid irresponsible or erroneous placement. Perhaps suggested placements could be qued for review by staff?

    just a thought…

  3. Lynn
    January 16, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    This is so great! The only disappointment is not being able to search within the collection (either by using the searchbox or clicking on tags). Will that work in the future?

  4. Matt Raymond
    January 16, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Lynn, in terms of the tags, the only tag that was added to each image was “Library of Congress.” Part of the pilot aspect of this is to set the community loose and see what tags it applies. Hopefully a colleague can answer the search question …

  5. George Oates
    January 16, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Lynn – that problem should be addressed now. We had to give our search boxes a bit of a kick 🙂

    E.g. http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/tags/orange/ should be showing up for everyone now.

  6. Aaron Straup Cope
    January 16, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Mike Mahaffie : If you are interested in adding geo-related tags, you might also be interested in the “machine tags” feature on the site :

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/api/discuss/72157594497877875/

    The short version is : machine tags are just like tags but with a special syntax to both identify, and search for, facets of a tag.

    So, “geo_county:dover” would become “geo:county=dover”, “geo:state=delaware” and so on.

    Once indexed, you can query for photos based on entire machine tags or just parts (geo:, geo:county=, etc.)

    http://www.flickr.com/services/api/flickr.photos.search.html

    Cheers,

  7. Molly Large
    January 16, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    I’d like to encourage the LOC to mirror the data on their own site. The vast majority of districts I work with block Flickr because of CIPA compliance. Since Flickr names images within their root directory, and only links to those from the subdirectory, it doesn’t seem to work for the district to unblock http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress.

    I’d also like to second Mike’s suggestion (#3) about geo-location, both within the tagging and with absolute coordinates, where available. It would make a nice mashup with Google Earth!

  8. Muffin
    January 16, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    That’s great news. Are you also going to submit public-domain pictures to the Wikimedia Commons (http://commons.wikimedia.org)? As much as I love Flickr (I’m a Pro user with several thousands of pictures up on the site), it’s still a commercial company, whereas the Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit with a clear mission.

  9. Scott Matheson
    January 16, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    Flickr (heart) You, and so do we! I second (third?) the suggestion to open up the geolocation tagging. The map is one of my favorite flickr features.

  10. Don MacAskill
    January 16, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    What an awesome idea! Thanks so much for doing this!

    In the interests of “as far and wide as possible” can other sites get in on the game? Maybe even collaborate together?

    I run SmugMug and would love to participate somehow.

    Thanks!

  11. Jason Bartholme
    January 16, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    This is sounds like a great project. The functionality of Flickr’s user interface and the LC collection. I can see myself browsing for hours on end.

  12. Shay Thomsaon
    January 16, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    I’m so stoked right now. This is incredible. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  13. Beth Wellington
    January 16, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    I was disappointed to learn from an earlier comment that the Childrens’ Internet Protection Act has resulted in a ban on all of Flickr. Rather than mirroring, perhaps the underlying problem with the legislation or with its implementation should be fixed…

  14. Abbie Mulvihill
    January 16, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    This is an excellent move and it looks like the pilot project is already getting the attention it needs for LC to start moving forward with additional projects!

  15. Fletch
    January 16, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Has the Library and/or flickr considered randomizing the images that appear on the collection homepage? I suspect that this would help to even out the page views and tag distribution.

    Not that folks on the internet are too lazy to view 172 pages of images, but…

  16. Rob Sandie
    January 16, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    What a great idea!

    If you need assistance with video you should try the equivalent, Viddler.com 🙂

  17. Average Citizen
    January 16, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Brilliant. Thank you!

  18. OutdoorLifestyleDotCom
    January 16, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    Why is a part of the federal government giving such a huge gift to a commercial company?

    Was there some sort of competitive bidding for this plan?

    How do I get 3000 or more outdoors pictures I can put on my website?

  19. Robert
    January 17, 2008 at 2:13 am

    I’ve been writing one my blog about archival photos from The Library of Congress and the National Archives and Records Administration since July of 2005. I’m looking forward to easily seeing new images as you post them to your account.

    Neon Poisoning: The Best Photographs the Federal Government has to Offer – 8

  20. Nicole Raymond
    January 17, 2008 at 8:17 am

    I like the surname, too. 🙂

  21. Aaron Marcavitch
    January 17, 2008 at 9:27 am

    I hope those working on this project consider presenting at the American Association for History and Computing Conference being held online. It will be all about Web 2.0.

    http://www.theaahc.org

  22. Edward
    January 17, 2008 at 10:39 am

    Congratulation on the launch, thanks for doing this!

  23. Tetsuo
    January 17, 2008 at 11:24 am

    I also learn to use flickr in my few blogs. It has amazing features. I agree that flickr is not just a photo sharing.

  24. [email protected]
    January 17, 2008 at 11:32 am

    There seems to be no mention of security whatsoever.

  25. Tom
    January 17, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    As a university librarian, I can see some value in what the LOC is doing but I think it’s another misguided attempt in their continuing efforts at dumbing down metadata.

    It’s great that they’re providing more access to these images by making them more readily apparent to the public. They’re crazy if they think anything meaningful will come from letting users tag these photos.

    The LOC should be looking to the future by guiding metadata standards for the semantic web and ensuring that the library as an institution is still relevant 10-20 years from now. They should not, in my opinion, spin their wheels and waste time, effort and money playing catch-up with tagging technology that’s, at best, a temporary measure until the day when information on the web finds you and not the other way around.

    They have (had) a real opportunity to be the leaders in intelligently organizing the world’s information, or at least in providing the framework through intelligent metadata standards. Unfortunately they seem content to say “Me too!” to trends and technologies that are, by today’s standards, already old.

    Given the way their cataloging standards are slipping I don’t find this to be surprising as much as disappointing. I really expect more from the LOC.

  26. Susie
    January 17, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    I am over the moon. You have brought history to me and brought it alive. I use my local library many times a week. I’ve worked in many museums. I think I’m pretty saavy. But I would never have found your online home if it weren’t for the flickr program. Thank you a million to the forward thinking people who took the brilliant step to look outside of yourselves for a new way to exhibit and have a two-way communication on the WWW.

  27. cjjackson
    January 17, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Nice. Very Nice. An absolutely great idea! Thanks very much for doing this!

  28. Lance Fisher
    January 17, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    This is great news! Congratulations to everyone involved, and thank you!

  29. Marshall
    January 17, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Wow – this is amazing. It’s like the great photographers of the past century rose from the dead to school us amateurs on Flickr on how it’s done.

  30. Mark Fortner
    January 17, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    This sounds like a great project! I was wondering if Flickr was persisting the tags within the JPEG file in addition to persisting them within its own database? This would insure that the tags that people enter are copied, each time the photo is copied. Typically this information is written into EXIF tags within the JPEG file. It would also make it easier for the LOC to index the images once they get them back from Flickr.

  31. Edwin
    January 17, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    Kudos!

  32. Travis
    January 18, 2008 at 1:58 am

    These images are awesome. This was such a brilliant idea! I’ve been going through them in Flickr and tagging like crazy for the past 2 hours!

  33. Linda
    January 18, 2008 at 2:25 am

    Kudos on a fabulous idea. Brilliant. Please post a lot more photos. Put history right in front of folks’ eyes so they can’t miss it.

  34. luukmuu
    January 18, 2008 at 3:14 am

    classic picture… Thank for share

  35. Robin Ashford
    January 18, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Great news – makes me feel proud to be a librarian. Geo-location tagging would be nice as well. Thanks!

  36. grandjem1
    January 18, 2008 at 11:26 am

    This is great. Access to the photos from LC will be the greatest. Though 60+ yo, am studying the world via photos, and some of the architecture, cathedrals, etc., lead me to more knowledge. Some private photos don’t reveal where taken. I love the geo tagging.

  37. David Riecks
    January 18, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Great news. It will be interesting to see what additional insights this brings to these collections.

    Geotagging information would be a good addition, however, I was disappointed to see that the images that are on Flickr have no metadata in them at present!

    I’m curious as to whether they had any Exif / IPTC / XMP metadata when uploaded, and this has been stripped out on upload to Flickr, or whether they never had any to begin with.

    Using Jeffrey Friedls online Exif Metadata viewer (http://regex.info/exif.cgi?) about the only information in the file I saw was that the files had been saved or processed with Handmade Software, Inc. Image Alchemy v1.11.

    Having the metadata that appears under the image in the file itself would be much more useful for any of us that might download an image for reference, as without this info it’s doubtful that we will be able to track it back to the LOC or Flickr.

    David

  38. fixedgear
    January 18, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Yes, fan mail. Us cycling fanatics have been scraping the bicycle pictures, which are getting many comments and are being enjoyed by people world-wide. Once again, I cannot think of a better use for a small slice of my tax dollars. Kudos.

  39. Scottishsamurai_545
    January 18, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    This would be a dream job to have! If only libraries in Canada would get on the bandwagon…

  40. Jas
    January 19, 2008 at 5:57 am

    This is such a good and open-minded approach to the public. A great idea which I’m sure will take off. Being able to see all those old images so easily is great for us photo fanatics and also history buffs. The tagging is so helpful when browsing the collection.

  41. Mandy
    January 19, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    This is a great idea, being able to tag photos like these will be incredible and I imagine diverse and interesting.
    I love looking back at photos like this, it’s visual history and very interesting, I love that we have recorded life in this way. And being able to search and browse through them with this extra help is great!

  42. Willis Whitlock
    January 19, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    I’ve been using the American Memory site for years. My students have turned out some great multimedia projects with LOC images. And I’ve been able to illustrate History lessons with images not found in textbooks. This new partnership with Flicker makes accessibility that much easier. Truly, our national treasures are being shared with the people.

  43. Jake McKee
    January 20, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    I applaud the effort and find it very exciting!

    One question – will you be posting anything at a higher size/resolution?

    At 1024 pixels, the images are a bit small for doing anything other than browsing.

    Thanks for this effort!

  44. dave
    January 21, 2008 at 1:59 am

    what a shame the LOC has put their slipshod collection on flicker , its almost like a training course on how not to present pictures cocked , poor color adjustment , poor levels , dirt and scratches , never mind about tagging these pictures i think the flicker folks should band together and clean these ,its a national shame to present our countrys tresures like this , and if you doubt my word go to the loc web page and check out the little seen ansel adams collection of pictures taken in the japanese internment camps , every one needs work

  45. jonathon
    January 25, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    i think web 2.0 is over rated goplay was years ahead of myspace and is exactly the same as goplay apart from it makes money, as for Flickr don’t get me started on that, still love the photos.

  46. Matt Raymond
    January 28, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Jake McKee: On the individual Flickr pages for the photos, there is a link back to the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog record for the image.

    There you will be able to find VERY high-res versions, generally TIF files in the tens of megabytes.

  47. Kelly
    January 31, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    It is such a wonderful idea to make these photos available online to those of us who may never make it to the Library of Congress. I hope eventually the entire Library collection, including photos, video, etc. will be digitized and put online in an interactive format such as that provided by Flickr.

  48. Pramendra
    February 11, 2008 at 10:40 am

    its nice to see the post and game over fliker .Last year I wrote about the possibilities of crowdsourcing photo archives, so I was happy to learn that the Library of Congress is giving it a go

  49. Rodney
    February 11, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    I have one concern about what you said about people adding bibliographic information to photos. How can you verify that captions added to photos are correct? Some users might think they know something about a photo and turn out to be wrong.

  50. Technology Slice
    February 19, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Very good idea making these photos available online. The web helps people communicate over great distances. Might as well make the most of it.

  51. Jen
    February 22, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    It’s nice that these images are going up on flickr, but I’m disappointed that the Library of Commons chose to partner with Flickr instead of the non-profit Wikimedia Commons, which is doing amazing things for the sharing of knowledge online.

  52. Russell Harrison
    March 2, 2008 at 2:14 am

    This is so wonderful to see. The Library of Congress has such a vast collection of rich and vibrant pictures available. It will be so beneficial to have such easy access to that excellent resource.

    Keep up the great work!

  53. Matt Keegan
    March 7, 2008 at 11:42 am

    I would love to see hi rez photographs too. Regardless, this is a terrific initiative, one that will benefit everyone.

  54. Matt Raymond
    March 14, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Matt: All of the images link back to the Library’s online catalog, which does indeed offer high-res downloads.

  55. Kristal L. Rosebrook
    March 16, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    I agree with Matt.
    “I would love to see hi rez photographs too. Regardless, this is a terrific initiative, one that will benefit everyone.?
    Kristal Rosebrook

  56. Johnf
    March 31, 2008 at 12:55 am

    Congress has started a pilot program to publish their photo archives on Flickr.

  57. Yigit
    April 23, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    I was disappointed to learn from an earlier comment that the Childrens’ Internet Protection Act has resulted in a ban on all of Flickr. Rather than mirroring, perhaps the underlying problem with the legislation or with its implementation should be fixed…

  58. Chuck
    May 18, 2008 at 2:40 am

    Great news and congrats on the new launch. Who’d have thought you would come up with this great idea to make your images more accessible to the public!

  59. Online news
    May 21, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Congrats on the launch. LC is the second (that we know of) library to work with Flickr. The National Library of Australia and their Picture Australia project has offered a Flickr section for a couple of years. We’ve posted about it on ResourceShelf.

  60. Ted
    May 29, 2008 at 3:13 am

    Congrats on the launch. Thanks for access to great images.

  61. Website Design
    June 24, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    I really enjoy this photostream. I posted a comment on another post about it, but I think it is better suited here. I just wanted to comment on how much I enjoyed looking at the photos on the LOC Flickr. There is a lot of diversity in the images, I really enjoyed looking at them. I really enjoy looking at old photos like that. I like to picture myself if I lived at that time and was at the location the photo was taken. It’s surreal. I really enjoyed it, thank you.

  62. Justin Seibert
    July 1, 2008 at 11:36 am

    This is so cool that you all are doing this. What a win-win for all of us. (Plus great choice for the top pic you included in this post!) I’m glad the LOC is embracing our Web 2.0 world and allowing more people to more easily access your treasure trove of photos.

  63. Sheena
    July 3, 2008 at 3:57 am

    I LOVE flickr and I love this stream, for sure. One of my favorite things about flickr is just randomming through; sometimes I end up on family pictures, once I landed upon the christmas party for some business loan office group, and i especially love it when i happen upon people’s wedding portraits!

  64. Sevgim.Net
    August 2, 2008 at 7:26 am

    This is so cool that you all are doing this. What a win-win for all of us. (Plus great choice for the top pic you included in this post!) I’m glad the LOC is embracing our Web 2.0 world and allowing more people to more easily access your treasure trove of photos.

  65. Make Money From Home
    September 23, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    I hope those working on this project consider presenting at the American Association for History and Computing Conference being held online. It will be all about Web 2.0.

  66. sohbet
    September 25, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    If you wan to read more about this you can read a blog post by David Weinberger or go directly to the original post.

  67. Marc Sevigny
    October 16, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    Flickr has been a great help to my web design business.It helps my company provide affordable seo to our clients by letting us share client pictures with trackback URLS. Good stuff

  68. jimmy
    November 4, 2008 at 10:49 am

    One of my favorite things about flickr is just randomming through; sometimes I end up on family pictures, once I landed upon the christmas party for some business loan office group, and i especially love it when i happen upon people’s wedding portraits!

  69. George
    November 11, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    What a wonderful idea. We use photos from Flicker on out sites, a great source and super website.

  70. Modular homes
    November 28, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    I’ve been using the American Memory site for years. My students have turned out some great multimedia projects with LOC images. And I’ve been able to illustrate History lessons with images not found in textbooks. This new partnership with Flicker makes accessibility that much easier. Truly, our national treasures are being shared with the people.

  71. Charlie
    December 9, 2008 at 12:06 am

    Truly a great idea. Flickr is by and large the best resouce for photo sharing on the internet. The only comparable (albeit slightly more popular) site is facebook, which has too many privacy restrictions to facilitate any collaborative sharing.

  72. Steven Wevodau
    January 11, 2009 at 10:52 am

    This is absolutely great! I would really like to see hi resolution photographs too. Regardless, this is a terrific initiative, one that will benefit everyone?

  73. Make Money
    February 20, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    I live in South Africa and I wish my government had even a fraction of the initiative you people have. If you type in .gov in Google SA you find that most sites are contracted to people who still think frames are cool. Good for you.

  74. ahmet
    March 1, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    I’ve been using the American Memory site for years. My students have turned out some great multimedia projects with LOC images.

  75. Serkan
    March 8, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    LOVE flickr and I love this stream, for sure. One of my favorite things about flickr is just randomming through; sometimes I end up on family pictures,

    Thanks for …

  76. Aaron
    March 19, 2009 at 8:39 am

    The combination of Flickr and an archive of historical photos will be pure magic. It will be amazing to read the comments from people reminiscing about where they were when certain events happened and the emotions they felt at the time.

  77. Mike
    March 23, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Congrats on the launch. Thanks for access to great images.

  78. ForexTeacher
    March 28, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Great job with the info. How did you find it? Please let me know.

  79. garrym
    April 29, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Yes the internet is a lot of resources, where the exchange of photos, and various videos.
    but may be worth ….

  80. Lea
    May 9, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    I think this is really a good idea. I personally use Flicker because it is friendly user.

  81. Gabby
    June 12, 2009 at 11:37 am

    I’ve been looking at this feature on WordPress blogs for ages and wishing Blogger would implement it. Followed your instructions and it works a treat!

  82. kongning
    June 26, 2009 at 7:30 am

    I wish my government had even a fraction of the initiative you people have. If you type in .gov in Google SA you find that most sites are contracted to people who still think frames are cool. Good for you.http://www.heelsunion.com

  83. Croatian
    July 7, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Flickr brings me a loads of traffic last two months.. Its one of the biggest online marketing tools ever, specially if you are running photography website like I do..

  84. Russ S.
    July 15, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    What a great initiative and I’m sure they are finding Flickr to be a good partner in this project.
    Thanks for the good post.

  85. Mile
    August 5, 2009 at 6:10 am

    What a wonderful idea. We use photos from Flicker on out sites, a great source and super website.

  86. Christian louboutin
    August 31, 2009 at 5:00 am

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  87. artViper
    October 24, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Flickr and systems alike make it a lot easier to find related information to images, although there’s still room for enhancements.

  88. ev dekorasyon
    February 16, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Great news and congrats on the new launch. Who’d have thought you would come up with this great idea to make your images more accessible to the public!

  89. anna cook
    March 13, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Wonderful!

  90. lydia
    April 12, 2010 at 6:01 am

    Wonderful! Very good!

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