The following is a guest post by Bronwen Colquhoun, Kluge Fellow.
I’ve been invited to blog about an exciting event that we are organizing here at the Library on Saturday July 28, 2012. You are invited to a Photography Meetup in the Thomas Jefferson Building to capture some of the elaborate architecture and artwork rooted within the historic floors, ceilings and walls of the Great Hall, guided by photographs taken from the Carol M. Highsmith Archive. Come and experience a palace of knowledge and try out your own photographic eye! Staff from the Prints and Photographs Division will be on hand to answer any questions you may have, so you can also take this opportunity to pick their brains!
As many of you are probably aware, the Prints and Photographs Division has been part of the Flickr Commons project for over four years now. Within that time they have shared thousands of wonderful photographs with the public in an online, social platform. This has increased awareness of the Library’s photographic holdings, and has also contributed more than 4,500 photo identifications made by the very knowledgeable and dedicated Flickr community.
I’m here for the summer working on research that looks at how Flickr Commons supports community engagement and the effect this has on the development of the photographic collections and practices of the participating cultural institutions. I will be organizing a number of exciting activities for Flickr users to get involved with, both online and on site at the Library.
The Library has never offered an event like this before, but we know that the Flickr community loves to look at photographs. Another key driver is taking photographs. It’s a great opportunity to find out how you would photograph this grand building compared to the ways in which it has been documented in the collections. What are your eyes drawn to and why? On completion of the scavenger hunt, you will be invited to upload your photographs from the meetup to Flickr, tagged with LOCmeetup2012. This way we can create galleries of your photographs on the Library’s Flickr Commons account to share with the rest of the Flickr community.
We’ll be in the first floor foyer of the Great Hall in the Thomas Jefferson Building from 9:00am-11am on Saturday 28 July, so feel free to drop in at any point. (Update: Enter through the driveway entrance beneath the exterior steps and look for us on the Ground Floor near the pillars.) Staff from the Prints and Photographs Division and I will be there to greet you and to answer any questions you might have. Please note that due to security measures, cameras and other belongings will need to be scanned when you enter the building. Please take that into consideration before arriving. Tripods are not allowed, but we’re sure that won’t pose a problem. If all else fails, you can always use your camera’s automatic settings!
Finally, in celebration of this first LOC Photography Meetup, the Library will be uploading a new set of Carol M. Highsmith photographs to Flickr Commons shortly to browse & get acquainted before attending, so watch this space!
The event is free and open to all. We look forward to seeing you there!
The set LOC Itself is live!