Our friend and former colleague, Justin Thorp, scooped us a bit on the fact that we have added some additional photos to our Flickr account. (See our previous posts here and here.) Which suits me just fine; we love all Library fans!
It is true, under cover of night (OK, maybe not night, exactly), we added 50 images to the Bain Collection of news photographs from the early 1900s. The images are the most recent 50 included in our photo stream here. As always, tag away!
I’m told that we can now expect new batches of 50 photos to be uploaded on a fairly regular basis. Not quite sure yet if/when new collections will be added, but I keep putting in my own plug for our unrivaled Civil War collection. (I guess this is the part where I say that this is not an official position of the Library of Congress.) So stay tuned.
And because we government-types love to talk about results, there are some tangible outcomes of the Flickr pilot to report: As of this writing, 68 of our bibliographic records have been modified thanks to this project and all of those awesome Flickr members. To see those results, simply go to the Library’s Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC) and enter the search term “Flickr.” I’ll see if I can update this post a little later with some favorite examples.
As a reminder, because this is a question we get quite a bit, if you are interested in high-res versions of the images, simply follow the link in each individual Flickr photo back to its corresponding image in the PPOC.
(Image above: “Home of F.E. Webber – destroyed – Geneva, N.Y. cyclone”)
I agree the Flickr community project is a great idea and producing excellent results. When following your link to Library’s Prints and Photographs Online Catalog and entering search for “Flickr” I could see several examples where updates are credited as being initiated by the project, however it was sometimes difficult to determine precisely the “before” and “after” status. In some cases I had to go to Flickr, search for the image and then follow the Flickr comments thread to see what change had been suggested and accepted from the Flickr community.
I recommend that both the possibly inaccurate original catalog information be retained and reflected as such along with displaying the information which has been suggested by the Flickr project.
My reasons are:
1. Keeping the original information can record misconceptions and inaccuracies which were true to the period when the information was orriginally recorded. This has historical value in itself.
2. Inaccuracies can flow from the Flickr community too. Some Flickr users are citing a variety of online resources to back up their claims including Wikipedia. Now, don’t get me wrong – I like Wikipedia and use it every day. But it is prone to errors, particularly of a historical nature, and particularly relating to biographical information of historical figures. I have not found any such errors in information cited by Flickr project contributors thus far however.
Should you want some undetected examples of errors in Wikipedia itself, I can give you a few of those but that’s not the purpose of your blog.
All in all, keep up the good work with this exciting project.
What is the usage policy of those photos ?
” if you are interested in high-res versions of the images, simply follow the link in each individual Flickr photo back to its corresponding image in the.. ”
Some weeks ago me and my wife enter the Ellis Island database and found a family member that immigrated from Denmark til USA in 1921. Since our visit at the online service I´d got mails from the The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation to support their sevice which we are planning to do. Reading about Flickr at this blog is helpful. I think the service from Flickr can be used by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation to widen the database and make it more inexpensive to run. Now I just have to figure out how the to great services can achieve from each other.
Tracy: For all the images we are putting on Flickr, there are “no known copyright restrictions.”
Thanks for the photos and usage info. 🙂