The photo sharing website Flickr.com and the Library of Congress in the United States have created a very interesting collaboration between a Web 2.0 business and a major cultural institution. The Commons, as it is known, invites the general public to mark up (they say „describe“) images from the collection of the Library of Congress and to discuss those images via the Flickr website.
In its first phase, the project offers visitors access to 3,115 images from the Library’s digital collection of more than 1 million historical images.
As this image shows, the photographs selected for inclusion in the pilot project are of high quality. As nice as it is to have access to these images through the Flickr interface, that access is already provided by the Library, albeit in a very un-user friendly way. What will be of much more interest to historians and other researchers is the ways that visitors to the site have begun to engage in discussion of these images.
Back in 2006 I speculated that one day large institutions like the Library of Congress (LOC) would begin to make their collections available for public tagging and I wondered what that tagging would look like once it began. What I did not anticipate at the time was that rather than setting up their own interface to permit the public to begin tagging their digital collections, institutions like the LOC would simply take advantage of existing platforms like Flickr. Weiterlesen