Flickr Delivers Library Of Congress’ Historical Eye Candy
Posted by infinitygoods on January 18, 2008
The United States Library of Congress pilot program launched on Flickr just two days ago has Web viewers entranced with its display of 3,115 images from the library’s extensive photo collection and clamoring for more.
Last night’s statistics from just one day on Flickr reveals the following:
• 392,000 views on the photostream;
• 650,000 views of photos;
• Adding in set and collection page views, there were about 1.1 million total views on their account;
• All 3,100+ photos have been viewed;
• 420 of the photos have comments;
• 1,200 of the photos have been favorited.
The Library has struck a chord with the people of the Internet. Matt Raymond, the author of the Library’s 9 month old blog and director of communications says, “The response to the Library’s pilot project with Flickr has been nothing short of astounding. You always hope for a positive reaction to something like this, but it has been utterly off the charts—from the Flickr community, from the blogosphere, from the news media—it is nothing short of amazing.”
And we all want more photos. The most frequently asked question on both the Flickr and the blog comments is asking when the library will upload even more photos. There are more than 1 million photos on the library’s Web site and some are easily viewable as sample images, but the great majority of these images can only be accessed through search words. If you want to see the images in say their Daguerreotype collection you have to type in specific search words, and there my friends is where the Library of Congress’ Web site went totally wrong and where the Flickr project went totally right, because if you don’t know what to search for or you just want to see what’s available, you are facing a computer screen full of daunting type and not one single beautiful image; no eye candy, no mesmerizing piece of history, no emotionally stirring art.
If you like history or photography, or better yet, like me you like both, you will be spending hours pouring over your LOC Flickr screen, so be forewarned, this may be a whole new addiction which might even spawn further interests you will just HAVE to research.
- A note on the high quality of these historical photographs: “The scans are not color corrected or adjusted to create an optimized view of the photographic scene, rather they represent the qualities of the images as they exist in the collection at the time they are scanned.”
For an article about Pie Town, New Mexico and Russell Lee, the photographer who chronicled its homesteaders, visit this Smithsonian article.