I’ve always wanted to visit the Library of Congress (I shared a car once with THE Librarian of Congress, James Billington and he invited me to come and get a tour). If you haven’t been there, it’s the largest library in the world and their collection has about 14 million images.
But today was even better than just that. I met the team who manages millions of photos and images. You can even see a very small part of their work on Flickr.
I did some cell phone videos, which you can see here.
Part I. Meeting Helena Zinkham and introduction to prints and photographs division and discussion of how they get those images onto Flickr.
Part II. Meet the blogger from the Library of Congress. Now read his blog. He gives us a verbal tour of what is cool at the Library of Congress.
Part III. Stereograph collection (they have about 100,000 3-D images, I could spend hours just looking at these).
While there I learned about Flickr’s “commons,” which includes images from many of the world’s best public photo collections.
You can see thousands of images from the Library of Congress at its Flickr account, too.
Thanks Helena Zinkham for giving me a great tour and introducing me to many of the interesting images on Flickr.
Oh, before I forget, there’s a point to this post.
By opening up the images to Flickr they’ve gotten a ton of information about the images that they didn’t know. In my HD interview, which will be up in a few weeks, she shows me how people from around the world add onto the images with their own stories (one of the granddaughters of one of the photographers, for instance, gave the library a lot more details). This is a great example of what happens when you use these tools to open up items to discussion by everyone.
It’s so sad that there are still millions of photos that we can’t look at yet unless we visit Washington DC. The stereograph collection alone is unbelieveable. Hundreds of thousands of images — all categorized. I was lucky enough to take a look at a few and realized I could spend hours just looking through all of these.
I’m glad there are people who try to save all this stuff for future generations, though.
It also makes you realize just how far we are from getting all of the world’s knowledge and information available to us online.