Historical illustrations of digitized books available on Flickr

Share

A researcher at Georgetown University in Washington DC, Kalev Leetaru, is adding millions of newly digitized images to the photo-sharing website Flickr, in the framework of a fellowship sponsored by Yahoo!, that is the owner of Flickr.

flickr_image

The project aims to make available up to 14.6 million images on Flickr, all extracted from books, magazines and newspapers published over a 500 year period and digitized by the Internet Archive organization. Currently, the collection uploaded in Flickr comprises about 2.6 million public domain images, extracted and catalogued after the digitization processes.

Image from page 496 of "The boy travellers in Australasia ..." (1889)

Image from page 496 of “The boy travellers in Australasia …” (1889)

The digitization activity of libraries, in facts, focuses on text, rather than on images, and makes the book pages available as PDF or text searchable works, while the illustrations are difficult to be search and found. That’s because the OCR program that digitizes the millions of public domain books to converge in the Internet Archive normally discards the illustrations, and this is definitely a pity considering the richness and value of at least some of those ancient images, and in any case considering that most of the images that are in the books, newspapers and catalogues are not available anywhere else in the world.

The code developed by Leetaru recovers those parts of the page which include images: the images are cropped, cleaned up, and uploaded to Flickr along with the text that appears next to them (about 500 words before and 500 after the image), along with detailed description ((title, year of publication, authors, and publisher) and searchable tags that make retrieval very easy.

“Stretching half a millennium, it’s amazing to see the total range of images and how the portrayals of things have changed over time.” said Leetaru to BBC.

Surf the whole collection:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/

Read more:

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-28976849

http://ebookfriendly.com/internet-archive-free-images-flickr/

http://www.openculture.com/2014/08/new-flickr-archive-makes-available-2-6-million-images-from-books.html

 

Leave a Reply


Related Articles

TWA Digitisation Grant 2022 - Winners Announced!
>>> Press release Having announced the successful applicants at the ARA Conference on 1st September, we have pleasure confirming this year's lucky winners! After some key changes to the TWA Digitisation Grant, as a result of COVID-19, we are pleased to see even more heritage archives being protected this year, opening up opportunities for accessibility and reach. The standards have always been high, and the quality astounding, presenting our judges with some ver...
Presentation of EU Study on Quality in 3D Digitisation of Tangible Cultural Heritage
On the occasion of the International Day of Museums, the European Commission is calling for the final presentation of the #VIGIE2020_654 Study Quality in 3D Digitisation of Tangible Cultural Heritage. Topic: Presentation of EU VIGIE2020/654 results: Study on Quality in 3D Digitisation of Tangible Cultural Heritage Time: May 18, 2022 09:00 AM CET via Zoom    
The role of photographic heritage in empowering communities' participation in cultural heritage
image: Piazza dei Miracoli a Pisa, photo offred by Lucia Tomasi Tongiorgi in Promoter Digital Gallery CC-BY-NC-ND. Organized by Photoconsortium in cooperation with the Museo della Grafica and University of Pisa and hosted at the Palazzo Lanfranchi, in the very city center on the banks of the river Arno, this 1-day conference invited leading speakers from the Citizen Heritage consortium partners and other experts in digital cultural heritage, in Social Sciences and Humanities research and ...
Digital strategies for small and medium-sized European museums: the call by DOORS
DOORS, the Digital Incubator for Museums, is a project co-funded by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, aims to create an European incubator to support small and medium-sized museums. It is coordinated by ARS ELECTRONICA. The digital transformation of museums has become necessary, urgent and DOORS wants to support museums in developing strategies to integrate technology and to enrich the online and on-site cultural offer. In a first phase of its work, DOORS will carry out ...