Tag, and we all know more (Library of Congress photographs on Flickr)

BlogHer Original Post

Woman Aircraft Worker Via the Laughing Squid, we see that the Library of Congress and Flickr have teamed up....

Flickr has just launched The Commons, a pilot project where they have partnered with The Library of Congress to provide an place where people can help tag public photo collections, thereby making the collections easier to search and use.

In other words, the federal government (or at least part of it) is looking to tap into the collective knowledge of the public to tag and categorize the Library's collection.

Helene Dutrieu

The Library of Congress's Flickr profile page says:

Yes. We really are THE Library of Congress.

We invite your tags and comments! Identifying information is also appreciated--many of our old photos came to us with very little description.

Liberation of Paris

On the Library of Congress FAQ page, they say that their goals are:

  • To share photographs from the Library's collections with people who enjoy images but might not visit the Library's own Web site.
  • To gain a better understanding of how social tagging and community input could benefit
    both the Library and users of the collections.  
  • To gain experience participating in Web communities that are interested in the kinds of materials in the Library's collections.

They even have a blog. And it has tags! And Digg and Del.icio.us links!

Patti Gibbons reacts:

Ty Cobb & Christy Mathewson, New York, NL during 1911 World Series

This amazing baseball photo showing future Hall of Famers Ty Cobb(left) and Christy Mathewson (right) at the 1911 World Series (New York Giants v. Philadelphia Athletics) is part of a huge collection of digital reproductions of photographs uploaded to flickr by The Library of Congress.

Go look at them. They need help tagging all 3000+ of them and filling in details of the photographs that came to them with little information. They cover all sorts of places, people and events, it’s pretty amazing looking through them.

Helene Preece portrait

This is one of those projects that makes you want to just sit back and take it in. The photos are windows through time.

Woman tennis player photo

See something you know something about? Get tagging!

Contributing Editor Laura Scott also blogs at rare pattern and pingVision.


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