September 20, 2017

The Flickr and Library of Congress Experiment

Genealogical research has taken some tough blows in the last few years, with the National Archives raising their fees to obtain records that rightfully belong to all of us, to county courthouses completely refusing to allow access to their records at all.

So, it was a nice surprise to read today on Flickr that they are teaming up with the Library of Congress with a new service to give you (the public) a small taste of the very large holdings the LOC holds. You may not be aware of it, but the Library of Congress has over 1 million images that they make available on their site, and have done so for the last ten years.

This new collaboration with Flickr is titled The Commons, and it gives the public an opportunity to tag or label the photographs seen in each collection. Not only are you able to see photos you might not otherwise see, but you get to contribute your reactions to them, which in turn makes it easier for all of us to find them. Keep in mind too, that it is entirely possible that you might find a photo of someone in your ancestry and that by adding a tag and/or a comment you help preserve our United States history a little more accurately.

Truck load of ponderosa pine, Edward Hines Lumber Co. operations in Malheur National Forest, Grant County, Oregon (LOC)

Personally, I think this is a wonderful collaboration, and I hope that all of you will agree. In doing my own research for my William Livingston Holmes biography project, I found a previously undiscovered set of drawings of Mr. Holmes house that he built in early Oregon City, Oregon. They were in the American Memory collection on the LOC site and added one more clue to his personality when I read in the notes that he built the home as a replica of the one he lived in as a boy in Tennessee.

Thanks very much too to Read Write Web for their post about this collaboration.


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