Image Fortress announced last week a new online digital library called the International Space Archives. This new collection not only covers still and video imagery produced by NASA but by the space programs of Russia, Japan, China, and other nations. It’s available at http://www.internationalspacearchives.com.
I was expecting the usual “Big Blue Marble” type pictures, and I got those right on the front page. What I was not expecting was the great subject index on the left side of the page, which went from Aeronautics (and included the Wright brothers) to Sun Missions. Some of these categories had sub-categories as well; the Spacecraft selection even had sub-sub categories. Underneath this main index were separate sections for mission patches (LOTS of mission patches), historical videos, and educational videos.
We’ll get back to the videos in a minute, I’m not done with the pictures yet. Pictures are presented in thumbnails, 20 to a page. Once you find a picture you like (and if you can’t find it in the subject index there’s a search box near the top of the page that does simple keyword searching) click on it. You’ll get a much larger version of the picture as well as notes/context on the picture, keywords, file format, dimensions, etc.
Okay, the videos. There are 97 historical videos and 97 educational videos. The historical ones are press conferences, what look like documentaries, and so on. The videos are available, not just indexed; when you click on a thumbnail for a video you get a page of notes and information and the video on a Flash-based player. The player is a little small but you can make it full-screen. These are not little ten-second snippets either; when I checked out an episode of “Why Files” called “The Case of Prize-Winning Plants” I saw it was over 58 minutes.
The site does have a blog area but there’s not much there at the moment. The blog area mentions an RSS feed but I can’t find it; I have contacted the site and will update when I have more information. There’s plenty to see on this site now, but I’d really like an RSS feed as there promises to be a lot more content over time.