Oh, such coolness — the Library of Congress recently announced that it’s teaming up with Flickr. According to the LOC blog post, “If all goes according to plan, the project will help address at least two major challenges: how to ensure better and better access to our collections, and how to ensure that we have the best possible information about those collections for the benefit of researchers and posterity. In many senses, we are looking to enhance our metadata…”
(Flickr is actually working on a project to get the world generating metadata for publicly-held photograph collections — see The Commons at http://www.flickr.com/commons .)
The idea is that the Library of Congress now has its own Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/ . Photos are being posted there for users to tag, comment about, and provide more information on. Though there are literally millions of photos/prints/visual things in the LOC’s collections, the LOC page has launched with over 3,000 items.
The photographs cover a lot of ground but the LOC does have two sets of photos available — 1930s-1940s in Color and News in the 1910s. Just browsing through all the photographs finds all kinds of topics, from smokestacks to medals to cowboys to baseball players.
I was amazed at how many people have commented on these photographs. And get a load of the tag clouds. “Vintage”, as you might imagine, is a very popular tag.
If you want to search Flickr for just LOC content, you can use the search form at http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=&w=8623220%40N02 . I tried to use Yahoo Images to search the images by other parameters (like size,whether the image is in color or not, etc.) but I couldn’t figure out how to limit Yahoo Images results to a particular Flickr user.