The Library of Congress has gotten very Web 2.0, and signed up for a Flickr account. Last week, they posted over 3,000 photos from their vast archive to that account, with more likely to come. The first two sets, entitled “1930s-40s in color” and “News in the 1910s,” offer a rich look at our nation’s history, and look great for their age (particularly the WWII-related color photos in the first set).
On their profile page, after a header that reads “Yes. We really are THE Library of Congress,” they explain the reasoning for making these medium-resolution (1024×768) images available in this form:
We’ve been acquiring photos since the mid-1800s when photography was the hot new technology. Because images represent life and the world so vividly, people have long enjoyed exploring our visual collections. Looking at pictures opens new windows to understanding both the past and the present. Favorite photos are often incorporated in books, TV shows, homework assignments, scholarly articles, family histories, and much more.
The Prints & Photographs Division takes care of 14 million of the Library’s pictures and features more than 1 million through online catalogs. Offering historical photo collections through Flickr is a welcome opportunity to share some of our most popular images more widely.
More on the pilot project is available at the FAQ page. Happy browsing.