CIL2009: flickr commons for libraries and museums

Library of Congress, New York Public Library, Brooklyn Museum, Smithsonian … were approached by flickr to add collections into the flickr commons.

Michelle Springer, LOC

Have to have no known copyright restrictions

22 libraries, archives, and universities have joined so far…

flickr mentions new sites on their blog, which has a LOT of reach

Shelley Bernstein, Brooklyn Museum:

They started adding stuff into flickr … they were flooded with comments

Posted an unidentified photo in paris – archives people would update the description… because of their workload and tiny staff, they couldn’t do this very speedily – they almost left the commons!

Once the community formed around the commons, this changed. One flickr user puts notes around all the buildings on each photo, marking them with names

It’s a great way to work with the community

Community is helping their workload:
– they had some coding feed problems
– she wrote to their community group
– the community scripted a solution for them – nice.

Michelle up again:

They have “history detectives” who figure out names of people and places … and support this with citations and links to the info on the web.

Personal experience adds info – giving examples of community naming things in the photos

Interesting discussion of image titles – they used the original titles, one popular pic is titled “negro boy” – they’ve had their community discussing how the title was part of the times, preserving the language they used when the photo was taken, etc

Lots of then and now photos

Joshua Greenberg, NYPL:

Can’t be a project of the “Digital Group” – needs to be the librarians with expertise

When they posted pics, they hadn’t resolved the issues of who answers the questions from the comments …

His team had been figuring out how to do this technically …

Martin Kalfatovic, Smithsonian Institution Libraries:

Showing their quirky photos – old photos of “white men with mustaches,” micro photos of tiny fish, etc – they had an internal discussion of whether or not people would be interested in these photos. And they were

what did they learn from a social project like this?

Easy – gather a small group of like-minded people, launch the project