500 years of books now on Flickr: changing the way we see books permanently

Did you know that Flickr is partnering up with Georgetown University fellow Kalev Leetaru and the Internet Archive? They’re attempting to modernize 500 years of literary heritage in a new and accessible way. In the past, text and images were downloaded as difficult-to-search PDFs.

These will be different. And more use-able by using a smarter tagging system.

The images uploaded thus far represent 500 years of out-of-copyright images, spanning every conceivable topic. It is, Leetaru says, “perhaps the greatest collection of public domain imagery ever created.”

Two great things will come of this:

  • Literature will be able to be cataloged and accessed for enjoyment by ourselves and future generations.
  • Because the images have passed the copyright window, they are now public domain and available for anyone to use on websites, Pinterest and anywhere else the they see fit!

For more information on this project, check the Washington Post story here!


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