Wednesday, March 5, 2014

British Library Digitized

Image provided courtesy of the British Library In a spirit of great devotion to scholarship rooted in the deep belief that knowledge must be widely shared, the British Library has released a million digitized images of 17th, 18th, and 19th century art from 65,000 volumes into the public domain and have made them freely available onto Flickr Commons. The images were digitized as a gift to the Library by Microsoft.

Image provided courtesy of the British Library "The images themselves cover a startling mix of subjects: There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, [and] wall-paintings."

The Library says that this is an ongoing project, since only 65,000 books have been digitized thus far, and there are millions more books to go.

Image provided courtesy of the British Library Concurrently, the Library is going to open a crowdsourcing project to "help describe what the images portray," in a bid to tag them and index them properly for better discoverability through search mechanisms.

While all these images are freely available for you to download, manipulate, and display on your blogs, etc., the Library requests, as a gesture of goodwill, that you attribute the images to them. So, for example, if you hover over the image on the left, you can see my attribution.