The Library of Congress and The Official Whitehouse Photostream
by Amy Sorokas /
The trend of making photographs easily accessible and available for anyone to view at any time online is great thing for institutions with a plethora of images of historical significance.
There are two great examples of this trend on Flickr today – The Library of Congress and The Official Whitehouse Photostream. Each of the streams makes hundreds of images available regularly with the only difference being the Whitehouse is posting images on nearly the day the Whitehouse photography staff takes them versus the Library of Congress that is carefully and digitally archiving their vast non-digital collection.
Each of the streams of images is like getting a little prize every time you view it as new images are posted on both very regularly. You can watch history unfold or see a grand archive of the past take shape in a way that makes the photos easy to share and participate in commentary around the subjects.
It is pretty incredible that you can easily sift through the rich collection of the Library of Congress and at one moment take a trip bake to turn of the century Wales or get a glimpse of President Wilson and his family. Additionally, one of the great benefits of putting up archives like these is that the community can take a part in determining the identities of the people in the pictures or bringing out other interesting details about the images (check out the comments on many of the Library of Congress images including this one of President Wilson).
Flickr: The Commons continues to grow the list of participating institutions with large collections of images that are inviting community participation in shaping the stories around their images. Hopefully others will follow this trend and make their archives available with easy access for those interested in the history of both the subject and the photography.
Image of turn of the century Wales
Image of President Wilson and his family
Microsoft Photo Community and Icons of Imaging websites: