The Internet Archive is using public domain digitization to offer an entryway into its over 500 years of historical texts already online. Last week the archive, which has around 600 million pages on its library platform, announced that it was joining Flickr Commons with plans to put 14 million images online. More than 2.6 million of them are already accessible.
As Kay Kremerskothen put it on the Flickr blog:
What would it look like if those 600 million pages could be ‘read’ completely differently? What if every illustration, drawing, chart, map, or photograph became an entry point, allowing one to navigate the world’s books not as paragraphs of text, but as a visual tapestry of our lives? How would we learn and explore knowledge differently?
The Flickr Commons, and many other online archives, are already rich with public domain and creative commons images from all over, but the Internet Archive is consciously working to make sure the context for its images doesn’t get lost. Each one comes with its source information as well as the text that originally surrounded it. A search term doesn’t just pull up images of that word, but others related to it as well. Headed by collaborating scholar Kalev Leetaru, the project involves recovering images that were removed by an optical character recognition program in the process of digitizing texts. You can still access a link on each image’s page to view it in its original document.
Over at the BBC, they note that the “project has resulted in even more pictures of cats being put on to the internet.” But scrolling through, it was the old museum guides that caught my eye, from twisted skeletons in the Warren Anatomical Museum in Boston to a now sadly gone rat-infested house diorama in the American Museum of Natural History. Below are just a few selections from these old museum publications — guides to collections that are, like the Internet Archive images themselves, fleeting portals of history waiting for descent.
Find all of the Internet Archive Book Images on Flickr Commons.
A childhood accident took her arms away but the transgender artist survived to create paintings, photography, and performances focused on depicting the body.
Fans of director Claire Denis should check the film out, but as an agnostic, I find it one of her few truly awful pictures.
International audiences have free access to the media collections of MMCA Korea, Sharjah Art Foundation, and ArkDes through this subscription-based art streaming platform.
There are 30 nations represented in the international exhibition. Some aren’t in their best moment today. A comics diary.
Some have compared her album art to John Collier’s 19th-century portrait of Lady Godiva, but Beyoncé can channel her radical spirit without evoking Western art history.
Convened by Erika Sprey, Lamin Fofana, Sky Hopinka, Emmy Catedral, and Manuela Moscoso, the public program unfolds this summer at CARA in New York City.
With a fresh Ethereum wallet ready to scoop up freebies, I attended the world’s largest conference dedicated to that controversial wart on the Zeitgeist, the “non-fungible token.”
Hundreds of copies of the LA-based guerrilla poster artist Robbie Conal’s latest work, “Supreme Injustices,” were pasted up from Venice to Los Feliz.
The Bay Area art book fair is back this July with free programming at three different on-site venues, new exhibitors, and fundraising editions from renowned artists.
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