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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.
Saar’s irreverent paintings of dolls from her collection celebrate the catharsis she found in play.
With the opening of the new, $40 million structure in East Williamsburg, it poses the question of its role in the local arts community — one of collaboration or conquest?
Large-scale installations by artist and adobera Joanna Keane Lopez and olfactory-acoustic sculptures by Oswaldo Maciá will be on view starting October 1.
The act of touching allows a deeper sensory understanding for the viewer while simultaneously creating a rebellion against the terms of viewing, the defining terms of the museum and gallery space.
Photographer Fin Serck-Hanssen follows Hedda, a Norwegian in her early 20s, as she travels to undergo cosmetic surgeries and a vaginoplasty.
Over 125 artist studios, galleries, and exhibition spaces open their doors to the public for this year’s Jersey City Art and Studio Tour, taking place from September 30 through October 3.