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.
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very New York art events this month, including art made during the first stock market crash, a homage to feline friends, and the 10-year anniversary of a crucial public art initiative.
Astrid Dick was told that she could not paint stripes because Sean Scully and Frank Stella have done so before her, a patently foolish statement.
Hrag Vartanian, Hyperallergic’s editor-in-chief, is one of the guest jurors reviewing applications for the two-month residency in Utica, New York.
Paddy Johnson answers your questions about art fairs, visibility, and frustrating studio visits.
The 26th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival’s Philippines retrospective highlights early documentation of the country, local responses to the Marcos dictatorship, and contemporary work.
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The country music legend says the museum will be part of a “Dolly Center.”
Herzog and de Meuron’s design for the Museum of the 20th Century in Berlin has been accused of poor energy efficiency and called a “structural nightmare.”
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SCAD’s booth at Design Miami/ features glazed tiles by alumni artists Nicolas Barrera, Lauren Clay, Gonzalo Hernandez, Cory Imig, Abel Macias, and Nikita Nagpal.
Plaintiff Cheri Pierson accuses the disgraced financier of a “brutal” sexual attack at the Manhattan mansion of Jeffrey Epstein.
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