Taking Pictures To The Public

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Evaluation Report Nationaal Archief & Spaarnestad Photo on Flickr The Commons

On October 21, 2008 the Nationaal Archief and Spaarnestad Photo were the first Dutch heritage institutions to place a small selection of their photos on Flickr The Commons, the ‘archives section’ in the popular online photo community Flickr. This initiative is part of a series of pilot projects that are being developed within Images for the Future in order to conduct research on involving the broad audience in photographic collections and metadata generation. Within two weeks, the photo stream of the Nationaal Archief had over 400,000 page views and 400 comments. These large numbers were caused by the extensive amount of attention the media dedicated to the initiative–resulting in, among other things, articles in national newspapers De Volkskrant and Het Parool, radio reporting by the Wereldomroep and, most spectacular of all, a prime time news item in NOS Journaal (causing page views to rise up to 100,000 in one night).

The pilot was decided to have a duration of 6 months (October 2008 – April 2009), followed by an evaluation. Now, after this period, the Nationaal Archief Flickr account contains almost 800 photos, had more than 1 million page views and has almost 2000 comments and over 6800 tags added.

In the evaluation report evaluatie-nationaal-archief-op-flickr-commons.pdf  these results are reviewed. Are the initial goals achieved? What can be said about the quality of the audience’s comments and tags? In the conclusion, we seek to answer the question of what added value Flickr can have in making photographic collections more accessible to a broad audience, and in enrichment of these collections by the end user.

Read the full report here (in Dutch, 3.7 Mb): evaluatie-nationaal-archief-op-flickr-commons.pdf  (please open in Adobe Reader)