Archives and fans on Flickr: Seminar ‘Nationaal Archief joins Flickr the Commons’

Monday, November 17th, 2008

On the 21st of October 2008, the Nationaal Archief (National Archive) and its partner Spaarnestad Photo placed a part of their collections on the Commons on Flickr. And not without success. During the seminar ‘Nationaal Archief joins Flickr the Commons’, George Oates of Flickr announced that the amount of visits to the Nationaal Archief pages had increased to 430.000 since the 21st of October.


Photo: by Kennisland on

  • Download the report of the seminar here (English and Dutch version available):

Report seminar (English) or Verslag seminar (Nederlands)

  • Find photos of the seminar on:

  • Find the presentations on:

  • Watch the video of the presentations:

Video presentation Fiona Romeo

Video presentation Judith Moortgat

During the seminar Judith Moortgat (Nationaal Archief), Georges Oates (Flickr) and Fiona Romeo (National Maritime Museum) gave presentations. Furthermore a panel discussion took place on the topcis ‘The user perspective’ (with Mettina Veenstra, Telematica Instituut), ‘The archival perspective’ (with Peter van den Doel, Spaarnestad Photo) and ‘Copyright issues’ (with Annemarie Beunen, Royal Library). The panel discussion was moderated by Dick Rijken (Haagse Hogeschool).

The discussion was very lively as experiences, ideas and opinions were exchanged. If you would like to find out more about the seminar, you can download a detailed report, all presentations, videos and ofcourse photos above! A final report of the pilot will be placed on this blog in due course.


Nationaal Archief publishes photos on Flickr The Commons

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

The National Archive (Nationaal Archief), the largest Dutch archive, has put a selection of their collection on Flickr The Commons . It’s the first Dutch heritage institution to join Flickr The Commons, a project intitiated by the US Library of Congress and international photo-sharing website Flickr.


Click here for the pictures on Flickr The Commons

Parts of the special collection ‘Labour Inspectorate’, digitized in the Images for the Future framework, are placed onto the Flickr website. Users are invited to add tags and comments to the photos. As a result of the new collaboration between the National Archive and Spaarnestad Photo, photographs of this archive have been added to the Flickr collection as well.

On the 4th November, there is a seminar about the value of social tagging, with among others, delegates from Flickr and the National Maritime Museum. In the first two days, the photo’s have been viewed over 300.000 times and more than 400 comments have been added.

The Nationaal Archive is proud to be a member of The Commons on Flickr. Photographs of the Nationaal Archive that are part of the Commons on Flickr have “no known copyright restrictons”, this means that there are no copyright restrictions on the works designated, either because the Nationaal Archief owns the copyright of the photographs and authorizes others to use the work without restrictions, or because the copyright may have expired.


The Commons – Library of Congress photo’s on Flickr

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

The Library of Congress and Flickr together announced a pilot to put a selection of the photo collection of the LOC on Flickr. The community will tag. Will it also capture the imagination of other institutions?

Out of some 14 million prints, photographs and other visual materials at the Library of Congress, more than 3000 photos from two of the most popular collections are being made available on the new Flickr page. Including only images for which no copyright restrictions are known to exist.

The Library of Congress is not the first putting their archive on Flickr to gain more visibility and accessibility. A lot of prominant museums already did, like the Brooklyn Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Powerhouse Museum and the Smithsonian American Art Museum & the Renwick Museum. They all put their collection in a place where people actually spend more time than on the website of the museum itself.

The Commons
So, would this grand announcement be just a clever marketing trick to get the attention of the internet savvy youth? Maybe. But The Library of Congres doesn’t want to be just another collection on Flickr. They officially partnered with Flickr to move the Flickr community to tag the photo’s and baptised the pilot “The Commons”.

Their goal is to increase exposure to the collections and to facilitate the collection of general knowledge with the hope that this information can feed back into the catalogues, making them richer and easier to search. With this pilot the Library of Congress embraces the “power of the web”, as we can read on their blog:

We’re also very excited that, as part of this pilot, Flickr has created a new publication model for publicly held photographic collections called “The Commons.” Flickr hopes—as do we—that the project will eventually capture the imagination and involvement of other public institutions, as well. From the Library’s perspective, this pilot project is a statement about the power of the Web and user communities to help people better acquire information, knowledge and—most importantly—wisdom.

I hope that this pilot will get the attention of other institutions and encourage them to explore the rules of the web more profoundly. If you take a look at the collection already tagged it is impressive to see that some objects already have 25 tags. Somebody got payed to do this?

For the press release of the Library of Congress pilot on Flickr click here.