We’re proud to welcome the British Library to The Commons. The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s greatest libraries. It holds over 13 million books, 920,000 journal and newspaper titles, 57 million patents, 3 million sound recordings, and much, much more.
The British Library’s collections offers access to millions of public domain images, which the Library encourages you to explore and re-use. The release of these collections into the public domain represent the Library’s desire to improve knowledge of and about them, to enable novel and unexpected ways of using them, and to begin working with researchers to explore and interpret large scale digital collections.
The first set Highlights from the Mechanical Curator comes from a British Library Labs project dubbed the Mechanical Curator, which located more than a million images from within the Library’s digitised collection of over 65,000 books from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The images are a random selection that is meant to help you start discovering this amazing collection and help the British Library improve their knowledge of the images.
The images currently have very little metadata associated with them (though they do link back to the original digitised books), and we want to invite you to discover the content in the library’s photostream and add your knowledge to it by commenting and adding meaningful tags to the images to help develop the more than 1 million photos currently available on Flickr. The library will be leveraging our Flickr API in order to build crowdsourcing activities to improve the image descriptions over time and gain a greater understanding of what resides within.
Photos from the British Library.