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VCU Libraries’ photo collections added to Flickr's The Commons, greatly expanding public access

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VCU Libraries has been named as the 100th institution to take part in Flickr's The Commons, an online project that seeks to share hidden treasures from the world's public photography archives.

As part of The Commons, VCU Libraries' digital special and archival image collections that have no known copyright restrictions will be discoverable through the photo-sharing website Flickr, as well as through search tools that pull public domain images without known copyright restrictions for use and reuse.

"It's significant," said Lauren Work, digital collections librarian. "VCU Libraries will be joining an international group of institutions with the goal to increase public access to image collections that have no known copyright restrictions, which connects directly to our educational mission."

Joining The Commons will greatly increase the discoverability and potential use of VCU Libraries' image collections. It will also allow the public to share their knowledge of the images, potentially enriching the collections with comments and tags.

"Flickr has millions of registered users, and various search tools pull content from Flickr Commons," Work said. "These factors greatly expand the potential for the use of our collections."

VCU Libraries is starting out with a handful of its collections to introduce itself to The Commons and to reflect the diversity of its collections.

The initial collections will include:

·    Jackson Ward Historic District, a series of photographs documenting Richmond's historic Jackson Ward neighborhood.

·    Rarely Seen Richmond, a collection of over 600 postcard images of Richmond, most dating from 1900 through 1930.

·    PS Magazine, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly, an Army publication on preventive maintenance that features the artwork of comics artist Will Eisner, who served as the magazine's artistic director from its inception in 1951 through 1972.

·    Baist Atlas of Richmond, Va. (1889), a digitized version of "The Atlas of the City of Richmond" that was compiled and published in 1889 and serves as a valuable resource for researchers and others interested in Richmond's urban archeology, architectural history and historic preservation.

·    The Newlyweds and Their Baby, which was the first American family newspaper strip. It was created in 1904 by George McManus and published in New York World, and centered around an elegant young couple and their baby Snookums.

Work said VCU Libraries intends to add other existing digital collections, as well as future collections that have no known copyright restrictions.

 

Feature image at top: This postcard from 1911 shows Cary Street and is part of VCU Libraries' Rarely Seen Richmond collection.

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.

Joe's Dope Sheet, from a 1957 issue of PS Magazine, shows an illustration by Will Eisner. It is part of VCU Libraries' collection called PS: The Preventive Maintenance Monthly Collection.
Joe's Dope Sheet, from a 1957 issue of PS Magazine, shows an illustration by Will Eisner. It is part of VCU Libraries' collection called PS: The Preventive Maintenance Monthly Collection.
This 1907 cover of
This 1907 cover of "The Newlyweds and their Baby," by George McManus, is part of the VCU Libraries collection of the comic, the first American family newspaper strip.
This 1978 photo, of 100 East Leigh Street, is part of the Jackson Ward Historic District collection.
This 1978 photo, of 100 East Leigh Street, is part of the Jackson Ward Historic District collection.