February 26, 2009
Oregon State U. Releases Photo Collections to Flickr Commons
In an effort to broaden access to its image archives, Oregon State University has become the first university to join Flickr Commons, a section of the popular photo-sharing service devoted to making historic images available to the public.
“We’re always looking for new areas of engagement, new avenues for putting our materials out there,” said Tiah Edmunson-Morton, reference and instruction archivist at the university’s Valley Library, in an interview today. “It seemed a base to reach a whole new set of users.”
So far, Oregon State has chosen to contribute digital images from the strongest areas of its photographic collection—natural resources, environmental history, forestry, and agriculture. The institution’s first post consisted of 116 photos of the Civilian Conservation Corps, taken by forestry historian Gerald Williams in the 1930s……
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“These same images sat in our own Flickr account—and people looked at them sort of, but nobody commented on them and nobody tagged them,” said Ms. Edmunson-Morton. “When we launched into the Commons, it was literally shocking: Our first week, we had 15,000 image views. And we hadn’t that many in our other Flickr account, total.” Oregon State’s non-Commons account had been open for seven months.