This is a midweek meander, taking us away from law, and that’s okay, I hope. What’s around this particular bend are the 1,500 photographs that the New York Public Library has selected from the 640,000 photos of its Digital Gallery for tagging and inclusion in the Flickr Commons. These represent, we’re told, a sort of “appetizer course” for the larger transfers to come. Images in Flickr Commons are by and large available for use free of encumbering copyright restrictions.
I’ve quickly run through all of the NYPL additions and can tell you that there’s a wide range of interesting material here, beginning with the dawn of photography and proceeding up to the 1930s. Here’s the Library’s own description:
Lush images of modern dance pioneers; haunting early cyanotypes of algae (the first photographic works to be produced by a woman); majestic geographical surveys taken along the Union Pacific Railroad, iconic Depression-era images taken under the Farm Security Administration’s famed photography program; Berenice Abbott’s epic documentation of 1930s New York for the Federal Art Project; stunning 19th century vistas of the Egypt and Syria; scenes and portraits of Ellis Island Immigrants, the Statue of Liberty under construction…
Handily, the photos are grouped into thematic sets to make it easier to find material of interest.
To whet the appetite — of library lovers at least, is a glimpse of a photograph of the NYPL main reading room. Clicking on it will bring up the full photo.