Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Report: Library of Congress Photos on Flickr

The Library of Congress has released both a summary and full version of the report on their offering of historical photograph collections through Flickr. How well has the LOC photos been received?
In the first 24 hours after launch, Flickr reported 1.1 million total views on our account, with 3.6 million views a week later. In mid-March we began to load an additional 50 photos each Friday, with the result that more than 4,000 photos are now in the account. Today, Library of Congress (LC) photos on Flickr are averaging approximately 500,000 views a month and have surpassed the 10 million mark in total views. (Summary Report, p. 3)
And their statistics also demonstrate the popularity of these images: (Summary Report, p. 4-5)
  • 10.4 million views of the photos on Flickr.
  • 79% of the 4,615 photos have been made a “favorite” (i.e., are incorporated into personal Flickr collections).
  • More than 15,000 Flickr members have chosen to make the Library of Congress a “contact,” creating a photostream of Library images on their own accounts.
  • 7,166 comments were left on 2,873 photos by 2,562 unique Flickr accounts.
  • 67,176 tags were added by 2,518 unique Flickr accounts.
  • 4,548 of the 4,615 photos have at least one community-provided tag.
  • Less than 25 instances of user-generated content were removed as inappropriate.
  • More than 500 Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC) records have been enhanced with new information provided by the Flickr Community.
In other words, ordinary people have increased their "ability to engage and connect with photos" by increasing their "sense of ownership and respect that [they] feel for these photos." (Final Report, p. 35)

And the good news is:
It should come as no surprise, then, that the Flickr team recommends that this experiment in Web 2.0 cease to be characterized as a pilot and evolve to an expanded involvement in this growing community (and other appropriate social networking opportunities that may arise) as resources permit. The benefits appear to far outweigh the costs and risks.

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David Kemper said...

This is amazing news. When I read the summary, I had to blog about it. I hope other libraries and archives will follow suit and give this new media a chance.

ok said...

This is a welcoming news and I am glad to see Library of Congress showcase Flickr, and what it can do with more than 4,000 photos of the Library of Congress now in the account. The best part of it is that it provides avenue for general comments. This is web 2.0 in action.

Without a doubt following the success of Library Congress, many libraries and archives will join soon.

Kudos to the Library of Congress project staff.

Okezie Amalaha